Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students are in your program?

For the 2013–2014 academic year, our program has 36 PhD candidates.

How many students do you accept?

While admission varies year to year, we received 133 applicants for matriculation in 2013. Of those, 8 were accepted and 6 enrolled. In 2013, 8 were accepted and 8 enrolled. In 2012, 5 enrolled. In 2011, 5 enrolled. In 2010, 6 enrolled.

What is the average length of the program?

While the length of the program varies based on the individual student’s research, the average length of time is six to seven years.

What GRE scores do you require?

We cannot offer a definitive answer: GRE scores vary widely, because we have many international candidates (who are at a language disadvantage). Stellar scores are less important than having a focused Personal Statement, strong recommendations, and an accomplished academic record. We consider each case on its individual merits.

What do you want in the Personal Statement?

We look for a focused area of research interest—both topic and geographic area. We are not looking for something as specific as a dissertation topic, but we need to know how well your research interests match our strengths. Also let us know: Who would you choose as a faculty advisor, and why? What aspects of the BU program will help you to achieve your research goal?

Are international students considered for financial aid?

Yes, we consider all accepted applicants for financial aid.

By what date should I receive the admissions decision?

The Admissions Committee of the Department of Anthropology usually makes its decisions by mid-February. If delayed, we will post updates on our website. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will send you an e-mail, directing you to a secure website where you can view the decision. If you wish, you may e-mail or call Martin Wraga, the Department Administrator (617-353-2195;