Ph.D. in


UCI anthropology Ph.D. students

     Leah Sanchez is a digital anthropologist who studies how intellectual property laws affect the creativity and livelihoods of artists who sell their work online.



Department of Anthropology A programmatic powerhouse. Full financial aid and funding. A lens-worthy location. The reasons students choose the UC Irvine School of Social Sciences for their graduate pursuits are many. The Department of Anthropology within social sciences is known for its collegiality, creative teaching and research, and leading role developing new methods, theory and applications of anthropological knowledge. Faculty and graduate students are known for their research in economic anthropology, the anthropology of law, migration studies, urban and environmental studies, science and technology studies, security studies, and data studies. UCI anthropology graduate students move through a carefully designed series of courses that focus in the first year on the field’s history and theory then in the second year on ethnographic methods and research design. Graduate students also take a wide array of elective courses, both in and outside the department. Many pursue concentrations in critical theory, feminist studies, or medicine, science and technology studies.

Learn more about research specialties...







university committed to economic diversity and upward mobility
- New York Times College Access Index



"coolest school" for sustainability
- Sierra Magazine



best college in the nation
- Money Magazine



best public university in the U.S.
- U.S. News & World Report


 And UCI anthropology is widely recognized as the top department for experimental ethnography. 










Cal State Long Beach

Filene Research Institute

Rice University

Smith College

Swiss Academy of Sciences

Tufts University


UC Riverside

University of Notre Dame

University of Pittsburgh

University of Wisconsin

U.S. National Parks Service

Wellesley College


Read more about alumni...






Modernity and development

Environmental problems and politics

Politics, law and economy

Ethnographic research methods

Science, technology and medicine






    Jennifer Zelnick, UCI anthropology, received prestigious NSF fellowship to support her graduate research on Cambodian deportees

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    Anthropology grad student Akil Fletcher wins National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for his work on racism in online gaming

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what makes us



Student walking on aldrich park

    UCI's campus is beautiful, rotating around Aldrich Park, a 19-acre botanical garden. The campus is also less than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and beaches.


UCI anthropology offers admitted students 6-7 years of guaranteed funding. Faculty and students also have a very strong record earning competitive research funding from agencies like the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Social Science Research Council, Fulbright Foundation, and Ford Foundation. This past year, UCI anthropologists brought in $1 million in external grant funding.

UCI anthropologists publish widely, reaching anthropological, interdisciplinary and public audiences - through journal articles, books, films, digital exhibits, sound installations and other media. UCI anthropologists also have diverse career paths - in academia, business and the public sector.

UCI's campus community is notably diverse, and is known for supporting first generation students.

In 2015 and 2017, the New York Times ranked UCI as the #1 university doing the most for the American dream. In 2020, Money Magazine ranked UCI the #6 best college in the U.S. and U.S. News & World Report ranked UCI the #9 public university in the U.S.


 A top 10-ranked program with research strengths in theory & methodology. 



So what are you waiting for?


UCI anthropology is vibrant in many ways! Please contact us if you have questions about our application process.

Department Chair

Justin Richland

Graduate Director

Mei Zhan

Graduate Admissions Director

Eleana Kim

Graduate Advisor

Jennifer Gerson


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