Admission Criteria

Each year roughly eight to ten students are admitted from a pool of 70 to 100 applications. The minimum grade point average for admission to any graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh is 3.0, but students admitted to the anthropology graduate program typically have overall undergraduate grade point averages of 3.6 or better, with superior grades in anthropology courses.

Holistic Admissions

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Anthropology strives to admit a cohort of highly qualified students who will bring a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to the classroom, profession, and community.

The Admissions Committee uses a holistic approach that considers all aspects of an individual’s application, including but not limited to the applicant’s GPA; rigor of academic studies; strength of the statement of purpose; work and volunteer experience; life experience; demonstrated ability to overcome personal or structural barriers; evidence of discipline and responsibility; motivation to succeed in graduate school; and any circumstances that put the applicant’s academic and personal achievements into context. The Department of Anthropology is committed to diversity and inclusion. Diversity in a respectful, inclusive environment promotes critical thinking and raises the quality of communication, work, and interaction for all. These core values of diversity and inclusion promote equity and social justice and enhance the overall educational experience. We seek to prepare future anthropologists to advance the study of humanity in all its diversity, and serve the needs of diverse populations.

In their responses to essay questions or in an additional optional statement, applicants are invited but not required to discuss how they will bring a unique perspective to the Department of Anthropology PhD program or how their personal, lived experiences have shaped their perspective and/or their desire to pursue doctoral training in anthropology.

Non-English Speakers

For students whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score higher than 550 (paper test) or 213 (computer test), or 90 (iBT internet test), or an IELTS score of Band 7.0 or higher, or 120 on the Duolingo English Test, is required for admission.

A TOEFL or IELTS score is not required if the applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the United States.

International Students

International students admitted to the program with a TOEFL of below 600 (paper test), or below 250 (computer test), or below 100 (iBT), or below a Band 7.0 on the IELTS, must take an additional test administered through the English Language Institute as part of registration.  Based on the test results, students may be required by their academic department or the Dietrich School to take a course in English as a second language as part of their graduate program.