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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 21, 2024
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Anthropology, BA

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Anthropology is concerned with how humans and human societies evolve, with the differences and similarities among human cultures, and with the cultural and biological basis for human behavior. It integrates a wide range of perspectives on human behavior, culture, and society. Students will become familiar with the basic concerns of four sub-fields of anthropology: archaeology, physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, and anthropological linguistics.

The archaeology program offers courses covering many geographic regions (Latin America, North America, China, and Europe, among others), techniques of analysis, and issues in prehistory. Opportunities for student involvement in archaeological work are provided through museum collections, participation in research with faculty and graduate students, and a periodic summer field school.

The physical anthropology program offers classes on evolutionary theory, human genetics, osteoarchaeology, forensic anthropology, and human and nonhuman primate evolution, anatomy and morphology.

Cultural anthropology is represented by a wide variety of courses on culture areas including the Pacific, Latin America, China, Japan and South Asia, Eastern Europe and the United States. Classes provide cross-cultural studies of topics such as medical anthropology, food, social and political organization, sex roles, kinship, ethnicity, folklore, and religion.

Linguistic Anthropology examines language, and other semiotic systems, as forms of practice through which social relations, cultural forms, and beliefs are constituted. Courses are offered on language and the emotions; ritual performance; language shifts and code-switching; connections between language, ethnicity, cognition, nationalism, and political systems; orality and literacy; and analysis of changing media forms. Courses examine dominant, minority, and endangered languages with particular regional reference to Asia, The Pacific, and Europe.

Students pursuing the Anthropology major must complete 33 credits or coursework as described below.

Core courses

Students must complete two of the three primary introductory courses in Anthropology (ANTH 0582 , ANTH 0680 , and ANTH 0780  ) with a grade of C or better prior to declaring this major.

Undergraduate Seminar

Students must complete one undergraduate seminar. ANTH 1750 - UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR  is one option; students should consult with the major advisor for other courses that meet this requirement.


Students must complete a minimum of elective five courses in Anthropology. At least three of the elective courses must be at the 1000-level.

Other requirements

Grade requirements: A minimum GPA of 2.0 in departmental courses is required for graduation.

Satisfactory/No Credit option: No course that counts toward the major can be taken on an S/NC basis.

Writing (W) requirement: Students must complete at least one W course in the major.

Honors major requirements: Students with a minimum overall GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their Anthropology courses will be graduated from the department with honors, pending the submission and acceptance of a paper representing substantial student research. The honors paper may be the expanded version of a paper from a current or previous course, or may result from independent research.

Additional information:

The department strongly recommends a field school course for undergraduate majors.

The Undergraduate Anthropology Club offers workshops, hosts informal discussions, shows films, and organizes field trips for Anthropology majors and those interested in Anthropology. Additional information is available via the Anthropology Club mailbox in WWPH 3302.

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