The Anthropology Major

The Anthropology major consists of 14 courses, each taken for a grade; courses taken PASS/FAIL do not count towards the major. These 14 courses are organized into three ‘blocks,’ described below. Block I consists of 3 required introductory courses. Block II consists of 4 electives (up to 2 may be taken outside the department). Block III consists of 7 courses that are organized into one of three tracks within the major. Students who major in anthropology may optionally choose one of the concentrations described below. It is not necessary to choose a concentration in order to major in anthropology.

Declaring the Anthropology major: In order to declare Anthropology as your major, you should first email the Undergraduate Coordinator to make an appointment to meet with the Undergraduate Chair. Prior to this appointment, prospective majors should ensure their worksheet on Penn-in-Touch has been made official by their pre-major advisor.

Honors Option: Anthropology majors have the option of pursuing honors. To be eligible a student must (1) maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 within the major; and (2) complete a senior thesis prior to graduation. For more information, check out our senior thesis guide here or contact the undergraduate coordinator. For more information, please see the Undergraduate Handbook.


The requirements for the major are organized as follows:

Block I.  Three Introductory courses

  1. Anth 001 ‘Intro to Archeology’ OR Anth 005 ‘Great Transformations’
  2. Anth 002 ‘Intro to Cultural Anthro’ OR Anth 004 ‘The Modern World & its Cultural Background’
  3. Anth 003 ‘Intro to Human Evolution’

Block II. Four General Elective courses

  • Block II consists of 4 courses from any area of anthropology. Up to 2 of these may be taken from outside the department.

Block III. Seven track-specific courses

  • Block III consists 7 of courses that differ for the four tracks within the Anthropology major.