Majoring In Anthropology

No two anthropology majors are likely to take exactly the same courses, since these will reflect both your personal interests and course availability over a number of semesters. You are not required to enroll in all of the elective courses listed on your Declaration of Major form. Your interests may change and there may be scheduling issues making it impossible to take certain courses. Required courses must be taken, however. Nonetheless, the course sequence you choose for your Declaration of Major form may be thought of as a kind of map plotting your course as an anthropology major. You may change some of the details, but the coursework you complete for your diploma will reflect your focus within the field of anthropology.

Some students plan a generalized course of study that includes electives sprinkled evenly among the four subfields. Many students are strongly drawn to a particular subfield and plan their coursework accordingly. Often students hope to prepare themselves for graduate study in anthropology. Unlike most undergraduate programs, graduate schools in anthropology will expect prospective applicants to have a firm idea about the research they plan to pursue as a graduate student. At the very least, students will have to opt for graduate study in a particular subfield or combination of subfields. Commonly, graduate programs may combine linguistics with cultural anthropology.

Requirements for the Major

33 semester credits in Anthropology must be taken, including the following courses:

  • One course in each of the three subfields of Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Socio-cultural Anthropology
  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 202). Transfer students may petition to have a comparable class to 202, taken at another institution, substitute for this requirement.
  • ANTH 300 (History of Anthropological Theories)
  • ANTH 470 (Capstone Senior Seminar) OR ANTH 495-6 (Honors Research). In exceptional cases, students who wish to carry out a single semester research project or do not qualify for honors may petition to allow ANTH460 (Independent Study) to be taken in their senior year in lieu of ANTH 470. Completion of any of these three options automatically fulfills the department writing requirement.

Although ANTH 204 (The Study of Language) is not required, students are encouraged to enroll in order to receive, when combined with the other introductory courses, an overview of anthropology's four subfields.

The Computing Proficiency Requirement may be satisfied by taking courses designated as "computer intensive" (ANTH 301, 302, 366, 454). The computer requirement may also be fulfilled by successful completion of ANTH 300.