• Please note that the application period for Winter 2023 has closed
  • Fall 2023 application deadline for international students is January 15, 2023 (or earlier, if specified by the department below)
  • Fall 2023 application deadline for Canadian students varies by department (see below)



  • Department of Anthropology
  • Stephen Leacock Building
  • 855 Sherbrooke Street West, Room 712
  • Montreal QC H3A 2T7
  • Canada
  • Telephone: 514-398-4300
  • Fax: 514-398-7476
  • Email: gradprogram.anthropology [at]
  • Website:

About Anthropology

Our Department places high priority on research and on maintaining a distinguished graduate program. Each year, we admit only a small number of very highly qualified applicants for studies leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology. Thus, our students benefit from close supervision by their committees and from high-quality peer exchange. By maintaining a high staff-student ratio, we are able to offer our graduate students an unusual degree of flexibility and personalized attention in designing their programs according to their specific interests. The program is particularly congenial to students who are self-directed.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Anthropology (Thesis) (45 credits)

The purpose of the M.A. program is to provide advanced-level training in socio-cultural anthropology and archaeology to prepare students for research at the Ph.D. level.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Anthropology (Thesis): Development Studies (45 credits)

The Development Studies Option (DSO) is a cross-disciplinary M.A. program that is unique in Canada, if not the world, because it is designed to provide students with a strong practical and theoretical foundation for engaging in genuinely cross-disciplinary research. The option is offered within existing M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the departments of Geography, History, Political Science, Anthropology, Economics, and Sociology. This thesis option is open to master's students specializing in development studies. Students enter through one of the participating departments and must meet the M.A. or Ph.D. requirements of that unit. Students will take an interdisciplinary seminar and a variety of graduate-level courses on international development issues. The M.A. or Ph.D. thesis must be on a topic relating to development studies, approved by the DSO coordinating committee.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Anthropology (Thesis): Environment (45 credits)

The Environment option is aimed at students who wish to use interdisciplinary approaches in their graduate research on environmental issues and who wish to benefit from interaction with students from a wide range of different disciplines. Through research, seminars, and three courses, this option adds an interdisciplinary layer that will challenge students to defend their research and think in a broader context. The graduate option in Environment provides students with an appreciation for the role of science in informed decision-making in the environmental sector, and its influence on political, socio-economic, and ethical judgments. Students who have been admitted through their home department or faculty may apply for admission to the option. Option requirements are consistent across academic units. The option is coordinated by the Bieler School of Environment (BSE), in partnership with participating academic units.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Anthropology (Thesis): Gender and Women's Studies (45 credits)

The graduate option in Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet degree requirements in Anthropology (and other participating departments and faculties), who wish to earn 6 credits of approved coursework focusing on gender and women’s studies, and issues in feminist research and methods. The thesis must be on a topic centrally related to gender and/or women’s studies.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Medical Anthropology (Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.A. program in Medical Anthropology is given jointly by the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Social Studies of Medicine (SSOM). The program is open to students with backgrounds in the social sciences, the medical professions, or the medical sciences.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Anthropology (Non-Thesis) (45 credits)

The M.A. in Anthropology (Non-Thesis) provides an intensive, course-based training in the fundamentals of anthropological theory and methodology over three semesters. The program is designed as a rigorous and comprehensive preparation for subsequent specialization in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, or medical anthropology at the Ph.D. level.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Anthropology

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to enable students to make original contributions to research in socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and medical anthropology in the form of a doctoral thesis. The program offers fieldwork-based doctoral training for students wishing to concentrate on different geographic areas (including Africa, Latin America, Europe, North America, and Asia).

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Anthropology: Neotropical Environment

The Ph.D. program in Neotropical Environment (NEO) is a specialized, interdisciplinary program made possible by collaborating institutions in Canada, Panama, and the United States. Students will complete their research in Latin America, and NEO's core and complementary courses will be taught in Panama. NEO is aimed at students who wish to focus their graduate research on environmental issues relevant to the neotropics and Latin American countries. Students work under the supervision of researchers from McGill and/or the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). This is a research-based option for Ph.D. students in the departments of Anthropology, Biology, Bioresource Engineering, Geography, Natural Resource Sciences, Plant Science, and Political Science at McGill University.

Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2022-2023 (last updated Feb. 7, 2022).

Anthropology Admission Requirements and Application Procedures

Admission Requirements

Our Department places high priority on research and on maintaining a distinguished graduate program. Each year, we admit only a small number of very highly qualified applicants for studies leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology.

For graduate applicants whose mother tongue is not English, and who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction or from a recognized Canadian institution (anglophone or francophone), a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the Internet-based test (iBT), with each component score not less than 20, is required.

Further application information is available on the Department's website at


Admission to the M.A. program is open competitively to students holding an Honours or Major B.A. in Anthropology. Outstanding candidates with B.A. degrees in other disciplines but with substantial background related to anthropology are sometimes admitted on the condition that they complete a specified number of additional courses in Anthropology.

The applicants admitted usually have undergraduate grade point averages (GPA) of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0-point scale.


Admission to the Ph.D. program is open competitively to students with a master’s degree in Anthropology. In very special circumstances, candidates with a master’s degree in related disciplines may be admitted.

Application Procedures

McGill’s online application form for graduate program candidates is available at

See University Regulations & Resources > Graduate > Graduate Admissions and Application Procedures > Application Procedures for detailed application procedures.

Additional Requirements

The items and clarifications below are additional requirements set by this department:

  • TOEFL – for non-anglophone and non-francophone applicants
  • Writing Sample – a recent sample of the applicant's written work, on any topic (not necessarily within the desired field of graduate study), not necessarily previously submitted for evaluation or publication in English or French, and no more than 15 pages in length
  • Personal Statement – an essay in which the applicant describes reasons for applying to graduate studies and indicates qualifications, qualities, or circumstances the applicant feels to be significant. Applicants usually provide information about educational and professional goals, and discuss their interest in the desired field of study
  • Curriculum Vitae

Application Dates and Deadlines

Application opening dates are set by Enrolment Services in consultation with Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS), while application deadlines are set by the Department of Anthropology and may be revised at any time. Applicants must verify all deadlines and documentation requirements well in advance on the appropriate McGill departmental website; please consult the list at

  Application Opening Dates Application Deadlines
  All applicants Non-Canadian citizens (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Canadian citizens/Perm. residents of Canada (incl. Special, Visiting & Exchange) Current McGill students (any citizenship)
Fall Term: Sept. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 15
Winter Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A
Summer Term: N/A N/A N/A N/A

Admission to graduate studies is competitive; accordingly, late and/or incomplete applications are considered only as time and space permit.

Note: The Department Admissions Committee announces its selections by mid-March and the end of April.
Taken from Programs, Courses and University Regulations 2022-2023 (last updated Aug. 23, 2022).
Back to top