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Anthropology Graduate Program / Applications and Admissions

Applications and Admissions

Information for Prospective Students

The praxis-oriented research conducted by our faculty and graduate students incorporates theory and practice in order to understand some of the most urgent questions of our time. These include changes across space and time in social complexity, inequality, and power; health disparities, and illness; environmental and social justice; and the significance of cultural identity, meaning, and diversity in complex social and political contexts. Anthropology faculty and graduate students at the University of Kentucky share a fundamental commitment to social, environmental, and economic justice, to anthropology as an arena for investigating social inequalities and real-world problems, and to contribute to their solutions through professional and public analysis and engagement.

We invite students to join our established research programs. Our archaeology program explores the peoples and cultures of the New World, from the late Pleistocene through early historical times. Our cultural anthropology program encompasses a broad range of content areas, including applied, development, economic, ecological, feminist, medical, political, science-technology-society, and urban anthropologies. Our biological anthropology program explores human-environment interaction as it shapes population and individual well-being across space and time.

Some of the features that distinguish our graduate program include:

  • The collections of the William S. Webb Museum of Archaeology provide students with access to research, RA, and internship opportunities.
  • A productive faculty with diverse research interests.
  • A robust and exciting program of colloquia and roundtable events, including both current faculty and visiting speakers. 
  • A successful record of career placement in both academic and non-academic positions.
  • A successful record of community partnerships and internships for students pursuing the applied M.A. degree.
  • Opportunities for interdisciplinary study are available through graduate certificates in Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies, Gender and Women's Studies, and Social Theory, among others.
  • A supportive and vibrant graduate community with its own well-established governing body.
  • A commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive community for all.

We are pleased to be able to offer assistantships to all of our incoming Ph.D. students, which include a stipend, a full tuition waiver (both in and out-of-state), and health insurance coverage. Occasionally, similar assistantships are available to M.A. students.

We have funding for a select number of applicants to visit the department in person. While here, they can attend classes, talk with faculty and current students, tour the facilities, and explore the city of Lexington.

Lexington, Kentucky, is a vibrant and growing city of over 300,000 people and is located within a six-hour drive of many other great cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Memphis. Cincinnati and Louisville are 80 minutes away. The city has a low cost of living compared to many comparable cities, and our graduate TA and RA stipends are higher than those paid at many of our benchmark institutions. All of our eligible Ph.D. students are funded through various sources, including teaching and research assistantships, for four or more years, and there are special fellowship opportunities for those who qualify (for example, many minority and first-generation Ph.D. students in our department have Lyman T. Johnson fellowships), making this a very affordable place to attend graduate school.

Fall 2015 Cohort: Fuzzy Sutton, Katie Alexander, Ashley Whitten, Goeun Lee, Anahid Matossian, Erfan Saidi Moqadam, Michael Flynn, and Dayton Daniel Starnes II. (Photo Credit: C. Cutright)


Ph.D. Program in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology welcomes applications from interested students. We encourage potential students to contact individual faculty members and/or the Director of Graduate Studies for more information about our program prior to applying. Our application deadline is January 1st. Please see a description of our program and degree requirements under the Graduate Curriculum. For an overview of the types of research conducted by Ph.D. candidates in our program please see a list of recent dissertation titles.

M.A. Program in Applied Anthropology

Since its inception in the 1960s, the graduate program has been nationally recognized as a leader in applied anthropology. We define applied anthropology as research with practical application and impact, but anchored in a rigorous foundation in anthropological theory and method, whether from cultural, bio-cultural, medical, or archaeological perspectives. With a grounding in core anthropological theory and method, we train our students to be skilled researchers who can traverse both academic and non-academic settings, bringing to their research a sound intellectual base and skills for application and practice. The M.A. program offers concentrations in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and medical anthropology. Most M.A. degrees include a practicum, including these recent internships and partnerships. Our application deadline is January 1st.


Application Procedures

All applications for graduate study at the University of Kentucky Graduate School must be submitted online. For materials required for application, please consult the Graduate School website for more information. Please note that the application deadline for both programs for fall 2022 admission is January 1, 2022.

Please be sure to consult the anthropology program requirements prior to applying. Department standards for admission to graduate work in anthropology include an undergraduate grade point average of B or better, satisfactory Graduate Record Examination scores, completion of a separate departmental application form, and three letters of recommendation. Consult the Graduate School website for additional information on departmental requirements and opportunities for financial assistance.

For more information or questions on program requirements, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Kristin Monroe, at

Fall 2016 Cohort: Alex Brown, Brittany Stanfield, Mauri Systo, Shayna Lindquist, Briana Moore, and Megan Parker. (Photo Credit: C. Cutright)