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How to Apply

Admission to the master’s degree program in anthropology consists of two parts: admission to Ball State University and admission to the Department of Anthropology.

Part 1: University Admission

If you're a U.S. citizen, you must first meet the university's admission requirements and apply to the Graduate School. You will also need to have official transcripts for all previous college-level work (except at Ball State) sent to the Graduate School by the institutions you have attended. The Graduate School will not act on your application until receiving your fee and transcripts. Once you have been admitted to the university, you must apply for departmental admission (see below).

If you're an international student, you must first apply for admission through the Rinker Center for International Programs. You are considered a graduate student if you have already earned one of the following:

  • bachelor's degree that is comparable to a U.S. bachelor's degree of four years (16 total years of education)
  • master's or doctoral degree from an accredited institution in your country or in the U.S. (18 total years of education for a master's; 21 total years for a doctorate)

The Graduate School will not act on your application until receiving all materials. Once you have been admitted to the university, you must apply for departmental admission (see below).

Part 2: Departmental Admission

After being admitted by the Graduate School, all students (U.S. and international) must apply to and meet the admission requirements of the Department of Anthropology. You must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and submit the following materials to our department:

  • Department of Anthropology graduate program application
  • one official transcript from each institution you have attended, sent directly from the institution of study
  • narrative statement explaining your reasons for wanting to pursue graduate study in anthropology at Ball State and the relationship of such study to your long-term goals (300–500 words, double-spaced, typed
  • vita (résumé) including educational background, employment history, experience in anthropology and/or archaeology, research endeavors, volunteer efforts, professional organization memberships, and honors/awards, etc.  
  • three recommendation forms from individuals familiar with your academic—or relevant nonacademic—abilities and accomplishments 
  • scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test 

View our application checklist and graduate student handbook, or contact us for further information and assistance. After applying to the department, our graduate program director will notify you of the status of your application.

If you wish to be considered for an assistantship, please see the instructions under "Paid Assistantships."

Additional Study

If your undergraduate major was not anthropology or a closely related field, you may be required to complete undergraduate courses to acquire background knowledge. Credits from these courses will not apply to graduate degree requirements. View a list of all of our undergraduate anthropology courses.

If you want to focus on archaeology, we suggest that you participate in a summer field study or have equivalent experience before beginning your graduate studies.