Social Science Building
All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.
Anthropology stands at the nexus between the social sciences, biological sciences, and humanities. It is dedicated to understanding the worldwide diversity of social institutions and cultural traditions, past and present, as well as to studying our nearest nonhuman relatives. Because there is increasing awareness of the importance of anthropological factors in domestic and international relations, as well as in a number of health-related fields, a bachelor’s degree in anthropology has become accepted as a valuable preparation for careers in law, medicine, business, government, education, and various areas of public service. Anthropology majors can qualify for a California teaching credential from UC San Diego through the Education Studies Program. The department offers a full range of courses in archaeology, as well as in biological, social, cultural, psychological, political, and linguistic anthropology. Courses include offerings that focus on specific societies or regions of the world—especially Latin America, Asia, and Oceania—as well as more theoretically oriented topics. The department offers undergraduate major and minor programs, a senior thesis program, an undergraduate internship program, and a graduate program leading to the doctoral degree. Students also may enroll in archaeological field school and study-abroad programs in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Latin America.
Lower-division offerings in anthropology are concentrated in the core series: ANTH 1, 2, 3. These courses are designed to provide a comprehensive orientation to the ideas and methods of anthropological investigation and a familiarity with case materials from a number of different societies (ANTH 1), prehistoric eras (ANTH 2), and historical periods (ANTH 3). Students who intend to major or minor in sociocultural anthropology are advised to take ANTH 1. Students who intend to major or minor in biological anthropology are advised to take ANTH 2. Students who intend to major or minor in anthropological archaeology are advised to take ANTH 3. Complementing these courses, and serving as supplementary alternatives in the core series, are two further core courses, which may not be offered every year: ANTH 4, an introduction to linguistic anthropology, and ANTH 5, an introduction to the human skeleton. There are currently three further lower-division courses that introduce more specialized topics: ANTH 20, ANTH 21, and ANTH 23, which may not be offered every year. Either ANTH 21 or 23 (or one of several upper-division anthropology courses) satisfies the campuswide DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion) requirement, and ANTH 23 satisfies the campuswide requirement for a course in American Cultures. Students who have already completed ANTH 103 (or the older sequence ANPR 105, 106, and 107) may not receive academic credit for ANTH 1. Other lower-division courses are offered from time to time and will vary from year to year.
The Department of Anthropology offers many general interest and specialized courses at the upper-division level. In addition to satisfying the requirements of the anthropology major and minor, many of these may satisfy the requirements of other majors and minors.
Students may choose a minor in anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, or sociocultural anthropology. Each consists of seven anthropology courses. At least five of these courses must be upper division, and at least four should be taken at UC San Diego. Transfer credits from other anthropology departments are usually accepted. Study Abroad credits are acceptable at the discretion of the undergraduate adviser. All courses applied toward the minor must be taken for a letter grade of C– or better. An exception is made for one independent study course (199) or one directed group study course (198), which must be taken on a Pass/Not Pass (P/NP) basis.
To receive a BA degree with a major in anthropology, the student must meet the requirements of Revelle, John Muir, Thurgood Marshall, Earl Warren, Eleanor Roosevelt College, or Sixth College. Additionally, the student must meet the following requirements of the Department of Anthropology:
The department offers a BA degree in anthropology with concentration in archaeology. At least twelve upper-division courses within anthropology are required. Specifically, this degree requires
Students majoring in anthropological archaeology are encouraged to take field-school or study-abroad courses offered through the Department of Anthropology or Study Abroad UC San Diego. Students may use these courses to fulfill their major requirements. If these courses are more than four units, then they may be used to fulfill more than one course requirement. Please see the undergraduate adviser for more details.
The department offers a BA degree in anthropology with concentration in biological anthropology. At least twelve upper-division courses within and beyond anthropology are required. Specifically, this degree requires
The department offers a BA degree in anthropology with concentration in sociocultural anthropology. A minimum of at least twelve upper-division courses in anthropology are required. Specifically, this degree requires
Students are admitted to the Honors Thesis Program by invitation of the faculty during the spring quarter of their junior year. Eligibility for the program requires the student to have, by the end of the junior year, (1) completed eight upper-division courses, including the core sequence [ANTH 101, 102, 103], and (2) maintained grade point averages of at least 3.5 in the anthropology concentration major and the overall cumulative GPA. Outstanding junior students, who do not meet the above criteria, but have already established some research experience with a regular faculty member of our department (for example, through the Faculty Mentor Program, Independent Study, McNair Program), may also be considered for invitation to the program, if spaces are available.
Students who wish to be considered for the Senior Thesis Program should notify the department’s undergraduate adviser by the second week of the winter quarter of their junior year.
The honors thesis is prepared during two successive quarters during fall (ANTH 196A) and winter (ANTH 196B) of a major’s senior year, and can count as two of the five four-unit upper-division elective courses required for a major. During the first quarter of the program (fall quarter), students select their research topic and write a preliminary paper. Those who receive a B+ or better are invited to continue in the program and complete a thesis on the chosen topic by the end of the winter quarter. The thesis will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the thesis adviser and the director of undergraduate studies appointed by the chair. The reading committee advises the faculty on the merit of the thesis for departmental honors. A thesis is required in order to be considered for department honors at commencement.
Students can enroll in a recommended (not required) third quarter of the Honors Thesis Program (ANTH 196C) to become Ambassadors of Anthropology (participate in community outreach presentations to promote anthropology), and to prepare a presentation of their thesis findings at the annual Anthropology Honors Thesis Presentations and Awards event.
The department sponsors an internship program that allows students to gain academic credit for supervised work in the Museum of Man, the San Diego Zoo, or the Wild Animal Park. The three tracks of the program allow internship experience in (1) biological anthropology, (2) ethnology and archaeology at the museum, or (3) primate behavior and conservation at the Zoo or Wild Animal Park. A combination of on-campus and on-site supervision makes these courses intellectually provocative but practical and applied. They are an especially valuable complement to a major or minor in anthropology. One four-unit internship (AIP 197) taken with the corresponding two-unit internship seminar (ANBI 187A, C and ANTH 187B) can be counted as one of the twelve upper-division courses for the anthropology major or minor. Applications to these programs are accepted during the first seven weeks of the quarter before the one in which the internship is to be done.
The program offers research experience to any junior or senior with a GPA of 2.7 or higher who wants to prepare for graduate or professional school. Participants work as research assistants to UC San Diego faculty members during the winter and spring quarters. Students present their research papers at the Faculty Mentor Research Symposium at the conclusion of the program in the spring. Please see the following link for more information: https://students.ucsd.edu/sponsor/fmp/.
The program offers full-time research experience to underrepresented (i.e., minorities, women, and low-income, first-generation college) students who are interested in preparing for careers in research or university teaching. Juniors and seniors who have a 3.0 GPA or above and plan to attend graduate or professional school are eligible to participate. Please see the following link for more information: https://students.ucsd.edu/sponsor/srp/.
One of the best ways to understand the concept of culture is to live in a different culture for a time. Anthropology majors are encouraged to participate in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or UC San Diego’s Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). Students considering this option should discuss their plans with the faculty undergraduate adviser before going abroad, and courses taken abroad must be approved for credit to the major by the adviser upon return. More information on EAP and OAP is provided under “Education Abroad Program (EAP)” in the UC San Diego General Catalog. Interested students should contact the EAP staff in the International Center.