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Applied Anthropology

two students working with textbook

This unique, small, and intense program focuses on three main areas — research techniques, theory, and professionalism. The department has two major centers, the Center for Archaeological Studies and the Forensic Anthropology Center, that provide hands-on educational opportunities and training to ensure Ph.D. students have marketable skills for employment.

Anthropology doctoral students graduate with methodological and theoretical foundations to conduct applied research in a variety of settings.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Emily Brunson
Evans Liberal Arts (ELA), Room 237

Advisor Support
Gerardo Galeana
Evans Liberal Arts (ELA), Room 266

“This exciting and innovative new program will prepare students to become leaders in the field of applied anthropology and use their acquired skills to find solutions for real-world problems.”

— Christina A. Conlee, Ph.D.

Course Work

The curriculum emphasizes skills that train students for a broad range of non-academic and academic jobs. These include intercultural communication, interdisciplinary understanding, research design, grant writing, project management, ethics and professional conduct, methods of data collection, and the use of theory in the interpretation of data. In the five-year Ph.D. program, students take a total of 54 semester credit hours, which include courses in anthropological theory, statistics, research techniques, prescribed electives, and dissertation.

Degree Course Work Dissertation Total Hours
Ph.D. 36 hours 18 hours minimum 54 hours
Evans Liberal Arts building

Texas State is the third university in the nation — and the only university in the state — to have a doctoral program in Applied Anthropology.

Program Mission

The goal of the Department of Anthropology is to produce the next generation of applied anthropologists — leaders in inter- and intra-disciplinary research who will help solve critical societal problems in the global 21st century. Further, the department aims to produce professional, ethical, and productive graduates for employment in the academic and non-academic job markets. The graduate curriculum, fieldwork and internship opportunities, laboratories, and research centers provide an excellent foundation for student research, proposal writing experience, and numerous training and educational activities. The department is committed to multiculturalism, the diversity of people and ideas, a spirit of inclusiveness, and a global perspective.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

Committed scholars and teachers with a wide variety of expertise in the sub-disciplines of archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology, the anthropology faculty provide a rigorous educational experience through innovative teaching and research engagement. Faculty are also actively involved in research (currently on four different continents) and publication, grant activities, national and international collaborations with academic institutions, recruitment of top students, organization of national and international conference and symposia, and service in academic and professional organizations.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

The global economy has created a tremendous need for research-based information and pragmatic uses of anthropological knowledge and skills, creating exciting and extensive career opportunities for applied anthropologists in nonacademic and academic settings. National and international career paths for Ph.D. anthropologists include the academy, corporate and business sector, public sector agencies, and nonprofit and community-based organizations.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall December 1 December 1
Spring No Admission No Admission
Summer I No Admission No Admission
Summer II No Admission No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a firm deadline.

Funding Information
For scholarship, fellowship or assistantship consideration, applications must be completed by the deadline above.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a firm basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • master's degree in anthropology or a closely related field from a regionally accredited university. Read additional information about background course work.
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.3 GPA in all completed graduate course work

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted. 

GRE Scores

  • GRE scores not required


  • resume/CV, complete and current
  • statement of purpose (3–5-page maximum, double-spaced) that includes
    • the anthropological subdiscipline for which you are applying
    • your background, experience, and skills
    • identification of the professor(s) with whom you would like to work
    • specific dissertation research interests
    • reasons for interest in the Texas State program
    • readiness to complete the program in the specified time frame
    • professional plans and goals
    • if applicable, any crossover areas of research from other anthropological sub-disciplines
  • three letters of recommendation addressing and evaluating your skills, academic potential, and ability to successfully complete the program in the specified time frame. Letters should be written by professors, academic instructors, and/or applied anthropology professionals.
  • writing sample, such as your master's thesis or other sample of professional or academic writing

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  Background Course Work
If your master's degree is not in anthropology or a closely related discipline, you may be required to take leveling courses if you lack sufficient background course work. Any required leveling course work must be completed with grades of B or better.