The Department of Anthropology at UCSB is a medium-sized department with excellent faculty, high national visibility and a reputation for a first-rate graduate program. Each student contracts a unique course of study and research directed towards the understanding of human nature, culture and biology, past and present. There are three specializations in the M.A./Ph.D. program: Archaeology, Sociocultural Anthropology and Integrative Anthropological Sciences (IAS). Further specialization is possible within each of these fields.

Applicants are admitted to the M.A./Ph.D. program with the expectation that they will meet the requirements for the M.A. degree and advance to complete the PhD degree. Applicants who have received their M.A. degree from another institution must demonstrate that they also meet the UCSB Department of Anthropology M.A. requirements and may be asked to complete courses and/or pass the appropriate comprehensive examination or assessment before advancing to Ph.D. candidacy. These determinations are made by faculty after the student is enrolled in the program, usually during the first or second year. Therefore, applicants wishing to pursue a Ph.D. will apply to the M.A./Ph.D. program.

Please visit the Department website for specific information on application materials at

Applications for 2024 admission are due December 4, 2023, 11:59 pm PST.

Mailing Address

Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara
Humanities and Social Sciences Building, 2001
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3210

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines

Fall Only:

  • December 4, 2023 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Requirements Icon


  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History and Diversity Statement, and Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) (submitted online).
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted online). Note: If submitted via postal mail, please attach required coversheets with applicant signature.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (submitted online).
  • English Language Exam Scores (if applicable): TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT) total score of 80, or TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) total score of 550, or IELTS Overall Band score of 7, or Duolingo English Test total score of 120, or higher.
  • Writing Sample (submitted online). Please see for details.
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Students may choose emphases under the advice of faculty members.


Archaeology, Sociocultural Anthropology and Integrative Anthropological Sciences (IAS)