Undergraduate Preceptorship

The position of Preceptor for the Anthropology Undergraduate Major has become available, and we are soliciting applications. The position primarily involves teaching the BA Essay Seminar offered annually in the Winter Quarter and then remaining available for consultation with the BA paper writers in the Spring. (Each BA paper writer also has 2 faculty mentors.) The position also involves advising on academic matters for all of our majors. As of Autumn 2017 there are approximately 55 undergraduate majors, of whom 26 are Seniors and of those roughly half will take the BA writing seminar, with a mix of students from Social/Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology and Archaeology. The general idea is that the BA paper writers will have an approved topic and most of their bibliographic work done prior to winter and will be in a position to begin writing. The BA essay course thus involves writing and critiquing of each others work, and is taken for a “real” grade.

In addition to seeking academic advice, the majors also like, from time to time, to talk about the discipline, job trajectories, grad school, etc etc substantive intellectual and professional issues. So the preceptor has to be available for office hours on a regular basis all year.  (Undergraduate student files are kept in the main Department office, so there isn’t much of a bureaucratic component to the Preceptor position.)

Ideally the Preceptor will be be a post-field student who has had some Lecturing experience in the College (Starr, Core, International Studies, etc.) and possibly even some prior experience as an undergraduate Preceptor in another program. Ability to deal with both Archaeology and SocCultLing would be a plus, but don’t be deterred from expressing interest if that is not one of the arrows in your quiver. (The BA Seminar primarily attracts students writing on Soc/Cult/Ling topics, and a high percentage of those who will be taking the BA Essay course in any given winter will have taken the Undergraduate Ethnographic Methods course in the prior Spring.)

Typical Application Announcement

The Department of Anthropology invites applications for the (Year) Undergraduate Preceptor position. The Anthropology Preceptor works as the assistant to the faculty Director of Undergraduate Studies in Anthropology (DUSA) and has several areas of responsibility. More broadly, the Preceptor is available to help all undergraduate majors, providing academic and career advice, assistance in formulating B.A. essay topics, and the like. More specifically the Preceptor will be responsible, in the Winter Quarter, for teaching ANTH 29910: BA Essay Colloquium, a course available to the approximately 15-20 or so fourth-year students who will be writing BA Honors Papers. The position also involves responsibility for helping with three undergraduate receptions per year. If, as seems likely, an Undergraduate Anthropology Society and the Department’s connection to the PRISM program continue to be active, the Preceptor will work with those groups and DUSA


  • Interest in and ability to advise undergraduates across the four fields of the Anthropology.
    • Applicants should note that the distribution of undergraduate majors falls roughly as 35% Archaeology, 15% Physical, 15% Linguistic, and 35% Social Culture – quite a different balance from the graduate program. Realistically the ability to advise BA-paper writers in Social/Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology is critical.
  • Excellent writing and editorial skills
  • Teaching/Advising experience
  • Post Field Standing
  • Preference will be given to applicants who are frequently and easily available to campus.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Providing preliminary guidance in identifying workable BA paper topics
  • Coaching students in the strategies of approaching a major research project
  • Guiding students as they acquire the techniques of effective research writing (Each student writing a BA paper also works under the guidance of 2 faculty readers/advisors.)
  • Holding weekly office hours
  • Assisting with several undergraduate events (e.g., Autumn Welcome Reception, Winter Study Abroad Reception, Spring Graduation Reception)

Salary: $9000 for nine months, plus tuition remission if appropriate. ($9000 assumes that the appointee is post-GAI and has already acquired 5 teaching points, otherwise the salary is $7500.)

Applications are invited from post-field students in all sub-fields of Anthropology. Application materials should be submitted to Maja Stina Sunleaf via email (msunleaf@uchicago.edu) by (Date) in late Winter early Spring.


Application is open to post-field students in any sub-field of Anthropology.

Application components

Please submit your basic departmental information, your CV and a letter (4 double-spaced pages maximum) discussing your academic interests, reasons for seeking this position, and qualifications for it [teaching experience, ability to handle the various sub-fields of Anthropology, etc].

Deadline: Late Winter early Spring