Program Requirements

The BA program in anthropology consists of twelve (12) courses, of which at least ten (10) are typically chosen from those listed or cross-listed as Department of Anthropology courses. The requirements for the major are:

  • ANTH 21107 Anthropological Theory (100)
  • One Methods course * (100)
    • ANTH 21420 Ethnographic Methods
    • ANTH 28400 Bioarchaeology and the Human Skeleton
    • ANTH 29500 Archaeology Laboratory Practicum
  • One Discovering Anthropology course or Introduction to Anthropology (100)
  • Seven electives in Anthropology ‡ (700)
  • Two electives in Anthropology or approved related disciplines ‡ (200)
  • Total Units (1200)

* Students may also seek approval for a relevant methods course in archaeological, linguistic, or biological anthropology

Students interested in the Anthropology major should endeavor to complete the three required courses (Theory, Methods, and Discovering Anthropology/Introduction to Anthropology) by the end of their third year.


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 

  • While each student in the College is assigned an Academic Adviser, the Department of Anthropology launched a faculty mentorship program designed specifically for our declared majors. Assigned faculty mentors are available to speak with you about your general interests in anthropology. There is no obligation to work in the faculty’s research area. For bureaucratic matters related to program requirements, course petitions, enrollment, and paperwork associated with the major, please contact Maja Stina Sunleaf, or reach out to the BA Preceptor or DUS.

Introductory Courses & General Education

Courses designated as Discovering Anthropology provide introductions to some of the substantive, methodological, and theoretical issues of anthropology and do not presume any previous background in the field. However, 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.

Bureacratic Matters

Students must obtain the endorsement of the Director of Undergraduate Studies on the Student Program Form before graduating with a major in anthropology. Students should submit a copy of the approved form to their College adviser.

To seek approval of non-departmental courses, submit a completed Course Petition Form (available in Haskell 119 or online) 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).

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 supervision of a faculty member. BA projects involving alternative media (film, photography, art installation) might be acceptable if accompanied by a written text.

Students should begin considering their research question in their third year and identify a faculty supervisor from among the department faculty (first reader) so that they have sufficient time to complete the research over the Summer and Autumn. Affiliated faculty may serve as a first reader with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who also approves the second reader (an appropriately credentialed scholar/scientist, or the Department BA preceptor).

Students writing BA honors papers are strongly urged to enroll in ANTH 29910 Bachelor’s Essay Seminar in Winter quarter. In Autumn, they may also register for ANTH 29900 Preparation of Bachelor’s Essay with the approval of their faculty supervisor.

For award of honors, the BA essay must receive a grade of A or A- from both readers. Students must submit two copies of the completed paper to the program administrator no later than fifth week of the quarter of graduation.

The department may accept a BA paper or project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met. Students should consult with both units 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 undergraduate directors, is available from the College adviser and must be completed and returned to the same by the end of Autumn quarter.