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There are no specific prerequisites, majors, or courses required. You do not have to have majored in Anthropology as an undergraduate to apply to our program but you do need to have a BA or BS from an accredited university and to have a reasonable background in the Social Sciences.  If you are not sure whether you are ready to make a commitment to an MA program in Anthropology, you are welcomed to take up to 9 credits (3 courses)in our department as a non-degree student.  If you are subsequently accepted into our program, those credits will be retroactively counted toward completion of your MA.

Application Requirements

To apply for the M.A. in Applied Anthropology, you must submit an application, personal statement, three letters of reference, GRE scores, and transcripts from all of the institutions you have attended as an undergraduate or a graduate student.

1. An on-line application including a personal statement. The personal statement should address the following two items. Please follow the directions below and use the question headings to label each item of your response:

  • Statement of purpose (600 words): In your statement of purpose, specifically discuss the academic and professional experiences that helped shape your decision to pursue graduate work in Applied Anthropology. Explain your educational and career objectives and how these relate to the IUPUI program. Please examine our departmental Web site to familiarize yourself with our faculty’s areas of expertise before you submit your application.  One of our primary criteria for evaluating applicants is to make sure your interests are a good match with our department’s strengths.
  • Personal endorsement (150 words): Briefly explain why you think we should admit you to the program. What assets will you bring? What are you capable of? How will you make a difference in the program? You might consider describing your personal/professional work ethic, values, or other orientations that drive your work. 

2. Three (3) letters of reference, at least one of which should be from a person who can speak to your academic record (such as a faculty member). Letters from supervisors who can address professional or internship experiences are also relevant. Make sure your referees can speak to your strengths and abilities as a future graduate student. We prefer that letters of reference be submitted electronically through the Apply Yourself system but if necessary, they can also be sent directly to the Anthropology Department mailing address below.

3. All official transcripts. Please request official transcripts from all previous colleges and universities you have attended. Note: We do not require a transcript from IUPUI or IU Bloomington since we can access them electronically. You must have at least one official transcript demonstrating a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. If you are in your senior year, submit your most recent transcript with your application. If admitted, you will be asked for an official transcript documenting your completed degree and it must be received before you will be allowed to register for your second semester of classes. The recommended minimum cumulative GPA is 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) both overall and in your major field. If you feel that your GPA does not reflect fully your academic abilities because of special circumstances, please address those in your personal statement or a separate note in your application.

4. Your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. GRE scores from the general exam (i.e. no specific subject is required) are required without exception, regardless of previous degrees earned or enrollment in other programs. The scores must be reported before your application will be reviewed. Scores may be reported electronically (specify school code #1325) by the testing service. If you are taking the GREs close to the application deadline, you may send or fax a copy of your report since test takers often receive their reports before the electronic report is available.

Because this question is often asked, the IU Graduate School guidelines recommend an average of at least 550 with one score above 600, but the Anthropology admissions committee considers test scores within the context of the entire application, including evidence of an applicant’s abilities as assessed through undergraduate records, references, professional experience, and the personal statement. 

Other Application Information

Please note that to be eligible for nomination for a University Fellowship, your application much be postmarkedby January 15. Please see the Office of Student Financial Services for further information and deadlines for filing FAFSA forms in order to request need-based financial aid.  As a Department, we are able to nominate 4 candidates for consideration for University Fellowships but we do not make the final decisions.

We will review a second round of applications submitted by March 15.  These applicants will not be eligible to be nominated for university fellowships, though there may be other forms of support that are available (such as Research or Teaching Assistantships).

If you are interested in also pursuing an additional degree or certificate in a related program such as Museum Studies, Public History, or Geography, you must apply separately to those departments.  Please check for information in this bulletin in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI section.

Please note that while the Museum Studies program is based in the Anthropology Department and many of the courses are cross-listed with Anthropology, if you wish to pursue either a joint degree or a Museum Studies Graduate Certificate, you must apply separately to that program.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: All candidates must complete the form online. Paper applications are no longer accepted and will be returned to you. If you have additional materials that must be submitted in hard copy, such as transcripts or letters of recommendation, please have these documents mailed to the following address:

Graduate Admission Committee
Department of Anthropology, IUPUI

Cavanaugh Hall 413
425 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202

For further information, contact the Graduate Program Director, MA in Applied Anthropology.