Anthropology B.A.

Information and Policies

Introduction

The anthropology bachelor of arts (B.A.) incorporates the three anthropological subfields of anthropological archaeology, cultural anthropology, and 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.

Academic Advising for the Program

For more information regarding department policies, please consult the undergraduate coordinator at the Anthropology Department office, 361 Social Sciences 1.  

All majors, including double majors, must prepare a program of study. This can be done in consultation with faculty or undergraduate coordinator. The Anthropology Department urges students to seek faculty advice early in planning for the major. Faculty hold regular office hours weekly and encourage students to come in to talk about their program, or coursework, and career and professional advising. Students planning to pursue graduate training should plan course schedules in close consultation with faculty advisers. Transfer students should consult the Transfer Information and Policy section of this program statement.

Peer Advisers

The Anthropology Department has instituted a peer adviser program as a supplement to academic advising offered by faculty members. The peer advisers are juniors and seniors who have been trained to help students with questions and general guidance through the anthropology major. Peer advisers hold regularly scheduled office hours in the department office.

Program Learning Outcomes

A student who graduates with a B.A. in anthropology has the following knowledge and skills.

Core Concepts in Anthropology

The student demonstrates understanding of the core concepts in three primary subfields of anthropology: cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology.

Knowledge of Cultural Differences

The student demonstrates knowledge of cultural variation and the diversity of perspectives, practices, and beliefs found within each culture and across cultures.

Integration of Subfields

The student integrates cultural, biological, and archaeological perspectives on human bodies, behavior, materialities, and institutions.

Written Communication

The student demonstrates the ability to write clearly by formulating well-organized arguments that are grounded in supporting evidence while countering evidence that contradicts the student's claims.

Oral Communication

The student is able to organize ideas and information and articulate them effectively.

Research and Analytical Skills

The student demonstrates knowledge of the basic steps involved in scholarly research, including locating and critically evaluating scholarly and other information sources relevant to the chosen topic. The student can recognize and demonstrate a basic understanding of research methods used in the various subfields of anthropology, including—but not limited to— participant observation, thick description, laboratory and field analysis, and interviewing.

Understanding of Long-Term Changes in Human Behavior and Conditions in Deep Time

The student has a grasp of long-term changes in the conditions that have shaped humans and the environments they inhabit.

Major Qualification Policy and Declaration Process

Major Qualification

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, ANTH 2, or ANTH 3) and have either received a "C" or better in a second lower-division anthropology course or be enrolled in a second lower-division anthropology course at the time of declaration.  Transfer students should consult the Transfer Information and Policy section of this program statement.

Appeal Process

Students who are informed that they are not eligible to declare the major may appeal this decision by submitting a letter to the department chair within 15 days from the date the notification was mailed. Within 15 days of receipt of the appeal, the department will notify the student, college, and Office of the Registrar of the decision.

How to Declare a Major

Step 1: Download a Petition for Major/Minor Declaration and an Academic Planning Form from the UC Santa Cruz Undergraduate Advising Center.
Fill out the petition to the best of your ability. Be sure to indicate your Expected Graduation Term (EGT) on the petition. To view your official EGT go to your MyUCSC Student Center, select “Student Advising Summary,” then select the “Degree” tab—your EGT will be listed here. 

Step 2: Bring your Petition for Major/Minor Declaration and your Academic Planning Form to the Anthropology Department Office (361 Social Sciences 1) during regular drop-in advising hours. Meet with an anthropology peer adviser or the undergraduate adviser to review your declaration form and discuss your academic plan and major requirements.

Step 3: Meet with the anthropology undergraduate adviser during drop-in advising hours to complete the declaration process. You must bring your completed Petition for Major/Minor Declaration and your Academic Planning Form to the undergraduate adviser in order to complete the declaration process. It is very important that you complete this step, as you will not be declared until you do so.

Recommended: Meet with a permanent anthropology faculty member to discuss your Petition for Major/Minor Declaration and your Academic Planning Form. It is best to meet with an anthropology faculty member during their quarterly office hours or email them to schedule an appointment. The Anthropology Department does not assign faculty advisers—we suggest that you meet with a faculty member whose work coincides with your interests. In addition to reviewing the required declaration paperwork, you should also talk with the faculty member about your intellectual and career interests, graduate school preparation, opportunities for experiential learning (e.g. internships or research), and options for satisfying the senior comprehensive requirement.

If you are a transfer student, you must provide the department with an unofficial copy of your transcript from any institution where you took anthropology courses that you would like to apply to the major requirements. Please do this as soon as possible as it may effect your enrollment in anthropology courses that have prerequisites.

Transfer Information and Policy

Transfer Admission Screening Policy

Students planning to apply in this major are not required to complete specific major preparation courses for consideration of admission to UC Santa Cruz. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to complete ANTH 1, ANTH 2, and ANTH 3 before transferring to UCSC, however, it is not required for admission.

Getting Started at UCSC as a Transfer Student

Transfer Credit Toward Major/Minor Requirements

Students may transfer courses equivalent to ANTH 1, ANTH 2, and ANTH 3 from California community colleges and universities with existing articulation agreements (www.assist.org).

Students may also petition to transfer courses equivalent to ANTH 1, ANTH 2, and ANTH 3 from other community colleges or from four-year institutions.

Students may petition up to 10 quarter credits (equivalent to two UC Santa Cruz courses) of upper-division transfer credit toward the elective requirements under the following circumstances:

  • A student has taken an upper-division anthropology course at another four-year university (including courses taken through study abroad) and wants to petition for the course to count toward the anthropology major or minor elective.
  • A student was enrolled in an accredited Field School Program and wants to petition for the course to count toward the anthropology elective requirements.

Prior to Enrolling in Your First Quarter at UCSC

Complete Lower-Division Requirements

Most upper-division courses have one of the following lower-division introductory courses as a prerequisite:

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

Confirm Transfer Credit Has Been Processed

After you have been admitted to UCSC and all your final official transcripts from other colleges have been received, the Office of Admissions will evaluate your transfer credit. The evaluation shows which of your past courses are transferable to UCSC and how many credits you have accrued. It also shows which general education requirements you have satisfied, whether you have satisfied the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC), and whether you have satisfied the University of California Entry Level Writing and American History and Institutions requirements. Students access this information through MyUCSC by viewing the Academic Advisement Report from the "more links" drop-down menu in the Academics area of the Student Center. If this information is not available for your first enrollment period, contact a college or major adviser to help you select appropriate classes. It is an excellent idea to keep an unofficial copy of your transcripts from your previous schools. You should take these documents with you to all academic advising appointments.

Confirm Transfer Credit Articulates with UCSC Courses 

Courses taken at community colleges or four-year universities may be used to satisfy the lower-division requirements for the major. View the UC Articulation Agreements to determine which California community college courses are equivalent to our ANTH 1, ANTH 2 and ANTH 3.  Please note that courses approved by the Office of Admissions for transfer credit do not necessarily satisfy major requirements. Courses must have an articulation agreement to count automatically toward major requirements.

If your transfer credit course does not articulate with a UCSC course, you may submit a coursework petition. Faculty are not appointed during summer, so fall admits will likely need to wait until after the beginning of fall quarter for coursework petitions to be approved.

Enrolling in Your First Quarter at UCSC

We strongly recommended that transfer students take ANTH 150, Communicating Anthropology, during their first quarter at UCSC. This course is designed to provide transfer students with a transition to UCSC coursework. It emphasizes critical reading and writing skills and is an excellent foundation for further upper-division coursework. This class fulfills the anthropological theory core requirement.

We also recommend taking only one additional upper-division course in anthropology during your first quarter at UCSC. Most upper-division anthropology courses are offered only on an every-other-year basis. Transfer students are advised to plan accordingly.

“Free Quarter” for Transfer Students with Unarticulated, Lower-Division Courses

Any student who has taken a course analogous to ANTH 1, ANTH 2, or ANTH 3 will be issued a permission code by the undergraduate adviser for courses listing ANTH 1, ANTH 2, or ANTH 3 as a prerequisite (provided the class has not reached maximum enrollment) in their first quarter at UCSC. Students must provide unofficial transcripts as evidence that they have completed courses analogous to ANTH 1, ANTH 2, or ANTH 3.

If the student fails to petition for a course substitution during their first quarter, they must receive instructor permission to enroll in courses with ANTH 1, ANTH 2, or ANTH 3 as prerequisites thereafter until the prerequisite is satisfied either by taking the class or approved course substitution petition.

Major Qualifications

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, ANTH 2, or ANTH 3) and have either received a "C" or better in a second lower-division anthropology course or be enrolled in a second lower-division anthropology course at the time of declaration. 

Letter Grade Policy

This program does not have a letter grade policy.

Course Substitution Policy

Courses from California Community Colleges

Courses taken at community colleges or four-year universities may be used to satisfy the lower-division requirements for the major. View the UC Articulation Agreements to determine which California community college courses are equivalent to our ANTH 1, ANTH 2, and ANTH 3.

Courses from Other Four-Year Universities

The Anthropology Department may also accept introductory anthropology courses equivalent to ANTH 1, ANTH 2 and ANTH 3 from other four-year universities but students must petition to have these courses count toward the anthropology major or minor requirements.

You may also apply up to 10 credits (two classes) of upper-division credit toward the major. These credits must be taken at four-year universities, through EAP, or through an approved field study program. The director of undergraduate studies must approve each course. For more information about the approval and waiver process, see the Coursework Petition.

Anthropology courses from other universities that are approved by the Anthropology Department will count toward the elective requirement. Students must complete the Anthropology Senior Comprehensive requirement at UCSC—course petitions will not be accepted for this requirement.

Study Abroad

Anthropology is a very international discipline: the classes and coursework in this department draw upon studies of many different places and peoples. Most anthropologists work in foreign countries and all engage with scholarship from around the world. Anthropology students are strongly encouraged to make study abroad part of their education and the department is currently developing a plan of study to enable students to conduct independent research abroad with which to write a senior thesis. 

For more information on programs and planning, please see the UC Education Abroad Programs and the Conducting Thesis Research While Abroad pages.

Anthropology students who participate in EAP can petition up to two upper-division anthropology courses taken abroad to count toward the anthropology major or minor requirements. When approved, these courses count toward major/minor requirements as upper-division electives.

Note: The Anthropology Department at most will accept up to two courses from another university—this includes universities throughout the country and courses taken abroad. 

The Anthropology Department does not pre-approve EAP courses to count toward the major/minor requirements. Students must petition for EAP courses to count toward requirements after returning from abroad by completing the Coursework Petition Form. It is very important that students save all of their EAP coursework as it may be needed for the course petition. Syllabi that are submitted for course petitions must include detailed information about the course—brief descriptions of courses and syllabi written in languages other than English will not be accepted. It is the student’s responsibility to ask for a more detailed course description if the EAP instructor does not provide it.

Only anthropology courses taken through EAP are normally eligible to count toward anthropology major/minor requirements; however, if a university abroad does not have an anthropology department, other related courses may be considered.

Again, save all EAP coursework. It is the student’s responsibility to retain all relevant course materials for EAP programs. It can often be difficult to contact instructors after an EAP program has ended.

Honors

The Anthropology Department awards honors in the major and highest honors in the major based on a ranked departmental grade point average (GPA) that is calculated using all upper-division courses taken in the major with the exception that only one independent-study course can be used in this calculation. For students who have taken multiple independent-study courses in the department, the independent-study course that has the highest grade is used for the calculation. Approximately 15 percent of the graduating class is considered for honors based on their ranked departmental GPA through the quarter before graduation. The criteria for awarding highest honors in the major are overall superlative performance in the major (top 5 percent of ranked departmental GPA) and general breadth of excellence across the subfields of anthropology. Receiving honors on the senior comprehensive requirement is also considered as a factor in awarding highest honors, but is not always determinative.

Undergraduate Handbook

The Anthropology Undergraduate Handbook outlines information on department procedures and requirements, program planning, independent study, faculty interests, and campus resources for anthropology majors.

Requirements and Planners

Course Requirements

To graduate with an anthropology major, students must successfully complete the following courses:

Lower-Division Courses

ANTH 1Introduction to Biological Anthropology

5

ANTH 2Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

5

ANTH 3Introduction to Archaeology

5

For information on receiving credit for lower-division coursework taken at other institutions, see the section Transfer Credit Toward Major/Minor Requirements.

Upper-Division Courses

Ten upper-division courses

Five core requirements
  • one course in anthropological theory

  • one course in sociocultural anthropology

  • one course in regional specialization

  • one course in archaeology

  • one course in biological, medical or environmental anthropology

For course offerings, see the section Courses in Anthropology by Category. Students may not substitute coursework from another program or institution for core courses.

Four anthropology electives (any additional upper-division anthropology courses)

Two-credit courses do not count toward the 10 upper-division courses required for the major. Only one 5-credit individual studies course (197, 198, or 199) may be counted toward the 10 required upper-division courses. Theory courses can only be counted toward the theory requirement or an upper-division elective. See the section on Transfer Credit Toward Major/Minor Requirements for information on receiving credit for upper-division coursework taken at other institutions to be applied toward electives.

Students who are given permission to take a graduate seminar in anthropology may use the course to satisfy an upper division elective.

Disciplinary Communication (DC) 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.

To satisfy the DC requirement students must complete a senior seminar series course or complete an independent senior thesis following the guidelines below.

Senior Seminar

Either a course in the ANTH 194 series or a course in the ANTH 196 series.

Senior Thesis
Either these courses

ANTH 195ASenior Thesis Seminar

5

ANTH 195BSenior Thesis Research

3

ANTH 195CSenior Thesis Capstone

3

or this course

ANTH 195SSenior Thesis

5

Comprehensive Requirement

Students can fulfill the senior comprehensive requirement in anthropology either by passing a senior seminar (ANTH 194/ANTH 196-series course) or by writing an acceptable independent senior thesis (ANTH 195S or ANTH 195A, ANTH 195B and ANTH 195C)

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 ANTH 1, ANTH 2, and ANTH 3; senior seminars are restricted to senior anthropology majors.

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. Students who wish to complete the senior comprehensive requirement through and independent thesis will enroll in a section of ANTH 195S supervised by their thesis sponsor or ANTH 195A, ANTH 195B and ANTH 195C series.

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

Senior Seminar

Either a course in the ANTH 194 series or a course in the ANTH 196 series.

Senior Thesis

Requires enrollment in one of the following options:

Either this course

ANTH 195SSenior Thesis

5

or these courses

ANTH 195ASenior Thesis Seminar

5

ANTH 195BSenior Thesis Research

3

ANTH 195CSenior Thesis Capstone

3

Planners

The following are two sample academic plans: (1) a four-year plan for frosh students as preparation for the anthropology B.A. major and (2) a two-year plan for transfer students for the anthropology B. A. major.  ANTH 1 and ANTH 3* satisfy the SI general education requirement, and ANTH 2 satisfies the CC general education requirement.

Four-Year Plan

Year Fall Winter Spring
1st (frosh) ANTH 1 ANTH 2 ANTH 3
     
     
2nd (soph) Bio/Med/Env Sociocultural Archaeology
     
     
3rd (junior) Theory Regional Upper-division elective
    Upper-division elective
     
4th (senior) Upper-division elective Upper-division elective Senior Seminar**
     
     

*Revised: 10/18/19

**Alternatives listed in the section Requirements of the B.A.

Students must complete all other GE requirements, some of which are satisfied by anthropology courses.

Two-Year Plan

Year Fall Winter Spring
3rd (junior) Theory Regional Archaeology
Upper-division elective Sociocultural Bio/Med/Env
     
4th (senior) Upper-division elective Upper-division elective Senior Seminar*
Upper-division elective    
     

*Alternatives listed in the section Requirements of the B.A.

It is assumed that a student has completed ANTH 1, ANTH 2, and ANTH 3 before transferring to UCSC.