Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Anthropology

The M.A. in Anthropology is intended to serve two principle needs:

  1. Preparation for entrance to a Ph.D. program
  2. Preparation for professional service in one of the three anthropological subdisciplines practiced at Colorado State University

In the latter case, that preparation takes place in the context of the student being expected to develop competence both as a general anthropologist and as a practitioner of one of the available specialty areas. Students have the option, within the foregoing constraints, of developing individualized plans leading to the award of the M.A.

Students also have the option of choosing between writing a thesis or developing a portfolio as the principle demonstration of their preparedness for further study or professional work.

Master’s Program Application Information

General information

  • To be accepted into the Department of Anthropology Master’s Program, you must apply to the CSU Graduate School AND the Department of Anthropology. Please see below for both application’s requirements.
  • All application materials must be received by February 1 for the fall semester of the same calendar year. For example, to apply for Fall 2016, application materials will need to be received in full by February 1, 2016.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • All materials, with the exception of transcripts, should be submitted electronically to the following address:

Graduate School Requirements

  • U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • International Students
  • Non-refundable Application Fee
  • A grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) is required by University regulation for admission.
  • One official transcript from each institution attended where credits were earned. Transcripts should be sent to:

Colorado State University
Department of Anthropology
1787 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1787

  • CSU students must provide an “unofficial transcript.”
  • Visit the CSU Graduate School web site for information about their requirements, deadlines, and financial aid.

Department of Anthropology Requirements

In addition to applying to the CSU Graduate School, you must provide a separate application for the Department of Anthropology. This application must be submitted electronically.

  • Official results of the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test (GRE) scores. Requests for GRE scores should be made directly through the Educational Testing Service ( and sent to Colorado State University. Please do not consider a request on the test form at the time of taking the GRE to be adequate or official to process the request for your GRE scores.
  • For International students – official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required.
  • Written “statement of purpose” describing what the applicant wishes to study, the subdiscipline of study (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, or a combination).
  • Writing sample (term paper, honors thesis, or senior thesis) which best expresses the applicant’s writing ability.
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation (two of which must be from faculty who have supervised the student’s work).
    • The applicant must contact the references and have them e-mail their letter of recommendation directly to
    • It is your responsibility to secure your own recommendations and contact the individuals directly. Even though the graduate school admissions office may contact the individuals you have designated for recommendations, you must contact them yourself to ensure your requests are received and their letters reach the Department of Anthropology.
  • If an applicant does not have a major or minor in Anthropology or a minimum of one course in each of the three subfields (archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology), the student will be required to complete one introductory course in each of the subfields in which the deficiency occurs. Students with such deficiencies will be notified at the time of acceptance into the program.

If you have questions, please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Mary Van Buren, at:

Currently, all courses for the graduate program are on campus and are not offered online.

Useful Links:

Anthropology Graduate Student Society (AGSS)

Graduate School Information

The Political Economy Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program (Certificate)

Library Resources