Ph.D. in

UCI anthropology Ph.D. students

     During his fieldwork on gamers who are using servers to preserve, memorialize, and restore virtual worlds, Evan Conaway, UCI anthropology Ph.D. ’22, observed members of a World of Warcraft guild reminisce together with commemorative server hardware.



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, 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.

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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. 










Tufts University

Scripps College

University of Texas, Austin

State Bar of California

Colby College

Filene Research Institute

UC Santa Barbara

Saddleback College

University of Northern Colorado

Cal State Long Beach


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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, with Aldrich Park, a 19-acre botanical garden with more than 11,000 trees, at its center. The campus is also less than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and beaches.

UCI anthropology offers admitted students 6 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.

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.

The campus has twice been ranked as the #1 university doing the most for the American dream. Currently, UCI is ranked #2 by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings and U.S. News & World Report for diversity and social mobility, and overall, 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

Director of Graduate Studies

Mei Zhan

Director of Graduate Admissions

Eleana Kim

Graduate Advisor

Jennifer Gerson


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