Applying to the Trent Anthropology Graduate Program
Figure out what it is you want to study/research. The more specific you are about your intended area of research, the better. For example, you cannot say you want to study simply ‘Landscape Archaeology’ or ‘the Romans’. A specific area of study would be ‘Wendat territoriality’ or ‘The impact of climate fluctuation on Late Classic Maya political instability’. Decide what interests you most about your field and start brainstorming before you consider applying to grad school. You will need to clearly articulate your ideas in your Plan of Study when you apply to graduate school. If you are interested in applying to Trent, these steps are strongly recommended:
- Review the different faculty associated with the program.
- Read an article or recent publication authored by the professor you are interested in working with; this will give you an idea of their current research and interests and whether you would fit well with their area of expertise. You do not need to find an exact match, but at least a professor with a solid foundation in your proposed area.
- Contact the professor, usually via email, about your interest in working with her/him as a graduate student. Have an idea of how you see yourself fitting in at the university, the department, and with the professor and express this in your contact email. The professor does not want to have to conceptualize your working relationship or instruct you on what you should research – this is your job! (Refer to Step #1).
- Engage in a dialogue with the professor you are interested in working with. It is important to establish this contact both for yourself and for the professor with whom you hope to study. This dialogue will help you to determine whether the professor is the right fit for you.
- Start to put together the necessary documents and written components for the ‘supplemental’ or ‘additional’ documentation portion of your application. Refer to each institutions application guidelines for specific requirements, but generally these documents will consist of: Transcripts, Letters of Reference, Writing Sample, Plan of Study, and Proof of citizenship. Give yourself ample time to complete this step in the process. Transcripts often take several weeks to be received. You do not want to rush writing your ‘plan of study’ or editing your ‘writing sample’ – these are the documents which will represent ‘you’ and your work to the admissions committee at your intended school.
- Apply to the university. This is a two-step process requiring online registration and fee payment and then the submission of your additional documentation to the university. Follow the institutional guidelines for how to successfully complete this process. Be sure you have noted the school or department deadlines and submit your application in time. Additionally, you will want to be aware of the amount of funding offered or available for your program.