Major Requirements (prior to Fall 2018)

Students Who Entered UMass Prior to Fall 2018

The Anthropology Major coursework requirements are challenging but flexible; the major is designed to provide a strong foundation in anthropology while encouraging interdisciplinary studies. These students must also complete the Global Education Requirement of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Anthropology Requirements

  • 36 Credits Total–30 of those credits  at 190 level or above

  • At least one class in 3 out of the 4 subfields (Cultural, Biological, Archaeology, Linguistics) at 300 level or above

  • 364-Junior Year Writing Class

  • 281 Methods in Anthropology

  • An IE (Integrative Experience) Class

  • “Doing” Course–These are courses that put anthropological theory and methods into practice, many anthropology courses qualify as a doing course

There is no mandatory sequence for meeting the above requirements; when and how to take the above requirements will vary depending on student interests, plan, and schedule.  However, students should meet with an anthropology advisor to ensure that requirements are being met in a timely and effective way. Also, students should use the following as a general guide for developing their coursework and related academic and co-curricular activity.

Concentrations: Pathways Through the Major

To help organize your anthropological interests as they develop, coursework in the major can be understood in relation to a number of areas or concentrations. These concentrations reflect faculty research and are intended to integrate two or more of the traditional subfields of anthropology: biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics.

We advocate an expansive approach in which courses within a pathway will complement each other and expose students to different subfields.

  • Health and the Body

  • Native American and Indigenous Studies

  • Evolutionary Anthropology

  • Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

  • Race, Inequality and Social Justice—The Americas

  • Culture, Power, History—Europe and the Mediterranean

  • Individually Designed Concentration

The list of courses in each concentration may change some according to the expertise of our faculty and the new courses we create. Approach each list as a guide and talk with our Chief Undergraduate Advisor about how you can combine courses in a way that fits your interests and possible career path.  

Students may also opt for the anthropology minor, which should reflect a focused area of study.  Anthropology minor enables you to gain preparation and grounding in some particular facet of the discipline without fulfilling the full range of requirements of the major. 

More information

Year One Explore the department! During your first year, you are encouraged to take your time. Get situated in the department. Attend anthro-club meetings and/or involve yourself in campus organizations. In the department, take introductory classes and maybe a topical course or two. If you have a clear idea of your academic and career goals, great! If not, that’s great too! But, you should begin to consider which areas of concentration you find the most appealing.

Year Two Find your focus! During your second year, ideally, you will develop your interests and goals in relation to a chosen concentration. Continue to take courses that interest you; in particular focus on topical courses at the 200 and 300 levels. Reflect on how those courses connect and resonate with your interests. Begin to investigate potential internships, study abroad opportunities, field schools, and engaged programs.

Year Three Work towards your goals! Your third year is a time to hone your anthropological knowledge, develop your skills, and engage in the broader community and/or world. Take 300 level topical courses (and Anthro 364). Engage in a field school or a semester abroad. Participate in an internship or field school. Locate research opportunities.

Year Four Prepare for graduation! Your final year! Finish up any requirements. Be intentional and selective about your remaining courses. Engage in meaningful research and writing. Connect your work to the campus or community. Meet with career services and anthropology advisor to craft a post-graduation plan.