All applicants should familiarize themselves with the “Program” page of this website to gain a detailed understanding of the structure and requirements of the program before applying.

Interested students must be majors or minors and must be on JUNIOR status with two years remaining at UCLA; that is, expecting to graduate in Spring or Summer quarters of 2025.

Applications will open in the Fall quarter of 2023. To learn more about the program, please join the Anthropology Undergraduate Student email list to stay updated on information sessions and the application process. You may find the Undergraduate Student Sdvisor contact information here.

The program contact person is the Lemelson Honors TA: Emilia Rose Holmbeck ( /

Applications to the Lemelson honors program are due November 21st 2022. Please submit all application materials as a single PDF file via the Google form linked here:

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Minimum Requirements

  • Declared Anthropology Major or Minor (by Winter Quarter)
  • Enrolled in upper division Anthropology courses (transfer students who have not had the opportunity to enroll in upper division Anthropology courses may apply without fulfilling this requirement)
  • Junior Class Standing (90 or more units)
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all university course work completed
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 in upper division Anthropology courses or their equivalent

Application Materials

The Honors application must include the following documents. Students need to create a SINGLE PDF document that contains all the required application materials. The documents should appear in the following order:

  1. Cover sheet form (Download Here)
  2. Transcripts showing all relevant course work and grades (copies are okay)
  3. A 400-600 word research proposal (see guideline below)
  4. A 5-8 page writing sample from a previous course. It is preferred that the writing sample comes from a previous course in anthropology, however, writings done in other social science courses will also be accepted.
  5. An email or memo from the faculty member in the Department of Anthropology who agrees to serve as the student’s Faculty Mentor. The faculty’s email should be sent to the applicant, who will then include it with the application materials.

Finding a Faculty Mentor

The primary Faculty Mentor must come from the Anthropology department.

The faculty must agree in writing to be the student’s mentor prior to the student’s submission of application to the program. If appropriate, a second mentor may be selected from within or outside of the Anthropology department. It is recommended for students to secure the second faculty mentor during the first weeks of Winter quarter of the program and before the beginning research.

Guidelines and Tips for the Research Proposal

Applicants should use the numbered subheadings below to structure their proposals:

I. Research Problem

Clearly state the topic that you intend to explore and where this research will be done.  Give a brief indication of what kind of research has already been done on this topic (or some closely related topic) so to provide the Honors Committee a context for understanding its anthropological importance. Keep in mind that simple ideas or simple tests of ideas can produce important results; an elaborate theory is not a requisite to do an Honors project. If appropriate, make clear the particular perspective you may bring to the project. This section should constitute the bulk of the proposal.

II. Methods.

Include a plan that outlines the methods and procedures for data collection and analysis of your research project.

III. Timeline.

Provide a tentative project schedule to demonstrate that your plan is feasible for execution in the time frame of five quarters from Winter quarter of Junior year to Spring quarter of Senior year. A high level of detail is not needed at this point. Data collection must conclude by the start of Fall quarter Senior year.

NOTE: Proposals of fewer than 400 words are likely to be insufficiently detailed to be properly evaluated or accepted. Follow the word limits with care.

For inquiries about the Lemelson Anthropological Honors Program and the application process, please contact Emilia Rose Holmbeck, the Lemelson Honors TA (

Transfer Students

Transfer students are encouraged to apply to the Lemelson Honors Program. Many of our graduating Honors students were transfer students and arrived to UCLA in their Junior year.

Departmental Selection Process

Entry into the Honors program is competitive. Those selected to join the Honors program typically have a strong academic record and high GPAs (exceeding the minimums above), have been exposure to anthropological concepts and methods through enrollment in several Anthropology courses before the start of the program, and present a promising research proposal. The admissions committee, consisting of the faculty teaching the Honors courses, reviews the proposals and other application materials and may select to conduct brief interviews with applicants.


Q: Who should I contact with questions about the program.
A: Contact the program TA.

Q: Is having an anthropology mentor/advisor a requirement at the time of application?
A: Yes.

Q: How do I go about finding a anthropology faculty mentor? Is it my responsibility to solicit their participation?
A: Finding a faculty mentor is the responsibility of the honors applicant; however, the honors TA can direct you to faculty with similar research interests. Students should meet with appropriate faculty to discuss their projects and the possibility of mentorship. Beginning this process early in the Fall quarter can be a great advantage.

Q: How do I choose a research project?
A: Think of a problem or situation that interests you and how you might examine that problem through research questions and anthropological methods. Clarity and feasibility are important qualities of strong research proposals. Try to work with your potential mentor and the program TA to develop the proposal portion of your application.

Q: Do I have to take all five of the honors courses offered through this program?
A: Yes. Students must take one Lemelson Honors (L.H.) course per quarter for five consecutive quarters.

Q: Is research funding available for all L.H. students?
A: In the past, all L.H. students in good standing received funding for their projects (determined annually).

Q: How much work does the program require?
A: The program includes rigorous training in the development and completion of an independent research project. Students entering the program should be prepared to dedicate at least 5-10 hours a week outside of class to the develop of their projects.

Q: Do the L.H. courses count for course requirements in the anthropology major or minor?
A: Contact the Anthropology Undergraduate Advisor with questions regarding requirements for the major and minor.

Q: Do transfer students need to have completed upper division anthropology courses to apply?
A: No, but all applicants must have junior status in the Winter Quarter they begin the program.

Q: Besides the coursework and completing my research project, are there other activities or responsibilities that are part of the program?
A: Yes, L.H. students are expected to participate in three additional activities: (1) a weekend “retreat”in the Spring Quarter; (2) a one day presentation conference held towards the end of the Spring Quarter; and (3) a meeting with L.H. faculty at the beginning of each quarter.

Q: Do I need to complete and submit a “senior thesis” to graduate with Lemelson Anthropology Honors?
A: Yes.