Anthropology Major (B.A.)

Anthropology asks the question: What does it mean to be human? We answer this fundamental query with a global perspective on the human condition as students explore both the similarity and diversity of human experience. Through courses that cover a wide range of societies throughout the world, we investigate the human condition, past and present. Introductory courses provide an overview of the fields of anthropology: social and cultural anthropology, archeology, physical anthropology and linguistics. More advanced courses provide the opportunity for students to pursue intensive study of particular topics in cross-cultural perspective. The department emphasizes critical thinking and writing skills and encourages close faculty/student contact in seminar courses and at the upper level. Students, in consultation with their academic adviser, have the opportunity to take courses in other departments that complement specific foci in anthropology.

At this time of increasing globalization, anthropology provides students with a broad overview of diverse peoples and cultures. Majors are therefore well prepared to live in a rapidly changing world. The major both prepares students for graduate-level studies and serves as a foundation for a wide range of careers. With backgrounds in anthropology, our students become teachers, social workers, public policy experts, forensic investigators, health practitioners, primatologists, international business executives, and community and economic development specialists, as well as pursuing various other careers.

To declare a major in anthropology, students must have completed at least one introductory level anthropology course at the 400 or 500 level with a grade of C or better.

Majors must complete a minimum of 40 credits in anthropology with grades of C or better and in accordance with the following requirements:

Required Courses
ANTH 411Global Perspectives on the Human Condition: An Introduction to Anthropology4
or ANTH 412 Broken Pots and Buried Cities: Introduction to World Archaeology
or ANTH 415 The Human Story: Evolution, Fossils and DNA
ANTH 500Peoples and Cultures of the World4
or ANTH 501 World Archaeological Cultures
ANTH 511Core Concepts in Anthropology4
ANTH 513Ethnographic Methods4
or ANTH 514 Method and Theory in Archaeology
ANTH 611History of Anthropological Theory4
One additional course numbered 500 or above4
Three additional courses numbered 600 or above12
Capstone Requirement
ANTH 750Islam and Gender: Gendered Lives of Muslims4
or ANTH 785 The Anthropology of Dreams and Dreaming
or ANTH 797 Advanced Topics
Total Credits40

(Note: While 8 credits, ANTH 699 Senior Thesis and ANTH 699H Honors Senior Thesis count only as one ANTH 600-level course requirement.)

The Discovery Program capstone requirement may be fulfilled by completing one 700-level course (seminar format).

Other courses, internships, or experiences may be substituted with the permission of the student's adviser and anthropology department chair.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Anthropology majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement. Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement. American Sign Language may not be applied toward the foreign language requirement.

Honors-in-major and senior thesis options are available.

Students who declare a major in anthropology are expected to make steady progress toward fulfillment of major requirements. Normally, this means taking at least one anthropology course per semester until all of the requirements have been met. A student who has fulfilled most of the major requirements may request an exception to this policy from his or her adviser.

Students wishing to major in anthropology should consult with the anthropology chairperson.

Below is a general degree plan that we recommend anthropology majors follow as they plan their course schedules for their major course requirements over their four years at UNH. This general plan provides a recommended pace and appropriate order for the core courses offered in the major.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearCredits
ANTH 411
Global Perspectives on the Human Condition: An Introduction to Anthropology
or Broken Pots and Buried Cities: Introduction to World Archaeology
or The Human Story: Evolution, Fossils and DNA
ANTH 500
Peoples and Cultures of the World
or World Archaeological Cultures
ANTH 511 Core Concepts in Anthropology 4
Second Year
ANTH 513
Ethnographic Methods
or Method and Theory in Archaeology
One ANTH 500-level or above course 4
One ANTH 600-level course 4
Third Year
ANTH 611 History of Anthropological Theory 4
One ANTH 600-level or above course 4
One ANTH 600-level or above course 4
Fourth Year
ANTH 699 Senior Thesis (optional) 4-8
ANTH 750
Islam and Gender: Gendered Lives of Muslims
or The Anthropology of Dreams and Dreaming
or Advanced Topics
 Total Credits44-48
  • Demonstrate ability to conduct anthropological research: to collect primary and secondary source data in the observation, documentation, or excavation of human actions, languages, remains, and or material artifacts.
  • Master the ability to write with an anthropological lens: to critically analyze data with respect to historical and current anthropological theories and perspectives, and to construct persuasive arguments.
  • Exhibit skills in presentation of anthropological research: in writing (ethnography, technical reports, and other genres), inter-personal and public speaking, and or data visualization (graphic illustration, exhibition, mapping, or modeling, for example).
  • Demonstrate the knowledge or ability to collaborate with research partners and communities as part of a commitment to public, applied, engaged, or activist anthropology and archaeology.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think comparatively about diversity and inequality across the global as well as within a specific social context, and to apply anthropological methods, perspectives, and theories to the world around them.