Letter from the Chair

Dear Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program in Anthropology.  Detailed information about The Graduate School at Michigan State University and application procedures can be found on line at https://grad.msu.edu/admissions.

Additional information about the Anthropology graduate program and possible degree specializations within The College of Social Science is located on the College website at http://socialscience.msu.edu/academic-areas/degree-programs.

The MSU Graduate School application form is available online at https://grad.msu.edu/apply/.The Department of Anthropology also requires some additional materials, such as letters of recommendation.  Information about applying for graduate admission to the Department of Anthropology is found at http://anthropology.msu.edu/graduate/graduate-application-checklist/. The application deadline for receipt of all materials is December 1st.

Some of our policies and procedures may be of importance to you as you prepare an application for admission. These include:


Students are admitted into the graduate program only in the Fall semester. Applicants to the graduate program need not have an undergraduate degree in anthropology.  We recommend, however, that students have some background in anthropological theory, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. A background that includes at least 12 credits in anthropology is highly recommended. Applicants who do not have these preparatory courses are directed to complete some undergraduate preparation before they are admitted to full graduate student status.

All graduate students who are admitted to the program are considered to be master’s level students, even if the individual already has a Master’s degree. The full faculty consider each student’s academic record each year; at the time of the second year review, the faculty direct the student to earn either the Plan A master’s degree (with thesis) or the Plan B master’s degree (without thesis). If appropriate, the faculty also consider the student’s admission to the doctoral program upon successful completion of the master’s degree.


Each year, a limited number of teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships are offered to incoming graduate students. These may include renewable half-time graduate assistantships, which include a monthly stipend, health insurance, nine (9) credits of tuition per semester, plus a waiver of the out-of-state portion of tuition.

Because of the uncertainty and limited extent of departmental funding, we also encourage students to apply for financial aid from other MSU sources, as well as from government funding agencies and foundations. In general, most students do find support and funding, although such support can be limited in the first year.

The Department tries to fund students for multiple years, and students with teaching assistantships are generally funded for three years, assuming their progress in the program is satisfactory. All financial aid is, of course, dependent upon the availability of funding.


1.  Apply to the Anthropology Graduate Program here: https://grad.msu.edu/apply/. The application fee is payable online with a credit card. Major code for the MA program is 4307; PhD program code is 4308. Make sure you check the area of interest and list faculty members with whom you wish to work.

2.  The Department requires some additional forms and supporting documents that should be uploaded directly to your application in the student portal by the December 1 deadline. Detailed information about the application process and a checklist are available on our website at: http://anthropology.msu.edu/graduate/graduate-application-checklist/. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study must be sent directly to the department for uploading to your application. Transcripts for coursework completed at MSU are not required. If you wish to apply for financial aid, you should note this in the appropriate space on the application form.

If we can be of further assistance, please write or call the Department at 517-432-1445 (fax 517-432-2363). Our graduate secretary can be reached via e-mail at anpgrad@msu.edu. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

We think we have a great graduate program at Michigan State, and we hope you agree.


Todd Fenton, Ph.D., D-ABFA (he, him, his)
Chair and Professor
Department of Anthropology
Michigan State University