General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 15
  • Students: 18
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100% for 5 years
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: December 6
Application Info


Rebecca Stein
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Cultural Anthropology
Duke University
Box 90091
Durham, NC 27708-0091


Phone: (919) 684-4663 (Director of Graduate Studies Assistant: Jason Woerner)


Program Description

The graduate program in Cultural Anthropology aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in both current theory and methods of research. Issues that concern the faculty include transnational and national processes; political economy and history; identity and ethnicity; popular culture, the media and advertising; culture and the individual; religion; public health; aesthetics; class, gender, and race relations; and environment and ecology. The program as a whole takes a comparative perspective that encourages field research in diverse societies, including the contemporary United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the African Diaspora, South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Interdisciplinary work in other departments and programs is encouraged. 


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadline: December 6

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see department guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines
The statement of purpose is an especially important part of the application because it gives applicants a chance to describe their research interests. There is no single way to write a good statement of purpose. However, you can download some sample statements of purpose (below) from a few successful applicants.

At the beginning of the statement of purpose, applicants must also list three keywords best describing their research interests and geographical area of study (for example: Mass Media, Indigenous Rights, Latin America). 

Download Sample Statements of Purpose (doc - 70 KB)

Writing Sample
Applicants must upload a roughly 10-20 page sample of relatively recent written work via the online application portal.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance