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It's early in the application season, but I figured I'd get this going!

I'm applying for an MA/MS in Archaeology. My regional interests are Arctic/Subarctic and Pacific Northwest. I'm also interested in underwater archaeology of submerged landscapes. 

For maritime arch, my first choice is University of Southampton (in England). I'm also into Texas A&M and East Carolina because I have so few options otherwise. Oregon State is also on my list because one professor works on submerged landscapes, but doesn't conduct underwater fieldwork.

For Arctic and PNW, I'm looking at University of Alaska Fairbanks, Washington State University, and SUNY Buffalo. 

Haven't contacted POI's yet outside of Southampton!  I'm thinking that will narrow down my list a bit hah.

Edited by tundratussocks
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It's been such a difficult year to apply. For all applicants, we all deserve a round of applause for applying this year and sticking with that decision, congrats to all of those who were accepted! Sim

Hi all! Just checking back in after some time and wishing the best for everyone this week into next. I got my first official decision today, which was a rejection from Princeton. Not how I wanted to s

Since decisions have started rolling in, I wanted to wish everyone good luck! Admissions to anthro seems so random and there’s a lot of luck involved—I think that’s probably even more true this year w


It seems the Anthropology forum is non existent this year. Anyone want to share his/hers thoughts about the upcoming cycle? How does COVID impact your decision to where you're applying? 

I'm applying for several departments: Chicago, Michigan, Yale, Brandeis and UC Santa Cruz. My work is on socio-environmental themes in the middle east.


Lets help each other, or at least support during this arduous journey. Best of luck to us all!

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Hi YS90 I'm also a ME sociocultural applicant this cycle! Would be great to connect. 

Just wanted to note for others sakes that
UC Berkeley
UC Boulder

all are NOT accepting applications for F21. https://www.chronicle.com/article/more-doctoral-programs-suspend-admissions-that-could-have-lasting-effects-on-graduate-education 


Wishing everyone best of luck! 

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:00 PM, YS90 said:

Anyone want to share his/hers thoughts about the upcoming cycle? How does COVID impact your decision to where you're applying? 

It's so difficult to forecast what will happen, so I'm frustratingly investing a ton of time and money into applying regardless. I'm going to wait until the last minute to apply to all of my schools, hoping that come January the world might have a better sense of what will happen for that academic year. If all of my top choice schools choose not to accept applications, have majority classes online, or experience serious budget cuts and thus less funding for masters degrees, I might wait a year to apply or at least prepare for application into PhD programs next cycle (if only budget related).

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  • 2 months later...

I literally just created an account to contribute! I applied to BioAnth programs at Northwestern, Michigan, CUNY and Dartmouth. I've been in contact with people from each of these programs and it sounds like they are all planning on accepting students (Michigan is a bit of a question mark for funding though). I had planned on applying to Boulder, so it was a bummer when I found out they weren't accepting, although they weren't my first choice so fingers crossed! 

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Hi everyone :) I applied to cultural anthropology programs at Washington State and Southern Methodist. This is my first application cycle, I’m incredibly nervous. I was told by a POI that my application was competitive, which was a relief. 

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Fingers crossed for us all! 

I'm a biocultural anthropologist looking to do work on neuroanthropology particularly studying mechanisms of embodiment and the nature of human experience :D  My undergrad thesis looked at experiences of uncertainty among American college seniors looking toward life after graduation. I studied Biological Sciences (Neuroscience), Anthropology (Biocultural), and Philosophy in undergrad. 

I graduated over 5 years ago and have worked in education/academic-adjacent jobs including some work on a field-site studying Prairie restorations using phylogenetics. I'm a science hoe what can I say. 

What a rough application cycle! With my interests in an odd space between biological and cultural methods and with my interests developing new neuroanthro methods my school list was already somewhat small. I had a really solid connection with someone at UPenn but they were one of my first schools to notify me they wouldn't be accepting anyone. I ended up applying to: 

- UCSD Biological Anthro PhD (though I will likely have 1 phenomenologically-specialized cultural anth advisor from their psych-med anth track) 

- UChicago's Comparative Human Development PhD

- University of Alabama's Biocultural Medical Anthro MA --> they do not often do straight to PhD admissions but they fund their masters students!

Some schools I didn't get to apply to were: 

-UCSF/UCB Anthro PhD

-UPenn Biological Anthro PhD

-Emory Anthropology PhD


I honestly would have waited another year if I hadn't already applied for the NSF-GRFP 😓

Haven't heard from any of my 3 schools but all my deadlines were later (either Dec 15 or Jan 15) Hope this helps feel free to connect! 

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Nerve-wracking time currently but here goes-

This is my second cycle and possibly the worst year to apply (my top choice of UCB did not accept applications at all). I work on minority folk music & musicians in the Middle East and how they do or don't self-identify within nationalist narratives of the state. 

I applied to :

Stanford for Linguistic Anthro

UCLA for Ling Anthro

U Chicago for Sociocultural (sub-selection Ling anthro)

U Michigan for Ling Anthro

and Northwestern for Sociocultural/Ling Anthro

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Hi all! Seems like a thin crowd in here these days. 

I too threw my hat into the ring for this years’ application cycle, and applied (all cultural anthro) at Chicago, Stanford, Princeton, and UT Austin. 

All deadlines were Dec. 1 and things have been quiet so far, aside from Chicago, which reached out and offered me an interview yesterday morning. 

good luck to everyone and please feel free to connect if y’all need support or just someone to chat with! 

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Rough year for sure!

I applied to cultural anthro at UCLA, Stanford, UF, UT Austin, and UNC Chapel Hill. I had informal Zoom meetings with prospective advisors at UF and UNC in Nov/Dec but did not hear back from professors at UCLA or UT Austin (Stanford does not require/suggest outreach to prospective advisors). 

I had to nix UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, Arizona, and Duke as a result of COVID (UCSC, UCB, & AZ were all top choice. Duke was moderate).

@crthomps Congratulations on your Chicago interview! That is huge. Did you receive feedback from outreach to professors at UT? They were pretty adamant about reaching out to multiple potential advisors in their virtual open house but I never heard back from anyone I wrote to ☹️

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7 minutes ago, Ryoong said:

Hi, does anyone know whether the sociocultural anthro programs at Michigan and Chicago require interviews?

Looking through the Results page, and through conversations with friends who have applied/studies at Chicago, it seems that interviews are standard for the Anthro dept. 

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Got an email from Michigan yesterday encouraging me to apply to FLAS Fellowship -- deadline is Jan 15 (tomorrow). Apparently the deadline for letters of recommendation is extended to the 29th of Jan, which is a relief.

Not quite enough time to reach out to POI for advice on which language to apply for, and the main FLAS info session was last week.  I included my language competencies in my application, and already have the main ones needed for my research, so I had not planned on language study in my first year. 

Seems to be line with @anthrobrain's comment on funding concerns. Hopefully if I can secure FLAS funding, I'll have a better shot at admission (is that how it works now?).

Anyone else have FLAS experience / advice?


Edited by samur
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@amlans  Thank you! It's a bit of a confidence booster, considering we go into these applications never really knowing where we stand among the greater applicant pool.

As for UT and Stanford, my experiences have been similar. In fact, Stanford was the only school at which the person I reached out to never responded -- I learned afterward that it's sort of a policy in that department. 

Both my folks at UT did respond, but one responded immediately and the other took quite a while. Both were pretty boilerplate "your project sounds interesting, I look forward to reading your application" type thing. I definitely don't think it's a do-or-die situation to not have heard back. 

@samur that could be a precursor to good news from Michigan, so I'd take advantage of that! Good luck!

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@crthomps thank you, fingers crossed!

How was the Chicago interview? I am hoping it is not a bad sign that I have not yet heard anything about an interview. I emailed my POI at Chicago and was told it was a policy of theirs not to establish contact with applicants but to assess their 'fit' within the department as a whole when reviewing applicants. 

I reached out to my POI at Stanford in November and heard back within a week, encouraging me to apply. Not sure if it's an official policy or not. 

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Good luck to everyone during this weird application cycle! I'm sure we're all in for a ride...

I decided to focus on maritime archaeology and narrowed my apps to East Carolina, University of Southampton, and Florida State. Luckily they're all taking students in for the Fall. They all had super late deadlines, (Jan 15th, and Florida is Feb. 1st!). I also threw my hat in for a Fulbright to fund a year at Southampton, but that's wishing on a star. I should hear if I made semi-finalist by next week...

Just tryna not be a bag of nerves as I refresh my ECU app status page saying they don't have my transcripts (I submitted a month ago) and my one reference is MIA. Her time zone is technically still within the deadline, but it's already the next day in East Carolina. Can you tell this is my first app cycle?

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@tundratussocks Have you been in contact with this recommender? Two of mine waited until the 11th hour to submit for all four of my schools, so I don't think it's out of the ordinary!

And don't stress (too much). You're gonna do great!!! This also being my first cycle, one of the things that's helped keep me sane has been to only allow myself a specific 15 minute period each day to refresh things like r/gradadmissions, gradcafe, and my admissions portals. That has helped at least to minimize the negative thought spirals. 

Another thing that I think too few of us recognize is the incredible accomplishment in simply submitting these applications. Those of us who have been through a cycle know the toll it takes on us emotionally and intellectually to get to the point where they're ready to submit.  So congratulations!!! You've done an amazing thing just by getting here.

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@updayday Thanks for asking! I had two, one with a newer associate prof. and the other with one of the heads of the department. They were each about 40 minutes, and were back to back yesterday morning.

Not too much to report. I think they went quite well, all things considered. Nothing really out of the ordinary was asked, and neither was as scary as I feared they might be. They were both mainly interested in learning more about where my project is headed in light of COVID, and how serious I am about attending Chicago. We talked a  bit about funding and the difficulty of this cycle. They both confirmed applicants' fears that there are fewer spots available this year, as well, in fact dramatically so. The numbers are depressing, tbh -- both the size of the applicant pool and how many they will ultimately admit. 

I don't have any solid timelines from here, but expect all admits will hear back within the next month. 

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Not sure if anyone else here applied to UCSC or W&M but UCSC application decisions should be out sometime in March and W&M is going to start reviewing applications sometime next week (heard both these time ranges through professors.) Not sure about any interview dates or anything though! Figured I would pass along the info.

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