Support for Graduate Study

Support for graduate students is available in several forms through the Department of Anthropology. Each academic year there are about 30 teaching fellowships, distributed across the subfields. Several research assistantships and other forms of research employment are available in cultural resource management and in research conducted by individual faculty members. About eight fellowships supported by the Howard Heinz Endowment and the A.W. Mellon Foundation are for students concentrating in Latin American archaeology (for which students from Latin America are especially welcome to apply). The department also nominates more advanced students to the University's Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship program. Students who indicate on the application for admission that they wish to be considered for financial aid are automatically considered for all the departmental fellowships for which they are qualified for. Students from underrepresented backgrounds are especially encouraged to apply, and additional special sources of support are available to them.

The University's four area studies programs award FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships for graduate study and administer tuition remission awards. Heinz Social Policy Fellowships support students whose program of study focuses on social policy issues in Latin America. Chancellor's Graduate Fellowships in Chinese Studies, Chinese Summer Language Study Abroad Scholarships, Japan Iron and Steel Federation Endowment Fund Fellowships, and Japan Council Research Grants are available through the Asian Studies Program. The area studies programs also provide funds for field research. Further information is available directly from the Center for Latin American Studies, the Asian Studies Program, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, and the West European Studies Program, all part of the University Center for International Studies.

The National Science Foundation awards Graduate Research Fellowships directly to beginning graduate students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents for use in the program of their choice ( The Wenner-Gren Foundation (220 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10001) supports graduate study in anthropology by students from developing nations. The Ford Foundation Minority Graduate Fellowships ( are administered through the National Research Council (202-334-2872). The Fulbright Program provides fellowships for Latin American nationals (contact the nearest U.S. Embassy), as does the Organization of American States (202- 458-3902).

The Department places a high priority on helping students develop the skills to obtain research funding for their dissertations (and later research as well). In past years, as many as 70% of Pitt PhD students have obtained their own funding for dissertation fieldwork and research from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council and other agencies. Others conduct research with funding from ongoing grants for faculty research. The countries where Pitt students have carried out doctoral research include Bangladesh, Belize, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Switzerland, Panama, Peru, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, the United States, and Venezuela.

Consistent with the University’s efforts to support academic-personal life balance, the University believes it is important to provide accommodation for graduate students who become new parents, whether by childbirth or adoption.  The Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Guidelines assists graduate students immediately following the birth or adoption of a young child. The purpose of these guidelines is to make it possible for a student to maintain registered full-time student status, along with all the benefits of such status, while facilitating the return to full participation in courses, research and teaching.

How to Apply

Application Instructions
Admission Criteria
Advice from the Faculty and Current Graduate Students

To request more information about the graduate program in Anthropology and application materials, contact:

Graduate Administrator 

Lauren Murn

NOTE: The deadline for graduate applications is December 5 for study beginning the following Fall semester. Admissions are made for Fall semester only. All students are automatically considered for financial aid.