Our M.A. degree was established as one of the first programs in applied anthropology in the early 1990s, and our Ph.D. degree became fully operational in 2006. Both programs are geared toward filling an important and growing niche: the need for anthropologists with advanced training in applied research. We currently have approximately 40 M.A. students and 24 Ph.D. students in the program. Our graduates 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 graduate students 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. Graduate 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 graduate students receive financial support in the form of research assistantships and teaching assistantships; our graduate students play a critical role in helping us to educate a diverse student body. In collaboration with their faculty advisor, graduate 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 Masters Student Handbook (pdf) to guide your journey through the graduate program. It should answer many of the questions you may have about policies and procedures. Read it carefully and refer to it often.

The OSU graduate school has reported seeing a large number of web printouts instead of unofficial transcripts coming through with DAFA (accepted applicants) this year. The Graduate School cannot use web generated grades/transcripts because most of the printouts lack necessary information.

To avoid delays in processing your admission requests, please be proactive about telling applicants you want to admit what we need for evaluation. When you get ready to submit a DAF-A, please notify any applicants with web printouts that we cannot evaluate the fileusing this document. Instead, we need an unofficial transcript issued by the school’s Registrar’s office that contains the following:

  • Student name
  • College or university name
  • Degree(s) earned or in progress
  • Transcript key with grading scale

Required Documents for Admission

  1. OSU Application form
  2. All university transcripts should be sent to the OSU Graduate School.
  3. Three letters of reference written on letterhead (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 of no more than 1000 words as it relates to an area of concentration.
  6. TOEFL (for international students only)

Other Masters Degree Resources


Application materials must arrive at the OSU Graduate School by Jan. 1.