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College of Arts & Sciences

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PhD in Anthropology (with a subfield in Nautical Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, or Archaeology)

Master of Science in Maritime Archaeology and Conservation

The Department of Anthropology only accepts graduate students for fall admissions. The deadline for PhD applications is December 1st each year and January 15th for MS applications.

Decisions are typically announced in February.


All incoming PhD students receive a multi-year funding package consisting of guaranteed funding in the form of 9 hours of tuition and fees paid, a tuition waiver for non-resident students, and a graduate assistantship (assuming satisfactory progress each year). The number of years of funding is determined by whether you are admitted from an undergraduate degree or with a master’s degree in hand (as well as degree progress per year). Students are eligible to apply for an assistantship in subsequent years after their funding package expires. The salary for graduate assistantships in 2022-2023 was $16,000 (for a nine-month appointment). All students with a graduate assistantship will be assigned as a research assistant or a teaching assistant in the department, and are expected to work no more than 20 hours/week during the academic year. For the 2022-2023 academic year, 100% of students who were eligible for a graduate assistantship received one. This included students in their 4th and 5th years of study. Students in 6th year and beyond are occasionally funded in special circumstances and on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants with exceptionally strong records will be nominated for university fellowships (Merit and Diversity). You will be notified if we nominate you.

The department also provides some funds for students to do preliminary fieldwork and/or present their research at a conference. These funds are offered annually, on a competitive basis, and only after being admitted to the program. Students in the PhD program also have the opportunity to apply for funds to support travel to conferences and funds to support research.

The department provides funding for students admitted to the MS program as well. Each student accepted into the program receives a $3,000 scholarship for two academic years (total of $6,000), and a $3,000 research bursary to be used to support fieldwork or internship experience. MS students are not appointed to assistantship positions.

Timeline of Application Process

Texas A&M receives thousands of applications every year. Because of this, it takes some time for us to receive all parts of an application from the admissions offices. Decisions for both the PhD and MS programs will be made in February and we will notify you soon after via email.

For both degree programs, students who are placed on the wait list may not receive admissions decision until early to mid April. We kindly ask that you be patient with us and remember that we will be in touch with you should a vacant position of admission become available for you.

Deadline Reminders:
PhD applications – December 1
MS applications – January 15

How to Apply

Applications and all accompanying materials are submitted online, using the new centralized application service called GraduateCAS. Do not use the ApplyTexas application as it will not be available for applicants nor for Texas A&M staff who will be processing applications.

Required application materials for both programs

  1. Non-fundable application Fee ($89 for domestic applicants, $114 for international)
  2. One official transcript from each university you have attended. International students should also submit official English translation for any documents not sent in English.
  3. GRE Scores (general test)
    1. Must be taken within the last five years
    2. Required for MS-MARC applicants; Optional for PhD applicants
  4. Three letters of recommendation at minimum
  5. 1-2 page statement of purpose (also known as “personal statement”)

The following items are recommended but not required.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. Writing Sample

Guidance for submitting your application in GraduateCAS

  1. Personal Information (Quadrant 1) – Here you will submit biographic information, contact information, family information, residency status, and any other information you believe to be useful for us to know or consider as part of your application (and that you feel comfortable sharing if it’s not a required section).
  2. Academic History (Quadrant 2) – Here you will upload unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, GPA information, and a list of schools you’ve attended. Remember: You must send Texas A&M an official transcript for every institution you list in this section. Same is true if you opt to upload unofficial transcripts before sending official transcripts.
  3. Supporting Information (Quadrant 3) – Here you can upload any fieldwork experience, academic achievements, or other relevant experience you want to tell us about. This is also the section where you will upload your CV/resume, writing sample, and also respond to a required release statement issued by Texas A&M University.
  4. Program Materials (Quadrant 4) – When in this section, make sure you click the blue banner that says the program name you’re applying to, which will then take you to a new page to continue. Here you will upload your statement of purpose (under the “Documents” tab) and manage your requests for letters of recommendation (under the “Recommendations” tab).
    1. Recommendation letters are not required to be received when you first start your application. These can come in while your application is still in progress and you are still submitting other documents. You can track the progress of your recommendation letter requests in GradCAS. You can also email your references a reminder in this system or choose to send a request to a new reference altogether. NOTE: Do not ask your references to email their letters of recommendation.  They can only submit in the Grad CAS System.
  5. When you’re ready to submit your application, go to the “Submit Application” tab on your home page. This is where your non-refundable application fee will be submitted

Other Tips for Application Materials

Statement of Purpose

This is one of the most important parts of your application. Spend time on it!

  • Clearly indicate, at the top of your statement, which sub-field you are applying to (Nautical, Cultural, Biological or Archaeology).
  • Research our faculty on this web site, and indicate in your statement which faculty most closely share your personal research interests. Be sure that the faculty members you mention are in the subfield you are applying for. Submitting an application for one program and indicating that you want to work with faculty members from another will make your letter look like it was not researched well.
  • Indicate clearly why Texas A&M University is a good fit for you. Also, be sure to write as to why you are a good fit for us.
  • In addition to describing your past academic experience, tell us about your future research interests and goals. Specifically, what fuels your curiosity?  How will you contribute to the field and subdisciplines of anthropology?

Official and Unofficial Transcripts

You can upload unofficial copies of your transcripts in Quadrant 2 (Academic History) under “Colleges Attended.” We will review your unofficial transcripts as part of your full application while we wait to receive your official copies, but these do not replace the requirement for official transcript submissions. If you are admitted, you will need to provide official transcripts to the Texas A&M Office of Admissions BEFORE you can register for classes.

For sending official transcripts to the Office of Admissions:

(U.S. Postal Service)
Graduate Admissions Processing
Office of Admissions
Texas A&M University
P.O. Box 40001
College Station, TX 77842-4001

(Overnight or Hand Delivery)
Graduate Admissions Processing
Texas A&M University
General Services Complex
750 Agronomy Road, Suite 1601
College Station, TX 77843-0200

(979) 845-1060, press option 5

Transcripts may also be submitted electronically if your institution participates in the eSCRIP-SAFE or SPEEDE systems. Please send these to

Have Questions?

Anthropology Department
Ph: (979) 845-5242