Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

Five Options within the Major | Standard BA Requirements |Informal Tracks |Declaring the Major | Petitions | Graduation | Graduate School Considerations | Minor | Anthropology Honors Program | Undergraduate Research

Program Overview

Anthropology is an open major. Students may complete this degree with either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. If you're uncertain which is the right path for you, you can read about the major requirements below or learn more about the differences

Five Options within the Major

 Students completing the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology may choose one of five options listed below. BA Anthropology students are not required to pursue an option and may elect to follow the standard course of study outlined here. Students fulfilling an option must complete all other remaining requirements of the standard anthropology major. Requirements for the options can also count toward major requirements. Completion of these options will be noted on the transcript upon graduation.  The options are:

  • Medical Anthropology & Global Health (BA): The study of topics relating to health, illness, and healing from sociocultural, biological, clinically applied, public health, and other related perspectives.
  • Anthropology of Globalization (BA): The study of today's increasingly interconnected and multicultural world, focusing on both contemporary and historical patterns of global exchange.
  • Archaeological Sciences (BA): The rigorous study of archaeological methods and theory that concentrates on the relationships between the material traces of human activity and the actions and natural processes that result in these traces.
  • Human Evolutionary Biology (BA): The study of how human evolutionary history has shaped modern human biology, and evolutionary perspectives on the cause of disease in contemporary humans.
  • Indigenous Archaeology (BA): The in-depth study of indigenous archaeological perspectives on the evaluation and protection of cultural heritage sites.

To declare a formal option, visit our Major Declaration page

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology: Standard Major Requirements (55 credits)

The UW General Catalog entry for the anthropology major is here and is reproduced below.

Core Courses (20 credits)

Electives (35 credits)

  • 35 additional ANTH, ARCHY, and BIO A credits distributed across the subfields or concentrated as suits the interests of the student. 20 of these credits must be in upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses. Students may count one 100-level ANTH, ARCHY, or BIO A course toward the major, but are not required to do so;
  • The following AIS courses may apply toward this requirement:  AIS 202, AIS 203, AIS 209, AIS 210, AIS 311, AIS 330, AIS 335, AIS 340, AIS 425, AIS 443, AIS 480.  There is no limit on the number of AIS courses that may apply to this requirement.

Maximum 12 credits (18 for Honors students) from ANTH 499, ARCHY 499, and BIO A 499 combined can be counted toward the major.

Departmental Stipulations

  • The cumulative GPA of all courses counted toward the major requirements must be 2.00 or greater.
  • A minimum of 15 upper-division credits in anthropology must be completed through the UW.

Informal Tracks

There are three informal tracks in which students may concentrate their studies. There is no transcript notation for completing these tracks. The informal tracks are:

  • Archaeology: The exploration of human prehistory through evidence of past human activities.
  • Biological Anthropology: The study of the evolution and adaptation of the human species, non-human primates, and modern human populations.
  • Sociocultural Anthropology: The study of culture broadly conceived, including language and symbolic systems, practices, and identities.


Under some circumstances it may be necessary for a student to petition for the waiver of certain departmental or university rules and requirements. Petitions are available in the Anthropology Advising Office in Denny Hall Room 310.


Three quarters prior to the quarter in which you plan to graduate, please set up an appointment with an undergraduate anthropology advisor to apply for graduation. It is very important that you come in to apply early so that you will have plenty of time to complete any outstanding requirements.

Considering graduate or professional school?

Anthropology majors who intend to continue to the graduate level in anthropology or a related social science should plan their coursework carefully. It is strongly recommended that such students include as many of the upper-division and theoretically-oriented courses as possible, as well as courses in research methods, data analysis, and appropriate courses outside the department. Study of a foreign language is essential. Qualified students should consider entering the Anthropology Honors Program.