MA Applied Anthropology Application Process

Students working in the field

*The program is not accepting new students for Summer 2019. The next application cycle is planned for the program starting Summer 2020.*

Applications for Summer 2020 will open October 1, 2019 and run through April 1, 2020 for the program starting summer 2020. Applications that are completed, with all materials received by February 1, 2020 will be given priority consideration for admission to the program. Applications completed after February 1 will subsequently be considered in the order received – April 1 is the final deadline. Applicants wishing to apply after this deadline may contact the graduate coordinator to inquire if application is possible. Application to the Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology is a four-step process.

Step 1: Confirm Eligibility to Apply

The MA in Applied Anthropology at HSU is applicable to students with a variety of interests and background experiences. Students are encouraged to contact the graduate coordinator (appliedanth@humboldt.edu) and  Anthropology Faculty to discuss their interests prior to applying to the program.

The following prerequisites have been set for eligibility to apply to the MA in Applied Anthropology program:

  • Eligibility for HSU Graduate Admissions as described in the HSU online catalog.
  • BA or BS in Anthropology, Archaeology, or related field, completed prior to beginning program. If BA/BS is not in Anthropology or Archaeology, applicants may still apply if they can demonstrate sufficient preparation to pursue intended course of study in the program. See recommended preparation and contact the graduate coordinator with questions.
  • GPA: Minimum 3.0 in undergraduate major and last 60 attempted units of bachelor’s degree. Exceptions may be possible on a case-by-case basis if applicants can demonstrate potential for success in a rigorous academic environment.
  • GRE scores are not required, but applicants may submit them as demonstration of academic ability if they desire.
  • Previous undergraduate field/research/applied experience in area of concentration preferred but not required.

Step 2: Apply for Graduate Admissions to Humboldt State University through Cal State Apply

Complete the California State University Graduate Application online at Cal State Apply, as detailed on the HSU Graduate Studies website. Please note the following:

  • On the Cal State Apply Graduate Application main page, click the box that says "Apply For Fall 20XX". DO NOT choose the options for Winter, Spring, or Summer, even though the program does start in the summer. Applications for the program are open October 1 through April 1 for the upcoming summer.
  • A $55.00 application fee is required at time of application.
  • As part of the application process on Cal State Apply, be prepared to submit the following:
    • Letters of recommendation –you will be asked to provide contact information for two or three persons who can evaluate your ability and potential for graduate education – at least two should be faculty at the institution where BA/BS or other advanced degree was received. These individuals will receive an email with a link to electronically submit their letter of recommendation through Cal State Apply. Electronic submission of letters is strongly preferred, but letter writers may submit letters by email or paper mail if necessary (address below). Please contact Graduate Studies with questions regarding the submission of letters of recommendation, and the Anthropology Department with questions regarding the suitability of your letter writers.
    • Statement of Purpose (2 page maximum, single-to-double spaced) discussing preparation and rationale for pursuing graduate study in anthropology in this program, intended research area/focus during the MA program, how you plan to obtain (or already have) any specific skills needed to complete your intended area of research in this program, and professional goals during and after completing the MA. It is not necessary to have an exact thesis topic in mind, but please do indicate your area(s) of interest/intended MA research focus as specifically (and honestly) as possible.
    • Curriculum Vitae (make sure it indicates overall and major GPA)
    • Writing Sample  (8 pages minimum, 12 pages maximum, additional pages may be included to accommodate references). You writing sample should demonstrate your ability to think critically, write clearly, and appropriately utilize and reference scholarly work. It does not need to be in your intended research focus area, but it certainly can be. One paper is preferred, but the writing sample can include more than one paper to reach the minimum page limit.

Step 3: Send Official Copies of all Transcripts to Humboldt State University

Please provide one official transcript from each college or university you have ever attended. You must include a separate transcript for each institution, even if transfer credits from one institution are included on the transcript for another. These must be official transcripts, either sent electronically by the institution, or paper copies in their original sealed envelopes, mailed directly to HSU (address below). Please request your transcripts early so that we receive them by the application deadline, preferably several weeks in advance. Delayed transcripts are the #1 reason for application delays. Note: If you have been an HSU degree-seeking student within the past five years, it is possible that you may not need to submit transcripts if you transferred all other coursework to HSU previously – please check to confirm. Please contact Graduate Studies with questions regarding the submission of official transcripts.

Electronic copies are often faster – email to graduate-applicants@humboldt.edu

Official paper transcripts must be in their original sealed envelopes and mailed to:

Humboldt State University
Office of Graduate Admissions
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521

Step 4: Submit GRE Scores (Optional)


If submitting GRE scores (optional), please use the ETS-GRE score sending service. The Anthropology Department address is:

Humboldt State University
Department of Anthropology
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521

Admission Procedures

  • Make sure all application materials are submitted online through CSU Mentor (Step 2), transcripts are postmarked to HSU (Step 3), and (optional) GRE scores are submitted to Humboldt State University (Step 4) by the deadline (earlier is better). Be sure your letter writers submit their letters of recommendation by the deadline. It is also a good idea to also email the graduate coordinator (appliedanth@humboldt.edu) when your application is complete.
  • If you plan to apply (or submit any last materials) close to the application deadline, it is advisable to email the graduate coordinator so that we will be expecting your materials.
  • Once you submit your Cal State Apply application, you should receive a paper letter in the mail that acknowledges your application and provides instructions on how to log in to the HSU Student Center. Once you have log-in access, you can find the log in link at the top of the HSU homepage. Once you log in, you can navigate to the Student Center where you will be able to see a list of any outstanding application materials you might need. Be sure to promptly complete any items on the “To Do” list. Please contact Graduate Studies if you have questions about this material, or if you do not receive your log in information.
  • For applicants that applied by the priority deadline of February 1, admissions decisions will be made by approximately March 1 and relayed to applicants via email and then via paper mail.
  • For applicants that apply on a rolling basis between February 1 – April 1, preliminary decisions will generally be made within 2 weeks of all materials being received, with final decisions by April. Letters of recommendation and other materials not received by the application deadline may not be considered – please contact the Graduate Coordinator (appliedanth@humboldt.edu) if you are expecting late letters of recommendation.
  • If you are offered admission and all application materials are received, you will receive a paper letter in the mail with an official offer of admission as well as information on how to complete other pre-term requirements. Around this time you will also be able to log in to the Student Center and officially accept admissions.
  • Be sure to also apply for financial aid, scholarships, and TA’ships, if desired. Some deadlines come early. See Finances & Awards for more information.

Apply Now at Cal State Apply
MA Program Overview

Contact Us

Rebecca Robertson
Applied Anth Graduate Coordinator
Tel. 707-826-4372
Email: rer3@humboldt.edu

May Patiño
Applied Anth Graduate Admin Coordinator
Email: mrb17@humboldt.edu

Marissa Ramsier
Anthropology Department Chair
Email: mas70@humboldt.edu

Graduate Admissions
Phone: 707.826.6250
Email: apply@humboldt.edu

HSU Graduate Studies
Phone: 707.826.3949
Email: tef21@humboldt.edu