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So You Want to Apply to Graduate School?

A Guide to Applying to Graduate Schools in Archaeology



Deciding to go to graduate school is one of the hardest decisions that any student has to make. Once the decision is made to apply to graduate school, students are left to stumble through a minefield of confusing and sometimes contradictory information. To ease the pain of generations of incoming archaeology graduate students, this Guide was developed by Lesley Nicholls, long-time graduate secretary at the Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Canada. Her generosity and that of Calgary has allowed me to present it here.

Applying to Graduate School: Table of Contents

History of the Guide to Applying to Graduate School

This guide has its beginnings in the 1980s, when the Department of Archaeology at Calgary offered a short workshop for students who were planning on applying to graduate school. Offered for a number of years, it grew in scope and length. In April of 1992 an expanded workshop was offered at the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) meetings in London, Ontario where it attracted 16 participants from schools across Canada and a similar number attended a session at the CAA meetings in Edmonton in 1994 and Halifax in 1995. In the fall terms of each academic year, half-day workshops were offered at Calgary for students in the Department of Archaeology. As a direct result of these workshops, graduate secretary Lesley Nicholls developed the first paper guide, called So You Want to Apply to Graduate School?.

Notes about the Electronic Version

This Internet edition of the University of Calgary guide to the admissions process was first written in 2000 by Lesley Nicholls who has now retired from her job as Graduate Secretary at the University of Calgary. While her excellent guide is not unique to Calgary, your schools' requirements may vary, so please check carefully to make sure you have the most up to date information available.

Lesley notes that the workshop and guide will not guarantee you a place in a graduate program! What it will do is explain the admission process and the various steps that an application goes through. You will gain some insight as to what information universities are looking for from each part of the application papckage. Each University will have slightly different procedures but the basic requirements are the same across the country.

Credits and Appreciation

Lesley wishes to thank everyone who submitted comments, material and ideas, particularly Calli Casuarina and Judith Abwunza of the Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario, both of whom assisted in the presentation of the first CAA workshop and to the students who took such an active role in that workshop and provided valuable feedback. Thanks also to Doyle Hatt, while Associate Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Myrna Haglund, Administrative Assistant, Department of Anthropology at Calgary, who helped with presentation of the expanded workshops at Calgary and to Jon Driver, Head, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Pam Willoughby of the Anthropology Department, University of Alberta and David Pokotylo of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of British Columbia, for volunteering their assistance at the workshops in Edmonton, Halifax and Victoria.

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