Fall 2013 Major Requirements

UC Santa Cruz student and community volunteers doing archaeological work at the site of Cowell Ranch workers' cabins on the UC Santa Cruz campus, December 5, 2009 [Photo by Jim MacKenzie]

Major Qualifications

Students must also meet the following criteria to be admitted into the major: 

In order to qualify for the major, students must have received a "C" or better in at least one lower-division anthropology course (ANTH 1, 2 or 3) and have either received a "C" or better in a second lower-division anthropology course or be enrolled in a second lower-division course at the time of declaration. 

Major Requirements

The UCSC Anthropology Department offers a major which leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Anthropology.

The Anthropology Major incorporates the three anthropological subfields of Anthropological Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Physical/Biological Anthropology, while providing undergraduates with a solid grounding in theory and methods. 

Students do NOT declare an emphasis or concentration within the Anthropology Major. All students therefore are general anthropology majors and complete the same requirements. However, students can choose to take additional courses in a specific area of anthropology while completing the upper-division Anthropology Electives required for the major, or by choosing to take courses above and beyond what is required for the major. 

**Please note: The major requirements have been revised. Students admitted to UCSC before Fall 2013 may abide by old catalog rights or adhere to the new requirements. ANTH 4/80's series courses have been converted into ANTH 110 "Anthropology At-Large" courses. These satisfy GE's, are open to all students and do not have prerequisites. Students may take these or any other upper-division anthropology course to satisfy their electives. Anthropology At-Large courses do not count as anthropological theory, sociocultural anthropology, ethnographic area studies, or physical/biological anthropology and archaeology courses.  For more information contact: Molly Segale, msegale@ucsc.edu.  

Three Lower-Division Courses

  • ANTH 1: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 2: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 3: Introduction to Archaeology

Ten Upper-Division Courses

Two-credit courses do not count toward the 10 upper-division courses required for the major.  

Core Requirements

  • one course in anthropological theory
  • one course in sociocultural anthropology
  • one course in regional specialization
  • one course in  archaeology/physical anthropology


  • five anthropology electives (any additional upper-division anthropology courses)

Senior Comprehensive Requirement

The senior comprehensive requirement can be satisfied in one of three ways:

  • Senior Seminar (usually courses numbered ANTH 194 or 196)
  • Graduate Seminar (200-level course), enrollment by petition only
  • Senior Thesis, plus one additional elective; enrollment by petition only

Disciplinary Communication Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. Anthropology’s DC requirement aims especially at cultivating high-level skills in critical and ethnographic writing. Anthropology students will satisfy the DC requirement by: a) completing the Anthropological Theory core requirement and; b) completing the senior comprehensive requirement. 

Core Requirements

Anthropological Theory Courses

Note:  Each course may only be used to satisfy a single major requirement.  Courses cannot be double-counted for requirements within the anthropology major.

100     History and Theory of Biological Anthropology

150     Communicating Anthropology

152     Survey of Cultural Anthropological Theory

170     History of Archaeological Theory

Sociocultural Anthropology Courses

Note: Each course may only be used to satisfy a single major requirement.  Courses cannot be double-counted for requirements within the anthropology major. Not all of these courses are offered each year

119     Indigenous Visual Culture

120     Culture in Film

121     Socialism

122     Postsocialism

123     Psychological Anthropology

124     Anthropology of Religion

126     Sexuality and Society in Cross-Cultural Perspective

127     Ethnographies of Capitalism

128     Contemporary American Evangelical Culture

129     Other Globalizations: Cultures and Histories of Interconnection

131     Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective

132     Photography and Anthropology

133     Narratives of the Popular

134     Medical Anthropology

135A   Cities

136     The Biology of Everyday Life

137     Consuming Culture

138     Political Anthropology

139     Language and Culture

140     Art, Artist, Artifact

141      Developing Countries

142     Anthropology of Law

143     Performance and Power

144     Anthropology of Poverty and Welfare

145X   Special Topics in Socio-Cultural Anthropology

146     Anthropology and the Environment

147      Anthropology and the Anthropocene

148     Gender and Global Development

151     Workshop in Ethnography

153      Medicine/Colonialism

154     Multimedia Ethnography

157     Modernity and Its Others

158     Feminist Ethnographies

159     Race and Anthropology

160     Reproduction and Population Politics

161     The Anthropology of Food 

162     Anthropology of Displaced Persons

163     Kinship

164     Anthropology of Dance

165     Anthropological Folklore

166     States, Bureaucracies, and Other Cosmological Propositions

Ethnography Courses

Note:  Each course may only be used to satisfy a single major requirement.  Courses cannot be double-counted for requirements within the anthropology major.  Not all of these courses are offered each year

130A    Peoples and Cultures of Africa

130B    Brazil

130C   Politics and Culture in China

130E    Culture and Politics of Island Southeast Asia

130F    African Diasporas in the Americas

130G   Asian Americans in Ethnography and Film

130H   Ethnography of Russia and Eastern Europe

130I    Cultures of India

130J    Politics and Statemaking in Latin America

130L    Ethnographies of Latin America

130M   Inside Mexico

130N    Native Peoples of North America

130T    Anthropological Approaches to Islam

130U    Central America

130V    Ethnography of Russia

130W   Ethnography of Eastern Europe

130X    Special Topics in Ethnography

Archaeology/Physical Anthropology Courses

Note: Each course may only be used to satisfy a single major requirement.  Courses cannot be double-counted for requirements within the anthropology major.  Not all of these courses are offered each year

101     Human Evolution

102A    Human Skeletal Biology

103     Forensic Anthropology

103B    Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology

107      Methods and Research in Molecular Anthropology

104     Human Variation and Adaptation

105     Human Paleopathology

111     Human Ecology

171     Materials and Methods in Historical Archaeology

172     Archaeological Research Design

173     Origins of Farming

174     Origins of Complex Societies

175A    African Archaeology

175B    African Archaeology: Development

175C    African Diaspora Archaeology

176A    North American Archeology

176B    Meso-American Archaeology

176C    Archaeology and the American Southwest

176D    Colonial Encounters in the Americas

176E    Archaeology of the Pacific Northwest

176F    California Archaeology

177      European Conquest of the Americas

178      Historical Archaeology: A Global Perspective

180      Ceramic Analysis in Archaeology

182A    Lithic Technology

184      Zooarchaeology

185      Osteology of Mammals, Birds, and Fish

187      Cultural Heritage in Colonial Contexts

189      Archaeology Field Course



Any upper division course may satisfy an elective.  Courses that have been taken to satisfy a core requirement may not be used to satsify an elective.  The courses listed below do not satsify core requirements but may be used to satisfy electives.

Anthropology At-Large Courses

Note: Not all of these courses are offered each year

Anthropology At-Large courses may be used as electives for completing upper-division course requirements.  These courses do not count as anthropological theory, sociocultural anthropology, regional specialization, or biological anthropology and archaeology courses.

110A   Public Life and Contemporary Issues

110B    From Indiana Jones to Stonehenge: Archaeology as Pop Culture

110E    Anthropology of Global Environmental Change

110F    Biocultural Approaches to Food

110G   Barrio Popular Culture

110H   Acoustic Culture

110K   Culture though Food    

110O   Postcolonial Britain and France

110P    India and Indian Diaspora Through Film

110R    Discourses in American Religions and Their Role in Public Life

110T    Motherhood in American Culture

110W  Land and Waterscapes Entropology

Laboratory Methods Courses

Note: Not all of these courses are offered each year

These courses are designed for students interested in pursuing graduate research or careers that require specialized training in laboratory methods and may be used as electives for completing upper-division course requirements.  These courses do not count towards the anthropological theory, sociocultural anthropology, regional specialization, biological/medical/environmental anthropology, or archaeology core requirements.

Individual Studies/Field Studies/Lab Apprenticeships

One 5-credit individual studies course (197, 198, or 199) may be counted toward the 10 required upper-division courses.

Course Substitution

You may also apply up to ten units (two classes) of upper division credit towards the major. These credits must be taken at four-year universities, through EAP, or through an approved field study program. The undergraduate director must approve each course. For more information about the approval and waiver process, see the Transfer Coursework Petition.

If you are transferring any credit towards the Anthropology major, you must provide the department with an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) and a copy of your UCSC Transfer Credit Summary. 

Senior Comprehensive Requirement

Students can fulfill the senior comprehensive requirement in anthropology either by passing an advanced senior seminar (194-series course, 190ABC, or 196AB), by writing an acceptable independent senior thesis, or by passing an approved graduate-level topical seminar in anthropology.

All majors, including double majors, must prepare a program of study in consultation with a member of the Anthropology Department. A combined major in anthropology and Earth and planetary sciences, leading to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree, is also offered; for that program description, see Earth & Planetary Sciences and find requirements for the combined major here. Students going on to graduate school should plan course schedules in close consultation with faculty advisers.

Many anthropology majors whose studies emphasize archaeology have benefited from concurrent study in the Cabrillo College Archaeological Technology Certificate Program. This vocational certification program is sponsored entirely by Cabrillo College, but credit for its summer field survey and excavation component may be transferred for credit at UCSC. Although courses in the Archaeological Technology Certificate Program do not count toward the UCSC anthropology major, students who have obtained the certificate in tandem with their bachelor’s degree in anthropology have expanded their employment and  advanced degree program opportunities. Students interested in exploring this possibility are encouraged to consult with UCSC archaeology faculty and to visit the program’s web site at http://www.cabrillo.edu/academics/anthropology/.

Senior Seminars

Senior seminars are small, writing-intensive classes focusing on advanced topics in anthropology. The prerequisite for admission to a senior seminar is successful completion of courses 1, 2, and 3; senior seminars are restricted to senior anthropology majors.  Note: Not all of these courses are offered each year.

194A   Anthropology of Dead Persons

194B   Chimpanzees: Biology, Behavior and Evolution

194C   Feminist Anthropology

194D   Tribes/Castes/Women

194E    Belief

194F    Memory

194G   Politics and Secularism

194H   Paleoanthropology

194I    Consumption and Consumerism

194K    Reading Ethnographies

194L    Archaeology of the African Diaspora

194M   Medical Anthropology

194N   Comparison of Cultures

194O   Masculinities

194P    Space, Place, and Culture

194Q   Race, Ethnicity, Nation

194R    Religion, Gender, Sexuality

194S    The Anthropology of Sound

194T    Poverty and Inequality

194U    Environmental Anthropology: Nature, Culture, Politics

194V    Picturing Cultures

194W   The Anthropology of Social Movements

194X    Women in Politics: A Third World Perspective

194Y    Archeology of Space and Landscape

194Z    Emerging Worlds

196C    Traveling Cultures

196D    Food and Medicine

196E    Pastoralists Past and Present

196F    The Anthropology of Things: Gift, Sign, Commodity, Tool

196G    Advanced Topics in Folkloristics

196H    Global History and the Longue Durée

196I     Hard Problems

196J     Imagining America

196K   Settler Colonialism

196L    Archaeology of the American Southwest

196M    Modernity and Its Others

196T    Archaeology of Technology

196U   Historical Anthropology

Senior Thesis

Students considering an independent thesis must arrange for the sponsorship and support of a faculty member before beginning research. An independent senior thesis (not written within a senior seminar) should be based on original research and reflect the student’s understanding of fundamental theories and issues in anthropology. The thesis should be comparable in content, style, and length (generally 25–30 pages) to a professional journal article in its subfield.

Visit Senior Thesis page for more details.

Graduate Seminar

Students who intend to satisfy the exit requirement by taking a graduate seminar must first get permission from the department and must petition the Committee on Educational Policy. Not all graduate seminars are appropriate for fulfilling this requirement. Students who take a graduate-level course to fulfill the theory requirement may not use this course to satisfy the exit requirement.