Major Requirements

Anthropology Major

The Requirements

Students will choose one of the five different tracks listed below. All tracks require 14 credits, beginning with three introductory courses to be completed before their senior year —ANTH 001 (or 005), 002 (or 004), and 003. Regardless of the track chosen, all majors are required to take ANTH 300, the Capstone Seminar (recommended in the Fall of their junior year). The other ten credits vary among the different tracks, but all majors are encouraged to take courses in a variety of subfields. Up to three Non-ANTH courses may be counted as electives in the major (email the undergraduate coordinator for information on which Non-Anth classes can be counted). Students have the option of completing a senior thesis by taking ANTH301, the Senior Thesis Course. 

The Tracks

General Anthropology

Archaeological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology

Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology

Medical Anthropology and Global Health

To Declare, email the Undergraduate Coordinator at to make an appointment to meet with the Undergraduate Chair.

The Checklist

To begin your journey as a Penn Anthropology Major, follow this simple checklist 

1. Meet with your College Advisor to discuss your General Requirements, Graduation Plan, and to create an Official Worksheet in Penn in Touch.

2. Email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request a meeting with the Undergraduate Chair. In this meeting the Undergraduate Chair will explain the anthropology curriculum and your options for choosing a concentration (Archaeology, Biological, Sociocultural/Linguistic, or Medical). You may also choose to remain a General Anthropology major, without a concentration.

3. Email the Undergraduate Coordinator to request a meeting in which you will officially declare your major (this meeting will be filling out a short form and asking any questions you may have about next steps).

4. During your next registration period you will begin (if you have not already) to complete your three required introductory courses (these courses should be complete before your senior year):  

a. ANTH001 Intro to Archaeology Or ANTH005 Great Transformations

b. ANTH002 Intro to Cultural Anth. Or ANTH004 Modern World and Cultural Background

c. ANTH003 Intro to Human Evolution  

5. Begin to consider research opportunities, senior thesis, and study abroad. Deciding early about these factors will help you complete the major while still being able to take specific anthropology courses that suit your interests.

6. The second semester of your Junior year you will email the Undergraduate Coordinator for your Junior Check-In (in this meeting you will go over your decision to complete a senior thesis or not, your research plans, if any, and your course plan to graduate on time).  

7. In the Fall of your Senior year you must take ANTH300 Senior Capstone Seminar.  

8. At the beginning of your second semester, Senior year you will email the Undergraduate Coordinator for your final check-in (in this meeting you will confirm that you will/have completed the major requirements to graduate that semester, you will also discuss any questions as well as your plans after graduation).

Graduating with Honors (or "Completing an Honors Thesis")

To graduate with honors (or complete an "honors thesis") students must complete and submit their final copy of the thesis to the undergraduate chair and undergraduate coordinator by the last day of classes in the student's last semester of study IN ADDITION TO maintaining a 3.5 GPA on all courses applied to the student's anthropology major. Students must contact the undergraduate coordinator to "opt-in" (be considered) for graduating with honors.


Anthropology Major (past curriculum)

If you declared your major before September 16, 2015 please reference the following concentration guidelines and course concentration list for completing your major:

General Anthropology
Archaeological Anthropology
Biological Anthropology
Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology
Medical Anthropology and Global Health


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