Graduate School Guidance | Department of Anthropology

Graduate School Guidance

If you are completing your bachelor's degree and want to go to graduate school, you have two options: a master's program or a Ph.D. program. The difference is that while you will pick up a master's degree in just about any Ph.D. program, a master's program will terminate with that degree.

Reasons to choose a master's program:

  • You don't want to commit to the 5-10 years that a Ph.D. would take
  • You can get the kind of job you want with a master's degree
  • You want to get into a Ph.D. program but you are not in a strong position in terms of your grades, letters of recommendation, and so forth; a master's program provides an opportunity for you to improve your position

Reasons to choose a Ph.D. program:

  • You know you want a Ph.D., and you are in a strong position in terms of your grades, letters of recommendation, and so forth

Once you have decided to apply to master's programs, you should identify your areas of interest. Is there a particular part of the world you want to study? Are you interested in the environment? Medical anthropology? Community development?

Then, you should find a number of programs that specialize in your areas of interest.

Some ways to find out information about anthropology departments and the interests of their faculty:

  • Websites of particular anthropology departments and home pages of faculty members
  • The Society for Applied Anthropology has a list of applied anthropology programs
  • Ask your professors

Filling out the applications to graduate school is a time-consuming process, so plan ahead for it. In your essay, be as specific as possible about your research interests.

Your letters of recommendation are critical. They will be most persuasive if they are written by faculty members who know you as a person. So it is in your best interest to develop mentoring relationships with several faculty members at UNT, starting as early as possible.

If you need more advice, consider joining the PADAWAN Society. It's a mentorship program between our Applied Anthropology graduate students and Anthropology undergraduate students.