Designing a Plan of Study

The undergraduate major consists of courses required of all students and elective courses. You and your advisor may also agree that courses offered outside of the Anthropology Department should be part of your personal curriculum.

Required courses not only provide a broad overview of the subfields but also introduce certain concepts commonly recognized over a wide range of different types of research. Although there is no single theoretical school or theory followed by all anthropologists, required courses should serve to help construct some recognizable frameworks that anthropologists refer to when they talk to one another, even if engaged in quite different sorts of research. The curriculum seeks to develop both the specificity of subfield interests and the common moorings that enables the field to thrive amidst tremendous diversity.

It might be helpful to review some sample courses of study in various areas of Anthropology.  Not all courses are available every year -- please check  the course schedule for the most updated listing of courses.

An increasing number of opportunities to study abroad are being made available through the Reves Center for International Studies. Anthropology majors will often be surprised at the salience of anthropology in foreign programs. These programs generally last one or two semesters, although summer programs may be compressed into fewer weeks. Some programs are geared toward language study and many involve field research along with classroom study. Transfer credit from programs may be applied to degree requirements for an Anthropology major. Pre-approval for transfer of credit for coursework taken while abroad should be sought from the Department Chair in Anthropology. Sometimes it is necessary to enroll in such courses and to seek approval for the proper course credit equivalents at William and Mary after one returns from study abroad. In all cases, when planning out the courses needed for an Anthropology degree, it is advisable to block out time for study abroad.