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Anthropology Undergraduate Program

The curriculum in anthropology is designed to develop an understanding and appreciation of human life from various perspectives. It does this by providing both general survey courses (Anth 101, 102, 103) and in its departmental major program, a balanced view of the anthropological subfields of biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and sociocultural anthropology.

The departmental major program is of benefit to the liberal arts student in providing the most broadly based view of human adaptation, evolution, variation, and achievement. A variety of ethnographic courses is offered for persons with particular regional or areas of interests, such as East Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Northwest. Finally, the major provides the necessary general anthropological background for those interested in graduate study in the discipline. See our undergraduate program planning guide.

Admission & Funding

Admission to the department is based on general admission to the University; see the PSU Bulletin for more details. See our scholarships page for funding information.

Degree Requirements

Limitations: Students majoring in anthropology should seek assignment to a department adviser no later than the beginning of the junior year. Selection of appropriate courses to supplement the student’s major work should be made in consultation with the adviser. No student majoring in anthropology will be permitted to offer more than 72 credits of work in Anthropology for the Bachelor’s degree. This limitation will be waived only through petition to the department.

See Anthropology degree maps for both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, or general degree maps for those participating in the Honors Bachelor of Arts and Honors Bachelor of Science programs.

Requirements for Major: In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements, the Anthropology major must meet minimum departmental requirements as follows:

Courses Credits
Anth 101: Introduction to Biological Anthropology 4
Anth 102: Introduction to Archaeology 4
Anth 103: Introduction to Socio-cultural Anthropology 4
Anth 304: Social Theory OR Anth 305: Cultural Theory 4
Anth 350: Archaeological Method and Theory 4
Anth 370: Paleoanthropology (5) OR Anth 372: Human Variation (4) 4-5
Ling 232, 233, OR Stat 244* 4
Upper division Anthropology electives (6 courses, see below) 24
TOTAL Anthropology coursework 52-53

*Students earning the BS are required to take Stat 244. (Note: Stat 243 is a prerequisite for Stat 244.) The Math/Stats Department and the University are transitioning into a new process, where students can only enroll in math/stats classes if they have 1) taken the prerequisite to the course; OR 2) taken a placement test, called ALEKS and scored at the appropriate level. The change will be in effect from Winter Quarter 2012. To enroll in Stat 243, students either must have previously taken MTH 95 (Intermediate Algebra) OR score between 35-49% on the ALEKS test. This test will be available online after October 3, 2011. Students can take the test multiple times; practice exams are also offered.

NOTE: Anthropology BA majors must complete two years of a foreign language or demonstrate equivalent proficiency.

Elective requirements. Upper-division electives shall be selected from at least two subfields of anthropology (physical, social/cultural, or archaeology) and include at least one methods course (i.e., 412, 415, 452, 453, 454, 455, 477, 478, 479). At least 8 of the 24 credits must be in formally numbered 400-level courses (i.e., not including 401, 404, 405, 407, 410). Note: In exceptional circumstances, the department may permit a student to apply a maximum of one lower-division course to the upper-division elective requirement.

All anthropology courses used to satisfy the departmental major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and must have been assigned a grade of C- or better. Courses taken outside the department as part of departmental requirements (i.e. Ling 232, 233 or Stat 244, World Languages) may be taken pass/no pass (subject to the University limitations on the maximum number of hours taken pass/no pass) or for a letter grade. However, students who take these courses for a letter grade must earn a C- or better. Students must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better in all courses required for the anthropology bachelor’s degree (including those courses taken outside the department as part of departmental requirements).

Minor Requirements: To earn a minor in anthropology, a student must complete 28 credits (12 credits of which must be taken in residence at PSU), to include the following:

Courses: Credits
Anth 101 : Introduction to Biological Anthropology 4
Anth 102: Introduction to Archaeology 4
Anth 103: Introduction to Socio-cultural Anthropology 4
One of the following courses: Anth 304: Social Theory (4), Anth 305: Cultural Theory (4), Anth 350: Archaeological Method and Theory (4), Anth 370: Paleoanthropology (5), OR Anth 372: Human Variation (4) 4-5
Three Upper division Anthropology electives (Upper-division electives must include at least one 400-level course, excluding courses numbered 401, 404, 405, 407) 12
TOTAL Anthropology coursework 28-29


All anthropology course used to satisfy the departmental minor requirements, whether taken in the department or elsewhere, must be graded C- or above. Students must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better in all courses required for the anthropology minor (including those courses taken outside the department as part of departmental requirements).