Welcome to Canada

What is anthropology like in North America?

In North America, anthropology typically includes four or five subfields (socio-cultural, linguistic, archaeology, biological/evolutionary, and medical). The discipline emerged in the mid-late 19th C and many university anthropology departments, including ours, were established at this time and the early decades of the 20th C. As such, the history of anthropology in North America is linked with settler-colonialism; many of the ideas promoted by anthropologists during this time have served (consciously and unconsciously) to promote settler-state policies (See Anthropology's Problematic Past and the Diversity and Deolonization Committee's Statement). However, anthropologists, including those in our department, are increasingly aware of this problematic history and are changing the discipline into a new and exciting field of study that is open to a wide range of questions about humanity that are shaped by many theoretical perspectives. North American anthropology today is interdisciplinary, embracing ideas and methods from many other fields of study, including women’s studies, gender studies, transgender studies, disability studies, Indigenous studies, art, Earth sciences, religion, history, and public health, among others.

Today, our department ranks among the best in the world in terms of research. If you are thinking of applying to our department, start by contacting a faculty member whose research aligns with your interests. Send them an email and ask if they are taking graduate students and are able to take international students. As a publicly-funded university, there are limits to the number of international students that our department is able to take each year. Have a look through our faculty profiles here.


Applying to the School of Graduate Studies:

Once you decide that you would like to apply to the University of Toronto Anthropology’s graduate department, you will need to apply through the School of Graduate Studies. While the application process is similar for international and domestic students, there are specific requirements (for example, student permits and English proficiency, if necessary, etc.) for international students. Please read this information about applying as an international student carefully. 

If you are accepted to SGS (and by extension our program) and you decide to accept, there are some things that you should know about life in Canada and the city of Toronto. The Centre for International Experience has important information for you on life in Canada, including:

  • Immigration
  • Health care
  • Banking
  • Employment

This website also contains information about life in Toronto (See also our departmental page about living in Toronto). Please read this information carefully.



On-campus housing:

The University of Toronto has housing available for graduate students at all three campuses.
Each has its own application process and links to all three applications are available here:

Graduate Student Housing at the St. George Campus (UTSG or “downtown”)

Graduate Student Housing at the Mississauga Campus (UTM). 

Graduate Student Housing at the Scarborough Campus (UTSC).

While graduate courses are usually taught at the St. George campus, transportation is available between the UTM, UTSC, and St. George campuses. UTSC is approximately 30 km from the St. George campus and travel between the two is provided by public transit (Toronto Transit Commission or TTC). UTM is also approximately 30 km from the downtown campus and a shuttle bus runs regularly between the two. Find more information on the shuttle bus here. GO Transit is a provincially-funded transportation service that provides travel by bus and train among cities in the Greater Toronto area. With a PRESTO card you can move easily from the TTC to GO Transit services.

Off-campus housing:

While housing can be difficult to find in Toronto, and it can be expensive, this link can be one place to find accommodations near U of T.