Applying to the Program

The application process includes two steps. The first step requires you to submit an online University application using the CSU Mentor portal. The second step requires submission of an Anthropology Department application which our department will only accept in hard copy form.

Step 1: The University Application

You will need to apply to the University to obtain approval for University-level admission. Minimum requirements for admission to San José State University are outlined in the Graduate Admissions section of the San José State University catalog.  The application to the University is submitted electronically through CAL State Apply. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the University (CAL State Apply) or to the Anthropology Department. The University-level graduate application is separate from the application you send to the department. Deadlines for the University Application can be found at the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations (GAPE) website. (Please note that only GAPE can receive official transcripts. The Anthropology Department is unable to forward transcripts to GAPE.)

Step 2: The Anthropology Department Application

You will need to apply to the Anthropology Department to obtain approval for admission into the M.A. Program in Applied Anthropology. Minimum departmental requirements for the program are a bachelor’s degree in anthropology; or, alternatively: (1) a core of introductory cultural and physical or archaeological anthropology; (2) an upper division methods course in either ethnography, archaeology, or osteology; (3) an upper division anthropological theory course; and (4) six elective units in upper division anthropology. These courses should total at least 18 units. Additionally, the Anthropology Department normally requires a 3.0 grade point average (B or better) in the last 60 semester units of undergraduate work and a 3.0 grade point average in anthropology coursework. Students who do not have a bachelor's degree in anthropology and do not have the prescribed 18 units of anthropological coursework may be admitted conditionally to the M.A. Program in Applied Anthropology under certain circumstances. Students admitted conditionally must fulfill specific conditions before being classified.

The Anthropology Department Application consists of the following materials:

  • A brief cover letter expressing interest in the M.A. Program in Applied Anthropology
  • A current curriculum vita or resume
  • Two signed letters of recommendation (please submit these with your other materials)
  • A 2-3 page letter of intent that addresses: (1) how your background prepares you for our program; and (2) how our program fits into your career plans
  • A sample of your academic writing (8 page minimum)

***For full consideration, all of the above materials must be postmarked on or before April 1, 2019. We will be implementing an Early Decision plan to prioritize the review of complete applications received by February 1, 2018. 


The Anthropology Department Application should be sent to:

                  Graduate Coordinator
                  Department of Anthropology
                  San Jose State University
                  One Washington Square
                  San Jose, CA 95192-0113

We strongly recommend that you submit the Anthropology Department Application using a shipping service that can confirm delivery: USPS Priority Mail with delivery confirmation, UPS, or FedEx are recommended. The Anthropology Department is not responsible for lost or missing applications.

Note: For applicants seeking readmission into the M.A. program in Applied Anthropology, we strongly recommend that the writing sample take the form of a detailed prospectus describing their projects or theses. 

Note: We do not accept internal transfers into the M.A. program in Applied Anthropology from another M.A. program at SJSU. If you are currently a graduate student at SJSU and wish to enroll in Applied Anthropology, you will need to apply to the program through the two steps described above.