Honors Program

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Honors Program in Anthropology

Students interested in conducting independent scholarly research in one of the subfields of anthropology and who qualify (have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher) are encouraged to consider writing an honors thesis in anthropology. Previous participation in the College Honors program is not a prerequisite for doing an honors major in anthropology. Seniors admitted to the honors major conduct research during their senior year under the supervision of two faculty members: the honors advisor in the subfield and a thesis advisor who works with the student on his/her individual research project.

Honors intent form and course sequence

During the junior year, students interested in honors should meet with the undergraduate advisor and the honors advisor in a particular subfield to discuss their plans for an honors research project. Interested students will submit an intent form briefly discussing their thesis research interests. The intent form for honors in anthropology is available from the undergraduate advisor and due on or around March 15th. Note: requests will be considered after this deadline, but you must meet with an advisor as soon as possible after this deadline.

During the senior year, students will enroll in a seminar in their research subfield: sociocultural and linguistic anthropology (Anthrcul 398), anthropological archaeology (Anthrarc 398), or an honors independent study course for biological anthropology (Anthrbio 398). These courses are focused on helping students design, conduct, and complete their honors thesis research. At the end of the senior year, students will participate in a poster session on their thesis research.

What is an honors thesis in anthropology?

An honors thesis includes original research and is greater in scope than a course term paper. Students are encouraged to explore topics that build on their individual interests. Honors students in anthropological archaeology often conduct research on collections in the Museum of Anthropology. Sociocultural and linguistic anthropology honors students should plan on doing some participant observation or other field research. Biological anthropology honors students often conduct research on primates or skeletal remains.

For more information about honors in anthropology, contact:
Sociocultural and linguistic anthropology: Erik Mueggler, mueggler@umich.edu      
Anthropological Archaeology: Lisa Young, lcyoung@umich.edu
Biological Anthropology: John Kingston, jkingst@umich.edu

Prerequisites for an honors concentration in particular subfields of anthropology:

  • Students interested in completing an honors major in sociocultural anthropology are required to take a sociocultural or linguistic anthropology theory/method course (please see the Undergraduate Courses by Subfield document)
  • Students interested in anthropological archaeology should have taken Anthrarc 282 and/or have had archaeological field and laboratory experience