Anthropology Major Requirements

Prerequisites to Major: None, but ANTHRCUL 101 and ANTHRBIO 161 are recommended.

Major Program:

  • At least 30 credits in anthropology at the 200 level or above are required
  • Majors are expected to include at least one course at the 200 level or above in each of the four subdivisions: anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology, as part of the 30 credit requirement

Students should be aware that at least 15 of the 30 credits must be completed in the department and 15 credits must be completed in residence at the University of Michigan unless approved by the undergraduate advisor. Students should note that classes taken in Classical Archaeology and the Department of Linguistics do not fulfill the subdivision requirements unless they are cross-listed with the Anthropology Department. Courses in the major may not be taken pass/fail and do not count toward your general degree distribution. LSA does not permit more than 60 hours of coursework in the major.

Although these are not required to complete the major, the following recommendations have been made for majors whose main interest is in a particular sub-field, particularly if the student plans to go on the graduate school in anthropology.

A) Anthropological Archaeology

For students primarily interested in anthropological archaeology, we strongly recommend taking the following sequence of courses:

  1. Anthrarc 282: Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology
  2. Anthrarc 385: Archaeology of Early Humans
  3. Anthrarc 386: Early Civilizations

The goal of these three courses is to give students a general introduction to anthropological archaeology and an overview of world prehistory. In addition to these three courses, students are encouraged to take at least two area courses: one that examines the archaeological record in the New World and one focused on the Old World.

B) Sociocultural Anthropology
For students primarily interested in sociocultural anthropology, we strongly recommend at least one course in each of the following categories:

  1. Regional courses
  2. Topical courses
  3. Theory/Method courses

Classes are divided by category under Roster of Anthropology courses by subgroup in the LSA Bulletin, or in the Undergrad Courses by Sub-field handout available in the department or on the department website.

Other Recommendations:
A. Seminars
Students are strongly encouraged to elect at least one undergraduate seminar in anthropology. Seminars explore a specific anthropological topic in great depth in a smaller setting that offer greater opportunity for faculty-student interaction and involve more student participation than do lecture courses.

B. Independent reading and research
Some students would like to explore a particular anthropological topic in greater depth than is possible in regular coursework. Independent reading and research opportunities may be arranged in consultation with a faculty member. No more than 3 hours of independent reading or research (Anth. 471, 499) count toward the 30 credit hour requirement for the major. This does not imply that a student may not take more than three hours of independent work within the department.

C. Related Coursework
It is recommended that all majors include at least two courses in a related discipline. Related classes outside of the major which, combined with classes in anthropology, offer students a broader perspective on the issues and topics that interest them. For example, a student interested in a particular region of the world will find classes in the area studies programs, sociology, or history that will be useful to them in pursuing their academic career. A student interested in a particular topic, such as religion, education, development or ecological issues, will find courses in other departments that supplement classes taken in anthropology. Students primarily interested in biological anthropology may wish to explore classes in biology, geology, or psychology, to name a few possibilities. Similarly, anthropological archaeology students may select classes in history, area studies programs, classical archaeology, geology, or the program in the environment (PITE). The undergraduate advisor can help you develop a coherent program, including the use of related courses. Please note that these courses do not count toward the required 30 credits for the concentration and are not required.