Completed Application Deadline date: January 10th

The Anthropology Department at Syracuse University encourages students from various backgrounds to seek admittance. In addition to students with undergraduate or master's degrees in Anthropology, our current graduate students have backgrounds in public health, English, history, psychology, journalism, biology, and zoology. Recent graduates had majors in economics, law, and Spanish literature. We feel that the breadth of anthropology as a discipline is enriched by the skills and knowledge of various other disciplines. 

The department of anthropology admits applicants for graduate study at the MA and Ph.D. levels.  Ensure that you check the proper box on your application.  In addition, note that the department does not ordinarily provide financial assistance for those pursuing the MA degree.


Admission and aid are decided by an examination of previous transcripts, references, GRE scores (strongly recommended by the Department, required for nomination for a University Fellowship), and statements of interest. Applicants should not feel bound by the page limit implied in the graduate school application for the statement of interest. Write a careful, thoughtful statement showing how anthropology at Syracuse relates to your goals and interests. When possible, a sample of recent work (a term paper, chapter of an MA or honors thesis, book review, etc.) should be included with your application. Visits to campus and personal interviews by applicants are welcome. 

Concurrent Degrees:

Many students choose to obtain a second graduate degree while at Syracuse. Currently two students are completing Master's in Public Administration in conjunction with their Ph.D.s in Applied/Development Anthropology. Twenty percent of the coursework for a Ph.D. in Anthropology can be applied towards the credit requirements of a second degree. 


In 2021-22,  fees for graduate students are set at $1,734. per credit hour. The amount of time it takes to complete a degree is on average, 1 1/2 years for a MA (which requires 30 credit hours), six years for the Ph.D. (72 credit hours). Health fees are $391. per semester. The Student Activity Fee is $100. per semester.

Financial Assistance: 

The Claudia DeLys Scholarship in Cultural Anthropology is an endowed fund that provides support for field research leading to the Ph.D. degree, dissertation writing and pre-dissertation field work. Two or three awards are made annually. 

The university offers 9-month teaching assistantships; for the 2021-22 academic year, they are valued at $11,000. per semester plus tuition; there are also occasionally full-tuition scholarships available for qualified MA and Ph.D. students. Most students currently enrolled in the graduate program in the Department of Anthropology have received full or partial funding. The maximum duration of teaching assistantships is 2 years for MA students and four years for Ph.D. students. Eligibility for retaining assistantships is found under criteria for satisfactory progress in the Department's Guide to Graduate Studies. Students with teaching assistantships are expected to work twenty hours per week during the academic year. Duties usually involve teaching discussion sections and marking essays, assignments, and examinations in lower division undergraduate courses. 

Outstanding students are eligible for University Fellowships and the Maxwell Dean's Summer Assistantship. The University Fellowship in 2021-22 carries a stipend of $25,290., plus tuition. In 2021, the Maxwell Dean’s Summer Assistantship carried a cash award of $4,666. U.S. citizens interested in studying South Asia are eligible for National Resource Fellowships through the SU South Asia Center. In 2021-22, South Asia fellowships are expected to provide a stipend of approximately $15,000, plus tuition for 24 credit hours. Fellowships to study language in South Asia during the summers are also available through the South Asia Center. 

Advanced students, especially those who have completed their doctoral fieldwork, are eligible for other teaching opportunities. Many teach their own courses at University College – for example, ANT 111 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, ANT 121 Peoples and Cultures of the World, ANT 373 Magic and Religion, ANT 376 Folklore, and ANT 320 Women and Culture. In Maxwell, such students are also eligible to compete for the teaching assistantship slots in two gateway courses for freshmen: MAX 123 Critical Issues for US and MAX 132, Global Community. Moreover, participation in the Future Professoriate Program means additional money from The Graduate School. International students are also eligible for all of these funding opportunities.

In addition, other kinds of monies are available. There are competitions for research grants: for summer money from The Graduate School, and from the Maxwell School through the Roscoe-Martin fund. In the last few years, several graduate students in Anthropology have won these grants each year, enabling them to do summer field work abroad and domestically. 

We encourage our graduate students to compete for external awards, primarily for their Ph.D. fieldwork. In recent years, Syracuse graduate students in Anthropology have been highly successful in these competitions, receiving awards from Fulbright, Wenner-Gren, NSF, Rockefeller, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. 

Our policy on student loans is that students must show progress on a yearly basis for the Department to support repayment deferral. 

Application Procedures & Deadlines: 

Apply Online

This is the preferred method of application for graduate study at Syracuse University. Online applications can be processed faster and more efficiently than those filed on paper. 

All application materials should be sent to Graduate Admissions:

Enrollment Management Processing Center
Syracuse University
Graduate Admissions Processing
P.O. Box 35060
Syracuse, New York 13235-5060

If you are sending materials using a package delivery company (i.e. FedEx, UPS, DHL), use the following address:

Enrollment Management Processing Center 
Syracuse University 
Graduate Admissions Processing 
716 E. Washington St., Suite 200 
Syracuse New York 13210-1572 

Correspondence concerning funding should be addressed to:

Professor Robert Rubinstein
Director of Graduate Studies 
Department of Anthropology
Syracuse University
209 Maxwell Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1090
(315) 443-3837 (tel); (315) 443-4860 (fax)
Completed applications for the Ph.D. program must be accompanied by official transcripts, three letters of reference, a statement of interest and a representative sample of recent work. 

Students applying for graduate awards are urged to submit complete admission applications as early as possible
Applications received complete can be processed many times faster than those received in separate mailings. Students must have their complete admission applications to the Graduate Enrollment Management Center no later than January 10th. While, under some circumstances, applications may be considered after this deadline, all funds for student financial assistance may already have been allocated. Offers of admission are made for September, the beginning of the academic year. International applicants will be informed of admission decisions directly by the Graduate School and the department will notify domestic applicants of admission decisions.

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