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Where to Start?

Not everyone who takes Anthropology courses is planning to major in the discipline. Any member of the Anthropology faculty will be glad to talk to you informally about the field and our class offerings, regardless of your major.

If you have a general curiosity about Anthropology, or if you are considering a major in Anthropology, we recommend that you start with ANTH 202: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. This course gives a good overview of the anthropological study of contemporary societies. It is a core requirement for the major and a prerequisite for other requirements. It also meets a COLL 200 and CSI Domain requirement. A second course in sociocultural anthropology in addition to ANTH 202 is further core requirement. ANTH 300: History of Anthropological Theories, which needs pre-requisite ANTH 202, is mandated for majors, satisfying the Major Computing Requirement, and a four-credit Senior Seminar in Anthropology (ANTH 470) fulfills the Major Writing Requirement.

Anthropology majors also have to take one course each in archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology. ANTH 201: Introduction to Archaeology, ANTH 203: Introduction to Biological Anthropology, and ANTH 205: Anthropology and Language are all good introductions to those sub-fields. These courses also meet COLL requirements. ANTH 201 and ANTH 205 are based in the CSI Domain, ANTH 203 is an NQR course.

Not a major?

We have many courses that complement other areas of study. Many do not have pre-requisites, and are available to all W&M students. Several meet COLL requirements. Look through the Undergraduate Catalog's course list and see what interests you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Psychological Sciences majors might try ANTH 362: Knowledge, Learning and Cognition in "Non-Western" Societies.
  • Art & Art History majors might be interested in ANTH 364: Artists & Cultures
  • Just about any of our courses would enhance a Sociology or History major's portfolio.
  • Global Studies and International Relations majors will find courses that address specific countries or regions. Examples include ANTH 348: Japanese Society and ANTH 335: Peoples and Cultures of Africa.
  • Music lovers may enjoy ANTH 241: Worlds of Music
  • English and Modern Language majors may find ANTH 308: Language and Culture useful.
  • Geology and Environmental Science majors should take ANTH 315: Environmental Archaeology.
  • Pre-med? Try ANTH 309: Medicine & Culture

Remember that not every course is taught every semester. Use the Dynamic Schedule or Open Course List to see what's offered next semester.