applied anthropology in action
Apply to the MA ← Department of Anthropology

Apply to the MA

Students working in the field

Applications are open October 1 through April 1 for the program starting the following summer. Applications that are completed, with all materials received by February 1, 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 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 CSUMentor

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

  • On the CSUMentor Graduate Application main page, IGNORE THE BOX AT THE TOP THAT SAYS “Application submission period beginning… for Summer”. These dates are NOT CORRECT for our program. Applications for our program are open October 1 through April 1 for the following summer. Between Oct 1 – April 1, begin your application by clicking on the box that says “CLICK THIS BOX IF YOU ARE APPLYING FOR: …FALL 201#, SUMMER 201#…”
  • A $55.00 application fee is required at time of application.
  • Letters of recommendation will be handled electronically through CSUMentor. Near the end of the application process, 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 CSUMentor. 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.

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

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: Email Supplemental Materials to HSU Graduate Admissions

After submitting your application to CSUMentor, please email the following Supplemental Materials, in the specified order (1-3), together as a single PDF document to HSU Graduate Admissions at: Please title your document “AppliedAnthMA-SupMaterials-YourName”, and be sure to indicate in your email that you are submitting supplemental materials to accompany your application to the Applied Anth MA program. It will be the responsibility of the candidate to confirm receipt of materials.

  1. 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.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (make sure it indicates overall and major GPA)
  3. 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.

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 CSU Mentor (Step 2), paper transcripts are postmarked to HSU (Step 3), and supplemental materials are emailed to Graduate Admissions (Step 4) by the deadline (earlier is better). Be sure your letter writers submit their letters of recommendation by the deadline.
  • 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 CSUMentor 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 ( 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. See Finances & Awards for more information.

Apply Now at CSUMentor
MA Program Overview


Marissa Ramsier, Ph.D.
Applied Anth Graduate Coordinator

Llyn Smith, Ph.D.
Anthropology Department Chair

HSU Graduate Admissions
Phone: 707.826.6250