College Schools, Departments & Programs


Major in Anthropology

The B.A. in Anthropology includes courses in general anthropology; its four subfields (Archaeology, Bioanthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Social/Cultural Anthropology); as well as integrative capstone seminars; and training in ethnography, laboratory methods, museum studies, general anthropology; and in several field schools.

  1. Archaeology explores the material remains of peoples and cultures in the recent and distant past, seeking fragmentary clues to understand how people once lived, and how the human past connects to the present.
  2. Bioanthropology examines the adaptations, variation, health and evolutionary history of humans and their primate relatives, studying human biology in the context of human culture and behavior.
  3. Linguistic anthropology studies language and the ways people communicate in the context of social and cultural diversity, using different media, past and present.
  4. Social/cultural anthropology studies contemporary and historical cultures and societies, worldwide, linking local and global, and using diverse ethnographic approaches to understanding contemporary issues and challenges to our common humanity.

Anthropology is an excellent foundation for many careers. Employers hire anthropologists because they have strong communication and ethical reasoning skills. Ethnographic approaches help our graduates understand how to engage in multicultural situations. Experience in both qualitative and quantitative methods are analytical foundations for complex problem-solving. 

Employment opportunities related directly to Anthropology include marketing /advertising/ consumer-research companies, technology and new media firms, cultural resource and heritage management companies, physical anthropology labs and forensic departments, zoos, schools and universities, museums, government agencies, law firms, non-governmental organizations, and a wide range of private corporations and non-profits.


Students must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours in anthropology, including:

  1. B200, E200, L200, and P200
  2. One advanced course (300–400 level) each in three of the four subfields with prefixes "B" for bioanthropology, "E" for social and cultural anthropology, "L" for anthropological linguistics, and "P" for archaeology. Students may substitute A410 for one of these courses.
  3. One course designated as having a methods component. These include A306, A405, B301, B405, E302, E423, E485, P301, P380, P385, P390, P401, P405, P406, P407, P425, P426, X477, X478 and other sections taught under variable title if approved by the advisor. (Methods courses may also count toward the upper-level subfield requirement.)
  4. Remaining credit hours are distributed across advanced courses (300–400 level) in any of the four subfields according to student interest. A student may count one additional course at the 200 level. A105, A107, A303, A310, E105, and E303 do not count toward the major.

Students planning to major in anthropology should begin by taking 200-level courses for introduction to the four subfields. Students must also complete the degree requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences.


Each of the four subfields of anthropology has different expectations as to the coursework that best complements the interests and skills of students in each subfield. Coursework taken in other departments should be selected in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.

Graduate work in anthropology often requires knowledge of one or more foreign languages, and students should plan their undergraduate programs accordingly.