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Anthropology Major


Brooks Hall

Our major consists of eleven courses (33 credits) taken within a program approved by a departmental major advisor. You may include courses taken before you declare the major. You may also include up to two courses taken outside of our department--whether these are courses transferred from other colleges, or study-abroad programs, or just courses in related disciplines, such as Sociology or History.  Such courses may count toward the major's area requirements, but normally they can't be counted toward our above-3000-level requirement. Please note that non-Anthropology courses must ber approved by your major advisor if you want to count them toward the Anthropology major. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in any course that will count toward the major, and none of the major courses can be taken on a CR/NC basis. Normally at least 18 credits must be taken after declaration of the major.

To declare the major, you must have completed at least one course in the Department of Anthropology. 

Requirements for Major

Eleven courses (33 credits) taken within a program approved by a departmental undergraduate advisor are required for a major. These eleven courses may include courses taken before declaration of the major, and up to two from outside the Department of Anthropology. Courses taken outside the anthropology department, including courses transferred from other institutions or study-abroad programs, may count toward the area requirements for the major. These credits are subject to approval by a major advisor.

The maximum number of credits is limited to six and a minimum of three is typically approved, but normally they may not count toward the above 3000-level requirement for the major. In order to declare a major, a student must have completed one anthropology course. Grades lower than C- (in anthropology) will not count toward the major. No course for the major may be taken on a CR/NC basis. Normally at least 18 credits must be taken after declaration of the major. The major requires a distribution of courses in the following areas:

1. At least one Gateway course from the following: 1010 Introduction to Anthropology, 2120 The Concept of Culture, 2160 Culture and the Environment, 2400 Language and Culture, 2415 Language in Human Evolution, 2450 Language and the Environment, 2800 Introduction to Archaeology, 2820 The Emergence of Cities and States
2. At least one Foundation course from the following: 3010 History and Theory of Anthropology, 3020 Using Anthropology. The faculty recommends that majors take both, but only one is required. Students interested in pursuing the DMP normally take both 3010 and 3020.
3. One Capstone course: 4591 Majors Seminar, during the third or fourth year.
4. Distributional Electives: one course at the 2000-level or above in each of these areas within anthropology: socio-cultural, archaeology, and linguistic.
5. Upper-level Electives: At least three courses at or above the 3000 level, in addition to the Foundation and Capstone courses; these courses must be taken in the Department of Anthropology at University of Virginia. They may overlap with the Distributional Electives.

Many students choose to double-major in anthropology and another discipline. Up to six credits in another department major may be counted toward an anthropology major if they are consistent with a student’s overall program. Specific courses, therefore, may be counted toward both majors, but the student must receive approval from a departmental advisor in advance. Exceptions to any of these requirements are made only upon recommendation of the student’s major advisor and petition to the Director of the Undergraduate Program. No petitions are accepted after the completion of a student’s seventh semester.

A number of informal activities take place in the department; majors are encouraged to attend lectures and symposia sponsored by the department. The Virginia Anthropology Society is an undergraduate association at UVA that our majors and other
interested students are welcome to participate in.


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Independent Study in Anthropology

For students who want to work on an individual research project, ANTH 4993 allows considerable flexibility. There is no formal limitation on the kind of project, as long as a faculty member is willing to direct it, but the project should not duplicate what is already available in a regular course. Applicants should have their projects roughly defined when they apply to the faculty member. The normal requirements for ANTH 4993 are a reading list comparable in substance to those in regular courses and a term paper and oral examination at the end of the semester.


“The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at”