Application Q&A

Anthropology Degree Programs

Q: When are application deadlines?
A: The deadline for a fall admission is January 15th of the year admission is desired.

The deadline for a spring admission is September 15th of the year prior to the admission date.

Q: What materials are required for admission?
A: The following materials are required. All are uploaded to the Graduate School Admission Form:

  1. Transcripts.
  2. A statement of purpose. The statement should indicate your main field of interest (archaeology, biological anthropology, or sociocultural anthropology). You should note if you are applying for the Museum Studies Certificate.
  3. A writing sample. There is no required format. Most applicants submit terms papers.
  4. Three letters of recommendation. These should be from individuals best able to evaluate your academic skills and your potential to succeed in Graduate School.
  5. If you plan to pursue a Certificate in Museum Studies you must file a separate application.

All materials for the Department should be mailed to:

Chair, Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Anthropology
P.O. Box 413
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Masters Program

Q: What kinds of funding opportunities are there for Masters students?
A: The Department has far more graduate students than teaching assistantships, and PhD students are automatically sent to the head of the line of students who are hoping for TA positions. Out-of-state Masters applicants with excellent GPAs and GRE scores are potentially eligible for a Chancellor’s Award, which provides two years of TA support, but the Department only offers two awards each year (only to applicants for September admission) and typically the awards are used to recruit out-of-state PhD applicants. If you are an out-of-state Masters applicant who has been admitted to the program, you should contact the Graduate Program Representative to request an NRTR (Non-Resident Tuition Remission), which allows a student to register at the in-state rate for that year (possibly renewable for a second year). The reality is that most of our graduate students work part-time or full-time, not necessarily in an academic setting.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: No. We no longer require GRE Scores for Admission.

Q: Can I earn my degree and still work full-time?
A: Yes. All of the graduate courses required for the Anthropology Masters degree are offered at night in order to make it possible for students with full-time jobs to earn the degree. That said, elective courses are not always offered at night even though a certain number of them are required for the degree, so you might not always be able to take the electives you would prefer. This is also true of the Museum Studies Graduate Certificate courses, which are not required for the Masters degree and are only offered during the day.

Q: Do I have to write a Masters thesis?
A: Yes. All Anthropology Masters candidates must complete a thesis.

PhD Program

Q: Can I be admitted directly into the PhD program with only an undergraduate degree?
A: Departmental policy is to admit only students who already have earned a Masters or equivalent graduate degree to the PhD program. Foreign students should contact the Graduate Program Representative for more information. Students who have earned an Anthropology Masters degree at UWM may apply to transition into the PhD program if they have successfully completed their Masters degree.

Q: Do I need to take the GRE?
A: No. We no longer require GRE Scores for Admission.

Q: How long will it take me to earn my PhD degree?
A: That depends on how many of the required courses you can waive, either because you have completed equivalent courses at another institution and have successfully petitioned for waivers, or because you have transitioned from the UWM Anthropology Masters degree program. Students who build on their Masters thesis research or have already generated or collected their data are obviously also at an advantage. In the best case scenario, three years is the minimum time required to complete the PhD; most students complete the degree within five years.

Museum Studies Graduate Certificate

Q: Can I earn the Museum Studies certificate online?
A: No, the courses are taught in real time by museum professionals at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The hands-on aspect of the program and the fact that the courses are taught on site at the MPM are part of the reason the program has been so successful for such a long time.

Q: I already have a Masters degree. Can I just take the courses required for the certificate?
A: No. The program is extremely popular and on occasion we have had problems accommodating all of the UWM graduate students interested in earning the certificate. The maximum number of students in any given cohort is 20. Each class is kept small in order to meet the pedagogical goals of the program.

Q: I am a graduate student at UW-Madison. Can I enroll in the program?
A: Unfortunately we cannot accommodate students enrolled in graduate programs at other UW System institutions (see FAQ #2).

Q: Do I have to be a UWM Anthropology graduate student to complete the certificate?
A: No, any student enrolled in a UWM graduate program is eligible. However, you must contact the Museum Studies coordinators at UWM and the MPM via e-mail to notify them of your interest and if you are not enrolled in the Anthropology or History graduate degree programs, you must also notify your Graduate Program Representative of your interest.

Q: Can I work full-time and complete the certificate?
A: Yes. However, the required courses are taught at the Milwaukee Public Museum during the museum’s regular opening hours and typically meet on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons beginning at 1:00pm. You must be able to negotiate an agreement with your employer allowing you to take one half day off per week for the two years that you are taking certificate courses (not including the summer months).

Q: Will the certificate appear on my transcript?
A: Yes. If you complete your graduate degree successfully, the Museum Studies certificate will appear on your official transcript when you graduate. You will also receive a paper copy of the certificate.

Q: If I do not complete my graduate degree but I do complete the certificate courses, will the certificate appear on my transcript?
A: No. You will not receive the paper copy of the certificate and your transcript will not show the certificate as having been completed if you do not complete the requirements for your graduate degree. The certificate is tied to your graduate degree.