Our doctoral degree became fully operational in 2006  and is geared toward filling an important and growing niche: the need for anthropologists with advanced training in applied research. We currently have about 40 MA students and 24 Ph.D. students in the program. Our Ph.D. students go on to careers in academia or employment in a large variety of other areas, including government agencies (recent examples include the Bureau of Land Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); the non-profit sector (examples include global organizations such as Oxfam, and regional organizations such as the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission); tribal groups around the country, and the private sector.

Potential doctoral students can expect to get involved in a variety of research projects. Many of these projects are funded by entities such as the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, Oregon State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Sea Grant, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and many other organizations. Doctoral students can also expect to get involved with interdisciplinary curriculum and research opportunities. We often collaborate with colleagues and students from other strong units on campus, including Forestry, Agriculture, Engineering, Public Health, and related programs.

The greater part of our Ph.D. students receive financial support in the form of research assistantships and teaching assistantships; our Ph.D. students play a critical role in helping us to educate a diverse student body. In collaboration with their faculty advisor, Ph.D. students chart out a demanding but relatively flexible curriculum in which they can take courses from within the department and from related disciplines. We also require our graduate students to complete an internship, which serves several purposes: it gives them an opportunity to use their training in a hands-on setting; it often gives them access to the study populations and data sources that they need in order to write theses and dissertations; and it provides them with professional networking opportunities, which improves their chances of getting employed after graduation.

At Oregon State University, we are using anthropological skills and methods to work with people, understand the past and present, and shape the future. 

Please use this Ph.D. Student Handbook to guide your journey through the graduate program. It should answer many of the questions you may have about policies and procedures.



Required Documents for Admission


  1. OSU Application form
  2. Unofficial transcripts should be sent to the OSU Graduate School (Master's degree in Anthropology* or related field with anthropology coursework and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5). Note: Be sure to submit unofficial transcripts, not web-generated printouts of your grades.
  3. Three letters of reference (at least two should be from university professors closely associated with the student's work. One can be from a professional in the field of your career interest) The electronic reference letter system, located on the Graduate Admissions site, will send requests to three reference writers indicated by you on your admission application. Recommendation letters should be cut-and-paste into text box on form, or uploaded as an attachment.
  4. Completion and submission of GRE scores
  5. Statement of interest including a proposed Ph.D. project of no more than 1000 words and no more than one page of bibliography. Be sure to include a statement that addresses how OSU's curriculum and Anthropology faculty could contribute to your proposed project.
  6. A recent writing sample (a term paper, chapter of an MA thesis, book review, published article, etc.)
  7. A resume of academic and applied accomplishments (no more than 2 pages, work experience in chosen area of research is preferred)
  8. TOEFL (for international students only)
  9. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equivalent to that obtained at the end of a second-year university course in that language (ACTFL intermediate high).
  10. All items must be sent to the OSU Graduate School.


Deadline: All materials must be received at the OSU Graduate School by Jan. 1.


Other Graduate Student Resources:


Students with a Masters in Anthropology from Oregon State University will be considered for admission to the PhD program, but are also encouraged to apply elsewhere.