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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.


Chair: Deborah L. Nichols

Professors: H. S. Alverson, D. F. Eickelman, K. M. Endicott, S. A. Kan, J. Y. Kim, D. L. Nichols; Associate Professors: N. J. Dominy, J. M. Watanabe; Assistant Professors: S. D. Dobson, S. R. Craig, L. Gutiérrez Nájera, J. J. Igoe; Adjunct Assistant Professors: E. A. Carpenter-Song, K. M. Muldoon, R. Whitley; McKennan Postdoctoral Fellow: C. G. Ball; Associate Professor Emeritus: K. A. Korey

Consult the Departmental Administrator, Thérèse Périn-Deville, for further information.


The major consists of ten courses, to be selected as follows:

1. Anthropology 1 or 3.

2. At least one course from each of the following four subject areas: archaeology, one area course in cultural anthropology, one topical course in cultural anthropology (if Anthropology 1 is taken in fulfillment of requirement 1), and biological anthropology (these areas are indicated as ARCH, TOPICAL, AREA, or BIOL in each course description). Topical replaces “ethnology” (ETHN) and area replaces “culure” (CULT) in previous versions,

3. Any six additional courses (five if Anthropology 1 is taken in fulfillment of requirement 1) from among the department’s offerings.

A culminating experience is required for the major and must be satisfied by completion of a Culminating Seminar selected from one of the following areas: cultural anthropology (73), archaeology (75), or biological anthropology (77), to be taken as one of the ten courses required for the major.

Statistics: All anthropology majors are encouraged to take a course in statistics. Students who plan to undertake independent research, especially in archaeology and biological anthropology, and any student considering attending graduate school in anthropology should take at least one statistics course: e.g., Government 10, Math & Social Science 15, Psychology 10, Sociology 10, or Social Science 10.

Modified Major: The Modified Major consists of seven courses in anthropology, one of which must be a culminating seminar and another of which will normally be Anthropology 1 or 3, plus four courses above the prerequisite level in one or more other department(s) or program(s). The 11 courses must form a unified, coherent program of study. Students wishing to modify their Anthropology major must submit a written rationale that makes clear the coherence and purpose of their modified major. This rationale, can be signed by any faculty in the Anthropology department, and must be submitted with the major card to the Registrar.

Concentrations: Anthropology majors may choose to concentrate in one or more subfields of anthropology by taking at least four courses in: archaeology, biological anthropology, or topical and area courses in cultural anthropology.

Archaeology is the scientific study of past human behavior and societies from material remains of the earliest human ancestors to recent times. Students concentrating in archaeology should take at least one topical course and one regional course in archaeology. Students interested in graduate studies in archaeology should have a statistics course and fieldwork experience that can be gained by taking an archaeological field school for transfer credit.

Cultural anthropology addresses broad questions about what it means to be human in contemporary societies and cultures, as well as those of the recent past. Cultural anthropologists systematically explore topics such as technology and material culture, social organization, economies, political and legal systems, language, ideologies and religions, health and illness, and social change. Students concentrating in cultural anthropology are strongly advised to take the course in ethnographic research methods, Anthro. 18. Students planning on graduate studies in cultural anthropology are advised to take Main Currents in Anthropology, Anthro. 73.

Biological anthropology is the study of human biological variation and evolution. Biological anthropologists seek to document and explain the patterning of biological variation among contemporary human populations, trace the evolution of our lineage through time in the fossil record, and provide a comparative perspective on human uniqueness by placing our species in the context of other living primates. Students concentrating in biological anthropology are advised to take a course in statistics, as well as one or more advanced courses in biological sciences.

Under special circumstances, students may petition the Anthropology faculty to substitute a course from another department or program to count for the Anthropology major. The petition should be submitted to the Chair, along with a copy of the syllabus for the substitute course and a list of the student’s major courses. The petition must be approved by a vote of the Anthropology Department faculty.


The Anthropology minor in Anthropology comprises six courses, which include Anthropology 1 or 3 plus one area course in cultural anthropology, one course in biological anthropology, one course in archaeology, and two additional courses within the department to be selected by the student. If Anthropology 3 is not taken in fulfillment of the first requirement, then one of the two courses selected by the student must be a topical course in cultural anthropology.

The Anthropology of Global Health minor is composed of six courses one from each of the following core competency areas.

1. Introductory: 1 or 3.

2. Medical: 17, 45, 55.

3. Biological: 6, 38, 40, 41, 43.

4. Methodological Approaches: 18, 56

5. Area/Regional: 4, 25, 27, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 47, 52, 50.3

6. Topical: 15, 19, 30, 31, 44, 46, 48, 49, 51, 75.

Of these six courses, at least four must be taken within the Anthropology Department. Students may petition the department to substitute relevant courses from other fields for no more than two competency areas 3, 5, and 6. (Students should consult with the Anthropology Department for a list of examples of appropriate courses).


Students applying to the honors program must meet the minimum college requirements of a 3.0 grade point average and a 3.3 grade point average in the major. By the end of the third term preceding their graduation, applicants will ordinarily have completed, with a minimum grade of A–, a preparatory reading course (Anthropology 85) and will have submitted an honors thesis proposal for work to be supervised by a primary faculty advisor. Admission to the program is by vote of the department faculty, which may appoint one or more secondary advisors.

Students admitted to the honors program must enroll in Anthropology 88, in addition to the courses ordinarily required in the major. The honors project, which culminates in a substantial independent thesis, will be submitted to the primary advisor at least four weeks prior to graduation. Those students completing the program with a grade of A– or higher in their honors course will receive honors recognition in the major. High honors may be awarded by faculty vote for truly exceptional work.