How to apply

We offer two post-graduate degrees: a research-based MA and PhD.

The deadine for all applications is January 15.

When you apply for the MA or PhD program your application and supporting documents are submitted online to  the  Graduate Admissions and Records Office . Applications are first reviewed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies after which they are forwarded to the Anthropology Department for decision.

For steps pertaining to admissions, see here.

Deadlines for external funding may be before our application deadlines. Apply beforehand and note that you have done so on your application. Read more about SSHRC and other funds now.

Please note: Applicants for our MA or PhD programs are advised to consult a potential thesis or dissertation advisor. For a list of Anthropology faculty and their research areas, see the faculty index.

More questions? Please see our FAQ page for additional information and if you still need help please contact the graduate secretary, Jindra Bélanger, at

What are the admissions requirements?

Academic Calendar 2020-21 - Admission Requirements: MA and PhD.

FGS Admission requirements and deadlines webpage.

What are the GPA requirements?

For admission to the MA program - minimum overall average of B+ (6.0 GPA) for the last two years of university work.

For admission to the PhD program - minimum average of A- (7.0 GPA) in their master's program.

GPA calculations on the FGS Admission requirements webpage.

Please note GPA calculations are not done by our department but directly by GARO (Graduate Admissions and Records Office).

Upgrading your GPA - see the Academic Calendar for your options.

Required documents?

ANTH department require the following items with your application:

  • Online application form
  • Statement of Intent: 1-2 pages which highlight relevant aspects of your background and training, describe your general research interests and how they correspond with your supervisor’s.
  • Writing sample: this can be your term paper, honours thesis or a published paper that best reflects your abilities. No specific length.
  • CV or Resume (CV preferred)
  • 2 assessment reports and/or letters of reference: the online application will prompt you to provide two names (or more) and email addresses. Automatic assessment requests will be sent out once you submit your application and your references will have an option to upload a reference letter or complete the online questionnaire. Please ask your references to submit their assessment by the end of January.
  • Transcripts:
    • Electronic copies of your transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (including transfer credits) are sufficient until an offer of admission is made.
    • If an offer of admission is made, then you will be required to submit either original hard copies directly to GARO office or official digital documents sent directly from the issuing institution to: graddocs@uvic.ca.
    • For more information on what is considered "unofficial transcripts", please see the "submission of documents“ page on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website
    • UVic transcripts – if you have just completed a degree at UVic (e.g. June convocation before September grad school start), GARO can obtain confirmation that your degree requirements are complete directly from OREG. Once all your courses are graded and all your degree requirements are complete please email the graduate secretary at anthtwo@uvic.ca

Language Proficiency: Applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not resided in a designated English-speaking country for three years immediately prior to the entry-point applied for, must provide proof of English language proficiency. For more information and minimum test scores check here.

More on submission of documents here.

Do I need to contact a prospective supervisor before applying?

Applicants are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor before applying.

Please see our list of faculty members at the regular faculty members and their research interests and then contact the one(s) you would be interested in working with, describe your research interest and ask if they will be taking on new students.

​Please note that supervisor’s agreement to take you as a student does not guarantee your acceptance into the program.

How to apply?

To ensure that your application receives full consideration and timely attention, please read the following instructions carefully:

Complete your application form - this includes disclosing all post-secondary institutions where any course registrations were made. Failure to disclose may result in having your admission and registration cancelled. The application fee requirement cannot be waived. If you need to make arrangements for someone else (possibly a friend or family member) to pay the application fee contact the Graduate Admissions and Records office for more information.

You will need to provide the names and email addresses of your chosen assessors when you submit your online application. It is important that you contact your referees prior to applying to confirm their willingness to provide you with an assessment.

Ensure that all documents are submitted under the same name. If documents are received with alternate spellings or different names, delays will undoubtedly occur. Submit your application early. The majority of applications are received within two weeks of the deadlines. Processing is much slower at these times.  Please ensure that you plan ahead with your application and the materials required. It could take several weeks for transcripts and assessment reports to arrive and be processed for review.

When will I be notified?

We will do our best to notify students by the end of March or beginning of April.

How do I check the status of my application?

You can view the checklist on your My UVic application profile for a list of received and outstanding documents. You will be able to upload new documents to your applications even after the application has been submitted. Please keep in mind that it could take few days before all documents received will appear on your checklist. If documents are received during holiday closure or at an extremely busy time of year it could take a little longer.

Once your file has sufficient information for evaluation, a graduate admissions and records officer will review it to determine if you meet the minimum requirements for the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Once this is confirmed your file will be forwarded to the specific program department for their assessment. You will be advised of the decision as soon as possible, but in some cases this may take many weeks.

Do I need an undergraduate degree in anthropology to do a master's degree?

If you're applying to our graduate programs, we expect you to have passed undergraduate courses equivalent to those in University of Victoria undergraduate anthropology major program.

If you don't have this equivalent, you may be required to take all or some of the appropriate courses to satisfy the major requirements before completing your graduate degree.

Please contact your potential supervisor and let him/her know - it would the supervisor, graduate advisor and the Graduate Admissions committee who would make that decision.

To correct any deficiencies in an applicant's undergraduate program, the Graduate Admissions committee may increase the number of units required.

For example, students without previous training in one or more of the anthropological sub-disciplines (biological, archaeological, sociocultural) will be required to take one or more upper level undergraduate courses in those subdisciplines.

Do I need a master's degree in anthropology to do a PhD in anthropology?

We normally expect applicants to have completed a BA or BSc and master's degree in anthropology (thesis or non-thesis) from a recognized academic institution.

We assess students on a case-by-case basis at admission. If you're accepted, we'll advise you of suggested or required pre- or co-requisite course requirements deemed necessary by the admissions committee.

If our graduate committee feels it necessary for an incoming student to make up a deficiency, they will be required to register in no more than 3.0 units (two one-semester courses) of pre-requisite coursework.

Please contact your potential supervisor and let him/her know - it would the supervisor, graduate advisor and the Graduate Admissions committee who would make that decision.

How much is graduate tuition?

You can estimate your tuition on the Graduate Tuition & Costs webpage or see the UVic calendar for the standard tuition fees for domestic and international students (as well as any other fees).

How is graduate admission determined?

All applications are first reviewed by Graduate Admissions to determine whether applicants meet university entrance requirements. Applications are then forwarded to the department where they are reviewed by our graduate committee.

Admissions decisions are based on a variety of factors:
  • A student’s scholarly promise as evidenced by transcripts.
  • Statement of interest, letters of recommendations and written work.
  • The availability of faculty to supervise the applicant’s research.
  • The number of students currently enrolled in the program.