Program Requirements 

Note: These requirements are in effect starting with the graduating Class of 2025. Students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2021 may adopt the modified requirements if appropriate and should consult with the department to design their program of study. 

The BA program in Anthropology consists of twelve courses, of which at least ten are typically chosen from those listed or cross-listed as Department of Anthropology courses. The requirements for the major are: 

1. One 200-level Anthropology topical course taken with a regular faculty member of the department, OR Introduction to Anthropology ANTH 10100 (100) 

2. ANTH 21107 Anthropological Theory (100) 

3. One Methods course (100) 

• ANTH 21420 Ethnographic Methods 

ANTH 28400 Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology: Approaches to the Past 

ANTH 29500 Archaeology Laboratory Practicum 

• or an approved alternative in archaeological, linguistic, or biological anthropology 

4. Seven electives in Anthropology (700) 

5. Two electives from Anthropology or approved, related discipline (200) 

To request approved credit for non-departmental courses, students should submit a  General Petition Form and a syllabus for the course(s) to the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. Petitions may also be submitted for courses that have already been completed. 

Students interested in the Anthropology major should endeavor to complete the three required courses by the end of their third year (ANTH 21107 Anthropological Theory, a methods course, and a 200-level topical course taught by a regular faculty member of the department OR ANTH 10100 Introduction to Anthropology). When possible, completing those courses by the end of the second year is recommended, as they provide foundational concepts that facilitate understanding of higher-level course work.

Course petitions should be submitted to the department’s Student Affairs Administrator with one’s Academic Advisor cc’d. Once the petitions have been reviewed and no corrections are needed, the request will be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) for consideration. 

Suggested Tracks and Double Majors

Possible Tracks within the major*

  • Archaeology
  • Economic Anthropology
  • Human Rights, Ethics, and Religion
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Political Anthropology
  • Science and Technology Studies

*These tracks are entirely voluntary, without required coursework, but represent department strengths and common areas of student interest.

Double Majors that work well with the training provided by Anthropology and strengths of the department:

  • History
  • Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Environmental and Urban Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Global Studies 
  • Linguistics
  • Public Policy
  • Various area studies majors (Latin American Studies, East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, etc.)

Faculty Mentorship Program 

  • Each student is assigned an Academic Advisor in The College who can assist with basic course planning.
  • Students who would like to also have an Anthropology faculty mentor in the department can either contact that individual directly, or ask the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) to assign one.
  • Each year, the department will also have one or more Instructional Professors (formerly called “BA Perceptors”) who through coursework and advising will guide those students completing a BA honors thesis.

Introductory Courses & General Education

Students are urged to complete the general education requirement in the social sciences before taking more advanced courses in sociocultural anthropology. Self, Culture, and Society I-II-III and Power, Identity, and Resistance I-II-III are particularly recommended.

Several sequences that satisfy the general education requirement in civilization studies typically feature anthropological approaches and content. These courses are cross-listed with Anthropology and may be used toward the major if they are not used toward the general education requirement: ANTH 20701-20702 Introduction to African Civilization I-II, ANTH 24101-24102 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II, ANTH 23101-23102-23103 Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III, and ANTH 24001-24002-24003 Colonizations I-II-III. 

Field Courses

Students attending field schools or taking courses offered by other universities can solicit approval to obtain course credit (up to the two-course limit for nondepartmental courses). Credit from other institutions would first need to be approved by the College and then by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, if intended to count toward the major.

Bureaucratic Matters

To seek approval of non-departmental courses, submit a completed Course Petition Form and syllabus for the course(s) to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This petition should ideally be submitted before the end of the second week of the quarter in which the student is enrolled in the course.

Courses counted toward the major must be taken for quality grades (no P/F grading). Students who are planning to declare a Major in Anthropology must complete the Consent to Declare a Major Program form (form forthcoming).

A maximum of two reading and research courses (chosen from ANTH 29700 Readings in Anthropology, ANTH 29900 Preparation of Bachelor’s Essay, ANTH 29910 Bachelor’s Essay Seminar, and BA classes from other departments) can be used toward the Anthropology major.

Honors BA Thesis Process

Students who wish to be considered for honors must apply to the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the end of their third year. Eligible candidates must have a GPA of 3.6 or higher in courses in the major and typically a GPA of 3.25 overall. To receive honors, students must develop an extended piece of research via a bachelor's essay under the approved supervision of a regular Anthropology faculty member. BA projects involving alternative media (like film, photography, photo-essay, or art installation) might be acceptable if accompanied by a written text.

Students writing BA honors papers are strongly urged to enroll in ANTH 29920/1 Bachelor's Thesis Workshop (to learn research design and how to organize your data) in Autumn quarter and/or ANTH 29910 Bachelor’s Essay Seminar in Winter quarter (to write the draft). Students may also arrange to work one-on-one with a faculty advisor on their thesis and register for credit under ANTH 29900 Preparation of Bachelor’s Essay.

For award of honors, the BA essay must receive a grade of A or A- from the faculty supervisor and from the second reader. The faculty supervisor must be chosen from the regular Anthropology faculty. Affiliated faculty may serve with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The second reader may be any credentialed scholar/scientist approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

This program may accept a BA paper or project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met. Approval from both Directors of Undergraduate Studies is required. Students should consult with their faculty advisers by the earliest BA proposal deadline (or by the end of their third year if neither program publishes a deadline). A consent form, to be signed by both faculty supervisors, is available from the College adviser. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.