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 https://socialscience.msu.edu/graduate/index.html.

The MSU Graduate School application is available online at https://grad.msu.edu/apply/.The Department of Anthropology also requires additional materials specific to our department. Additional application information for the Department of Anthropology can be found at https://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 to 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.

The university graduate application can be accessed 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.

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: https://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 a graduate assistantship you should note this in the appropriate space on the application.

In general, students are admitted to the Ph.D. program if they already have a Masters degree. If a student does not have a Masters degree, they may still be admitted to the graduate program, and the faculty may recommend completion of the Masters degree before official admission to the PhD program. We rarely admit students who are interested only in the Masters degree, although every student has the opportunity to earn a Plan B (without thesis) Masters degree on their way to earning a PhD degree.


Each year, a limited number of teaching and research assistantships are offered to incoming graduate students, typically for the first four years in the program. These assistantships include a monthly stipend, nine (9) credits of tuition per semester (fall and spring) and student health insurance. Continued funding is contingent on adequate progress in the program and the availability of department funds.

Because of the uncertainty and limited extent of departmental funding, students are encouraged to apply for funding from other MSU sources, as well as from government funding agencies and foundations. In general, most students do find support and funding.

If we can be of further assistance, please write or call the Department at 517-353-2950 (fax 517- 432-2363). Our graduate program director, Dr. Mindy Morgan, can be reached via e-mail at morgan37@msu.edu or academic program coordinator, Joan Reid, can be reached via e-mail at reidj@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