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Distinguished Majors Program

Students with superior academic performance are encouraged to apply for the departmental Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). The DMP culminates in writing a thesis demonstrating independent study of high quality. The requirements for admission to the DMP are:

  1. Satisfaction of all College requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Record with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 in the student's College and University courses and 3.40 in courses taken toward the Anthropology major;
  2. Both ANTH 3010 and ANTH 3020;
  3. Agreement of an Anthropology faculty member to serve as advisor. This can be any member of the department faculty that is willing to take on the responsibility of supervising the thesis, and it is normally someone to whom the students have already demonstrated their ability in an upper-level course;
  4. Letter of application, submitted to the Director of the Program, normally in the spring semester of the student's third year, that describes the thesis topic, lists the name of at least one faculty thesis advisor, and specifies the year and semester of anticipated graduation. Applications must be accompanied by transcripts showing the two cumulative GPAs and the relevant coursework. 

Third-year students planning to enter the DMP should turn in their proposals by April 15 if they plan to graduate in May of the following year, and by December 15 if they plan to graduate in December of the following year.

Once admitted, the student registers for three credits of ANTH 4997 in the first semester of the fourth year. In this course, the student conducts research in consultation with their faculty advisor(s). If the research involves fieldwork or other repeated social contacts with human subjects, the student must obtain, with the DMP Director's help, project approval from the Institutional Review Board for the Social and Behavioral Sciences of the University. The student is obligated to inform the DMP Director promptly of any and all changes affecting his/her DMP, including any changes in the GPA, the two faculty readers, the DMP course and thesis work, and the declared date of graduation.

At some point during the DMP year, the student must gain the agreement of a second UVa faculty member to serve as 'second reader' for the thesis. In the second semester, the student registers for ANTH 4998 to write, revise, and finalize the thesis after taking into account faculty suggestions, and submits the thesis (of approximately 10,000 words) to the committee of two faculty readers for evaluation.

The deadlines for submission of the thesis to the two readers are: April 15 for those graduating in May, and November 15 for those graduating in December. Ranking on a scale of "Honors," "High Honors," and "Highest Honors," the two faculty report evaluations, along with grades received in ANTH 4998 and 4999, to the DMP Director, who will determine the degree of honors based on the thesis and the student's overall performance in the anthropology major courses and will report this to the College Registrar.

For further information on the DMP in Anthropology, students should contact the DMP Director.

Phi Beta Kappa 

Liberal Arts Honorary Society: Go here for membership criteria Phi Beta Kappa

“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 or”