What you need to apply

The following supporting documents are required for the USC Dornsife Anthropology PhD application:

  • Please combine the following into a single document and upload as “Personal Statement”:

○      A 500-word Biographical Statement detailing your personal trajectory and experiences, leading to your interest in applying for a PhD in Anthropology at USC.

○      A 1000-word Project Proposal for a field-based ethnographic research project that can be completed within the timeframe of the program, mentioning specific faculty members in USC Anthropology with whom you would like to work.

  • Submit an approximately 2500-word Writing Sample that demonstrates your best analytical or conceptual writing.
  • Request at least two letters of recommendation (submitted by recommenders through the online application portal), ideally at least one from a faculty member who can speak to your academic qualifications.
  • Optional: A document with links to a portfolio, website or other document with examples of previous research projects, interests, or creative works (e.g., film, video, sound work, photographs, or creative writing) may be submitted as an addendum to the Personal Statement, but is not required of all applicants. Note that this would be especially important if you wish to conduct multimodal or cross-genre forms of experimental ethnography.  
  • NOTE: As of November, 2021, the Department of Anthropology no longer requires GRE scores as part of the application.
  • International students are also required to demonstrate proficiency in English, such as by completing the TOEFL exam (see Graduate English Proficiency requirements).

If you have questions about Anthropology PhD program and admission criteria, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Andrea Ballestero (aballes@usc.edu).

How to Apply:
  1. Complete USC’s standard online graduate admissions form.
  2. Attach the supporting documents described above.

Contact the Anthropology Graduate Advisor at anthgrad@usc.edu,  if you have any questions about application processing.  Any technical issues with the application should go to Liason Tech at uscsupport@liaisoncas.com.