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Anthropology encompasses a number of historical and comparative approaches to human cultural and physical variety, ranging from the study of human evolution and prehistory to the study of cultures as systems of meaningful symbols. Anthropology involves, at one extreme, such natural scientific studies as anatomy, ecology, genetics, and geology; at the other, various social sciences and humanities ranging from psychology, sociology, and linguistics to philosophy, history, and comparative religion. Anthropology can lead (through graduate study) to careers in research and teaching in university and museum settings. More often it provides a background for further work in other disciplines of the social sciences, humanities, and biological sciences, as well as for professional careers in government, business, law, medicine, social services, and other fields.

The BA program in anthropology consists of twelve courses, of which at least ten are typically chosen from those listed or cross-listed as Department of Anthropology courses. The requirements for the major are:

1. ANTH 21107 Anthropological Theory

2. One Methods course (ANTH 21420 Ethnographic Methods), or an approved alternative in Archaeological, Linguistic, or Biological Anthropology such as  ANTH 28400 Bioarchaeology and the Human Skeleton or ANTH 29500 Archaeology Laboratory Practicum.

3. One Discovering Anthropology class. Designated courses will be added to a list each term. Descriptions will be available on the Anthropology department website.

4. Seven electives in Anthropology.

5. Two electives from Anthropology or from a related discipline, with approval from the director of undergraduate studies. To seek approval of non-departmental courses, submit a completed Course Petition Form (available in Haskell 119) and syllabus for the course(s) to the director of undergraduate studies.  This petition should ideally but not necessarily be submitted before the end of the second week of the quarter in which the student is enrolled in the course.

Students are encouraged to construct individual programs; in so doing, they should consult periodically with the preceptor, the director of undergraduate studies, and other departmental faculty. We strongly urge students who are majoring in anthropology to complete several introductory courses before enrolling in upper-level courses. Anthropology provides a broad view of the human career and condition.  Students may select courses widely across all four subfields (sociocultural, linguistic, archaeological, and biological anthropology) within the major, or may focus their work within or across any of the subfields. Students should confer with the director of undergraduate studies before declaring a major in anthropology and must obtain the endorsement of the director of undergraduate studies on the Student Program Form before graduating with a major in anthropology. Students should submit a copy of the approved form to their College adviser.

Students interested in the Anthropology major should endeavor to complete the three required courses (Theory, Methods, and Discovering Anthropology) by the end of their third year. When possible, completion of those courses by the end of second year is recommended as they provide foundational concepts that facilitate understanding of higher level coursework.

Note: These requirements are in effect starting with the graduating Class of 2018. Students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2014 may adopt the modified requirements if appropriate and should consult with the department to design their program of study.

Introductory Courses & General Education

Courses designated as Discovering Anthropology provide introductions to some of the substantive, methodological, and theoretical issues of sociocultural, archaeological, linguistic, and biological anthropology. These courses do not presume any previous study of anthropology and may be taken in any order. However, students are urged to complete the general education requirement in the social sciences before taking more advanced courses in sociocultural anthropology. SOSC 11100-11200-11300 Power, Identity, and Resistance I-II-III and SOSC 12100-12200-12300 Self, Culture, and Society I-II-III are particularly recommended.

For a firm foundation in the discipline, at least one Reading Ethnographies (ANTH 216xxx) course is recommended in addition to the required Methods course.

Several sequences that satisfy the general education requirement in civilization studies typically feature anthropological approaches and content. These courses are cross-listed with Anthropology and may be used toward the major if they are not used toward the general education requirement: ANTH 20701-20702 Introduction to African Civilization I-II, ANTH 24101-24102 Introduction to the Civilizations of South Asia I-II,  ANTH 23101-23102-23103 Introduction to Latin American Civilization I-II-III, and ANTH 24001-24002-24003  Colonizations I-II-III.   With prior approval, other civilization courses (if taken in addition to the courses used toward the general education requirement) can be used toward the Anthropology major, in accordance with the individual student’s needs or interests and up to the two-course limit for non-departmental courses.

The director of undergraduate studies may refer students who wish to emphasize archaeological, biological, linguistic, or sociocultural anthropology to faculty in these fields for assistance in the development of their individual programs.

Readings & Research Courses

When desirable for their individual programs of study, and with the approval of the director of undergraduate studies, preferably in advance, a student may also obtain course credit for supervised individual reading or research (ANTH 29700 Readings in Anthropology).

Students electing to write a bachelor’s essay for honors are urged to enroll in ANTH 29910 Bachelor’s Essay Seminar in winter of fourth year. They also have the option of taking ANTH 29900 Preparation of Bachelor’s Essay, in which the student does supervised reading or research in preparation for the BA essay, in Autumn Quarter of fourth year. However, students can only use a total of two independent readings or research courses toward the major, chosen from among ANTH 29700, 29900, 29910, and BA essay seminars in other departments when required for a joint second major. Additional readings & research courses would count as general elective credits.

Field Courses

Students attending field schools or taking courses offered by other universities can solicit approval to obtain course credit (up to the two-course limit for nondepartmental courses) when appropriate for their individual program of study. Credit from other institutions would first need to be approved by the College and then by the director of undergraduate studies, if intended to count toward the major.

Summary of Requirements

Note: These requirements are in effect starting with the graduating Class of 2018.  Students who matriculated prior to Autumn 2014 may adopt the modified requirements if appropriate and should consult the department to design their program of study.

ANTH 21107 Anthropological Theory  (100)

One Methods course *  (100)

  •     ANTH 21420 Ethnographic Methods
  •     ANTH 28400 Bioarchaeology and the Human Skeleton
  •     ANTH 29500 Archaeology Laboratory Practicum

One Discovering Anthropology course §  (100)

Seven electives in Anthropology ±   (700)

Two electives in Anthropology or approved related disciplines ±   (200)

Total Units  (1200)

* Students may also seek approval for a relevant methods course in archaeological, linguistic, or biological anthropology

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