FAQ for Materials Needed for Application (Application and Supplemental Articles, Required and Optional)


Do I need to take the GRE? And when should I take the GRE?

Yes, the GRE is required by Stanford University and it is a University-wide requirement for admission. If you would like any further information on GRE scores and Graduate Admissions at Stanford, please go to the University Registrar’s Office of Graduate Admissions web pages located at http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/faq-gre-toefl.

Am I required to take GRE subject tests? If so, which ones? And when?

The Department’s requirement for the GRE test score is for the General Test, only. Verbal, quantitative and analytical writing scores are required of all graduate applicants. No additional subject tests are required.

Beginning August 1, 2011 ETS launched the revised general test. As ETS states, if you take the GRE Revised General Test in August through September then Stanford will receive the scores by mid-November. We strongly advise you to take the GRE no later than September, so that your scores will be received by the application deadline on December 10, 2013. Scores must be from an examination taken within the last five years.

What is the required or suggested score range for the GRE necessary to be competitive?

The Department of Anthropology does not state a minimum score, average or range, for the GRE test. There are no statistical averages kept either by the Department or by the University. The GRE test and the significance of the scores are considered by the faculty members who make up the Graduate Admissions Committee on a case by case basis. There is no set standard for evaluation of these scores by the committee. Scores are reviewed holistically, in the context of the applicant's entire file.

Is there an additional or separate process to apply for department funding or for financial aid?

No, the graduate application for admission to the PhD degree program includes the request for Department funding if accepted to the degree program. There is no funding available to terminal MA students.

I am taking the GRE in November and my score will not be reported until after the deadline?

GRE score availability depends on when the exam was taken. Please see the GRE Test Score Schedule to find out when the scores will be available. If scores are received after submission of the application, please email the self-reported scores to anth_gradadmission@stanford.edu. Although the Department of Anthropology cannot make a guarantee, an effort will be made by the Department to add the self-reported scores to the application.

Both the GRE and TOEFL (if required) test scores must be received by the Department of Anthropology’s annual graduate admissions deadline in consideration for graduate admission to the MA or PhD degree programs. In order to ensure timely receipt of the test scores, applicants are encouraged to take the required examination(s) by the end of September prior to the published graduate admissions deadline. The GRE test scores must be provided by way of an examination taken within the past five years from the date of the published graduate admissions deadline. TOEFL test scores must be provided by way of an examination taken within the past eighteen months from the date of the published graduate admissions deadline.

I am an International applicant who speaks and reads English. Do I need to take the TOEFL?

The TOEFL test score(s), either computer based or paper-based, are required for all applicants to the Terminal MA and PhD degree programs whose first language is not English. Exceptions are granted for applicants who have earned a U.S. bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States, or the equivalent degree from a non-U.S. college or university of recognized standing where all instruction is provided in English. This exception does not apply if the courses were completed in a country where English is spoken but not all courses were provided in English. Holding U.S. citizenship does not automatically exempt an applicant from the requirement for the TOEFL; if the applicant’s first language is not English, the applicant must meet the exception above or submit TOEFL scores. TOEFL test scores must be submitted from a test taken within the last eighteen months. Applicants may request confirmation of an exemption by sending an email message to Graduate Admissions at the Stanford University, Registrar at gradadmissions@standford.edu.

How do I send my test scores (TOEFL and GRE) to the department?

The ETS code for Stanford University is 4704. There is no additional or other Department code. Test scores are sent directly to the Stanford University Office of the Registrar via electronic format. ETS transfers these scores at some time between 1 June and the published graduate admissions deadline of a given graduate admissions year. Please go to http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/exams for additional information regarding test scores and ETS.

Which of my transcripts am I required to include with my graduate application either by .pdf file upload or by paper copy mailing or delivery?

The electronic application requires both scanned (.pdf) uploaded copies and original paper (hard) copies of the transcripts from each postsecondary institution attended for one or more years as a full-time student (Summer transcripts are not required). Please go to http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/transcripts for additional information regarding transcripts. The .pdf copy is uploaded directly to the electronic application. The copies of the transcript should be official. The official paper copy should be sent directly to the Department of Anthropology. Any other supplemental articles should be uploaded directly to the electronic application. The mailing address for the paper copy transcripts is as follows:

Department of Anthropology
Graduate Admissions
Building 50, Main Quad, Room 51G
450 Serra Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2034.

Are there guidelines for the Statement of Purpose?

The Statement of Purpose is an important part of application. The graduate admissions committee is primarily concerned with information regarding the applicant’s stated research interests. Applicants should describe in the statement of purpose the following information:
- reason for applying to the proposed graduate program at Stanford University
- preparation for the field of study, research and study interests
- future career plans and other aspects including background and interests which may aid the graduate admission committee in evaluating applicant aptitude and motivation for graduate study

Generally, a shorter Statement of Purpose, clearly written, is better than a longer statement. Applicants should upload one file that does not exceed 5MB. The Statement of Purpose should be a 900-1,350 word paper. Applicant computers should be set to Western European or other English-language setting.

Please include the following statement with the statement of purpose upload: ‘In keeping with the spirit of Stanford University's student honor code, I certify that the uploaded Statement of Purpose represents my own work, excepting normal input from advisors and named co authors or sources’.

Do not send the statement of purpose or other materials via mail or courier to the Department of Anthropology. Applicants who encounter difficulty with uploading the writing sample may send it via pdf email file attachment to the Department of Anthropology at anth_gradadmission@stanford.edu.

What kind of Writing Sample should I submit with my application?

An appropriate writing sample is comparable to an applicant’s Senior Paper, Honors or Master's Thesis, a published paper, or a comparable written work giving evidence of both writing ability and the capacity for research, analysis, and original thought at the graduate level, demonstrating the ability to use theory in relation to evidence. A short, effectively written sample is preferable to a longer sample. Papers originally written in a language other than English must be submitted in English translation.

Applicants should upload one file not exceeding 5MB. The writing sample should be a 4,500-5,400 word paper. Applicant computers should be set to Western European or other English-language setting.

Please include the following statement with the writing sample upload: ‘In keeping with the spirit of Stanford University's student honor code, I certify that the uploaded Writing Sample represents my own work, excepting normal input from advisors and named co authors or sources’. Do not send the writing sample via mail or courier to the Department of Anthropology. Applicants who encounter difficulty with uploading the writing sample may send it via pdf email file attachment to the Department of Anthropology at anth_gradadmission@stanford.edu.

How can I confirm receipt of official GRE test scores and paper copy transcripts?

Given the number of graduate applications each year, the department is not able to confirm receipt of application articles (inclusive of the paper copy official transcripts) to each graduate applicant. However, the department utilizes the graduate applicant checklist to communicate the completion status of this requirement.

Regarding the GRE test scores, these scores are received as electronic feed by the University registrar. Once the feed is received, the registrar associates each score with the graduate applicant file, incrementally, from the time of submission of the application.

Please use the graduate application checklist associated with your CollegeNet registration. Your application status will be updated by the department after the published application deadline and through the end of January (as application articles are received).

May I send more than the required number of letters of recommendation? Will this enhance my chances of being offered admission?

Three letters of recommendation are required, only. It is not the quantity of letters, rather it is the quality of the letters that supports the graduate application. Although, the electronic application will allow an applicant to submit more than three recommenders, please submit three recommenders, only. At least one recommender should be a faculty member at the last school you attended as a full-time student (unless you have been out of school for more than five years). Substitutions for faculty recommenders may include work associates or others who can comment on the applicant’s academic potential for graduate work. By special permission, a substitute or fourth recommender may be added by the applicant, please contact the Student Services Officer directly via email or telephone at selleck@stanford.edu or 650-723-4641 in order to make arrangements for a substitute or fourth referee.

How are letters of recommendation submitted for the Graduate Application?

Letters must be submitted using the electronic application. As part of the online application, the applicant will be required to register the names and contact information, including e-mail addresses, of each recommender. Recommenders will then receive an e-mail with directions on how to proceed. For additional information, please go to http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/gradadmissions/applying/recommendations.  Letters must be received by the published deadline. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that letters are submitted to the electronic application by the published deadline.

How does my recommender upload my letter of recommendation to the graduate application?

The electronic application and web-based recommendation submission process does not accommodate applicant recommendation via a letter service (i.e. Interfolio or other service). Letters of recommendation are submitted online, by the recommender. The recommender’s email address is used as the contact. Once the recommender’s email address has been provided in the electronic application, an email message is sent to the recommender with instructions on setting up the recommender account and submitting the recommendation, electronically.

The process of making a recommendation includes submissions of an electronic form in which the recommender answers questions about the qualifications of the application (i.e. how long the recommender has been teaching and the approximate number of students the recommender has taught), and ranking the recommender gives to the applicant compared to all others taught at that level. Due to the electronic application recommendation process, a letter service is not applicable and would not function. Applicants should contact their recommenders notifying them in advance that they will be receiving an email message asking them to submit a letter of recommendation.

My recommender is unable to upload the form and letter of recommendation online. Can it be faxed or mailed to the department?

Letters cannot be emailed or faxed; they will be rejected. If the recommender has difficulty with the electronic application and the requirements for submission of the letter(s) of recommendation, please contact the Student Services Officer directly via email or telephone at selleck@stanford.edu or 650-723-4641 in order to make other arrangements to submit the letter.