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Anthropology and Museum Studies

Handbook Beyond Your Major

A major in anthropology does not immediately translate into a career as an anthropologist. By your senior year you should decide whether to enter postgraduate studies or seek employment. Your studies in anthropology and related fields have prepared you for graduate studies in several academic disciplines (geography, sociology, history, resource management, political science and international studies, and law school). If you are ready to enter the job market, then your cross-cultural perspective, training in research methods, analysis, and writing give you a strong background for any employment in which you deal with human relations.

Choosing Graduate School

Selecting graduate programs is an important step that can include:

  • Studying the AAA Guide to Departments (this guide is in our Anthro Dept and lists the faculty and their specializations for some 200 programs in the U.S. and Canada)
  • Searching the World Wide Web for Department and faculty information
  • Looking up the work of faculty members whom you may wish to study with
  • Corresponding with faculty whose works interest you
  • Visiting graduate schools and meeting faculty

Our own CWU faculty will also have a good idea of which institutions may serve your interest and we are also eager to discuss your plans for graduate school. Eligible students should apply for the McNair Scholars program.

Applying to Graduate School (GRE and References)

During September of their senior year, students should write for information and applications for admission and financial aid. Applications must be complete for most schools by early to mid January (in a few cases as early as December).

Students will want to get all parts of their applications (including letters of recommendation and transcripts) into the mail by the end of the autumn quarter. Most schools require a statement of purpose and some also request a sample of your written work (term papers or research papers).

Take the GRE's in October. Scores are reported to designated schools about five weeks after the test date. GRE application packets are available in Testing Services. If you plan to postpone gra duate study you should still take the GRE (once or twice) in your senior year.

Make early appointments with professors from whom you wish letters of recommendation. Provide these faculty with a copy of your transcript and a draft copy of your statement of purpose. Try to contact professors by the middle of the Fall quarter, NOT at the end of the quarter!