Skip to main content

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

Introduction

The Department of Anthropology provides students with knowledge of and appreciation for the biological, linguistic, and cultural diversity of humanity, past and present. The department is structured around the four fields of anthropology (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology), and undergraduates are encouraged to explore the breadth of the field through study in all aspects of it.

The department offers an undergraduate major leading to either the B.A. or B.S. degree in anthropology; there is no minor in anthropology.

Anthropology as a Liberal Arts Major

The faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Tulane University strongly believes in the value of a liberal arts education. We are committed within the program of study in the department to supplying students with a broad, well-rounded education, emphasizing writing and research skills. Anthropology majors have diverse professional, career, educational, and job options upon graduation. Anthropology is a very good major for students interested in law, medicine, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and business and entrepreneurship. Anthropologists are also employed in education, publishing, politics, health care, government (local, state, and national), and in diplomacy related to international relations and international aid. A list of specific jobs and careers for anthropology graduates is available here.

The undergraduate program at Tulane consists currently of more than 100majors taking courses in all four fields. We are committed to working with our undergraduate majors both in the classroom and in the search for a career after graduation. Undergraduate students have often been involved with faculty and graduate students in their research; and, through the support of the department, undergraduates have undertaken their own projects, including, in some cases, in foreign countries with financial support from departmental resources, especially the Opat Fund, which is exclusively dedicated to funding undergraduate research in anthropology.

To learn more about undergraduate research in anthropology including the Opat Fund, click here.

The department offers the motivated student the resources, facilities, and the financial support to excel at Tulane University. The flexibility of the anthropology major permits many of the students majoring in the department to have double majors in two disciplines and to integrate their study of anthropology with various preprofessional (e.g., premedical) curricula.

Many of our students also take one or more minors, which are often selected to enhance their post graduation career possibilities.

Requirements for the Major

The anthropology major requires ten courses (excluding writing practica) totaling no fewer than 30 credits of approved course work. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in the major. Students must take one course above the 1000 level in each of the four fields (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology) and they must complete a capstone (see below).

Other anthropology courses that satisfy the 30-credit requirement can be chosen in light of the student's specific interests. Six elective hours (or two three-credit courses) outside the department may count toward the credit requirement in the anthropology major, These include courses offered by departments in the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Public Health, and the School of Science and Engineering. Such courses must be approved by the major advisor and they should be directly relevant to anthropology and to the student's specific course of study. This flexibility permits anthropology majors to have double majors and to integrate their study of anthropology with various preprofessional curricula (for example, the premedical requirements).

The subject matter of anthropology is broad and deep. There is no one, single, gateway course into the field. For most courses, there are no prerequisites. We encourage students to take one or two introductory courses (all at the 1000 level) in their freshman or at the latest their sophomore years for the purpose of developing breadth and strength of background for further study. The 6000-level courses are specifically designed for undergraduate as well as graduate students, and all junior and senior majors should choose freely from among these offerings.

In keeping with our commitment to the holistic study of human culture, the department allows students to count up to 6 credits of University course work taken outside of the department toward an anthropology major. These courses must be relevant to the major and should be in accord with each student's particular course of study. There is no approved list of courses which may be counted, but each student may petition his or her major advisor for

non-departmental credits, and each case will be decided on the basis of that student's petition and the relevance of the course to his or her program of study.

The department also offers internships, taught as ANTH 4560 and ANTH 4570.

Majors must also take a capstone in either their junior or senior year, chosen from the list below. Except for the capstone ANTH 4060 (Proseminar in Anthropology), students must co-register for ANTH 5110.

Capstone options:

  • ANTH 3310 Historical Linguistics
  • ANTH 3670 Language and Its Acquisition
  • ANTH 4060 Proseminar
  • ANTH 4120 Conquest and Colonialism
  • ANTH 4510 Species Concepts in Human Paleontology
  • ANTH 4990/5000 Honors Thesis
  • ANTH 6210 Development of Anthropological Theory
  • ANTH 6212 Concepts of Ethnohistory
  • ANTH 6220 Material Culture
  • ANTH 6230 Archaeological Theory
  • ANTH 6395 Ethnography of Performance and Identity
  • ANTH 6420 Linguistic Field Methods
  • ANTH 6430 Archaeology of Cultural Landscapes
  • ANTH 6500 Human Evolution
  • ANTH 6520 Field Methods in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Writing Intensive Options:

Majors may elect to fulfill the School of Liberal Arts writing-intensive requirement within the program in one of two ways:

  1. With the instructor's permission, a student may co-register for ANTH 3880 or 4880 (according to the course level).
  2. A student may register for a course designated by the instructor as writing-intensive.

In selecting courses above the 1000 level in each of the fields, for the purpose of fulfilling the distribution requirement, anthropology majors may choose from the following courses, listed by field.

Archaeology

  • ANTH 1040 Ancient Societies
  • ANTH 2340 Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 2350 Architecture and Power in the Ancient World
  • ANTH 2360 Ancient Trade and Commerce
  • ANTH 3260/6260 Highland Mexican Prehistory
  • ANTH 3320 Archaeology of Gender
  • ANTH 3340 Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 3430/6430 Archaeology of Cultural Landscapes
  • ANTH 3560 Environmental Archaeology
  • ANTH 4130 North American Prehistory
  • ANTH 4150 African Prehistory
  • ANTH 4260 Archaeology of the U.S. Southwest
  • ANTH 4270 Roots of Western Civilization
  • ANTH 4410 Olmec and Maya Civilization
  • ANTH 4610 Ceramic Analysis
  • ANTH 4620 Lithic Analysis
  • ANTH 6100 South American Archaeology
  • ANTH 6130 Southeastern U.S. Prehistory
  • ANTH 6230 Archaeological Theory
  • ANTH 6240 Technical Analysis in Archaeology
  • ANTH 6250 Old World Paleolithic Prehistory
  • ANTH 6810 Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphics

Biological Anthropology

  • ANTH 3120/6120 Anthropology of Sex and Reproduction
  • ANTH 3140/6140 Primate Behavior and Ecology
  • ANTH 3720 Adaptation and Human Variability
  • ANTH 3730 Principles of Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 3750 Bones, Bodies, and Disease
  • ANTH 4990/5000 Senior/Honors Research
  • ANTH 6500 Human Evolution
  • ANTH 3450 Methods of Observation in Behavioral Research
  • ANTH 3760 Primate Evolution and Adaptation
  • ANTH 3730 Principles of Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 3750 Bones, Bodies and Disease
  • ANTH 3755 Human Osteology
  • ANTH 4510 Species Concepts in Human Paleontology
  • ANTH 6480 Human Functional Morphology
  • ANTH 6500 Human Evolution
  • ANTH 3120/6120 Anthropology of Sex and Reproduction
  • ANTH 3140 Primate Behavior and Ecology
  • ANTH 3450 Methods of Observation in Behavioral Research
  • ANTH 3460 Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • ANTH 3720 Adaptation and Human Variability
  • ANTH 3730 Principles of Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 3740 Human Sociobiology
  • ANTH 3745 Bioarchaeology of Mummies
  • ANTH 3750 Bones, Bodies, & Disease
  • ANTH 3755 Human Osteology
  • ANTH 3760 Primate Evolution and Adaptation
  • ANTH 4510 Species Concepts in Human Paleontology
  • ANTH 6020 The Neandertal Enigma
  • ANTH 6140 Primate Behavior and Biology
  • ANTH 6480 Human Functional Morphology
  • ANTH 6490 Evolution of Behavior
  • ANTH 6500 Human Evolution
  • ANTH 6745 Advanced Mummy Studies

Cultural Anthropology

  • ANTH 2030 The Anthropology of Women and Men
  • ANTH 2100 Myth and Life
  • ANTH 3010 Hunters and Gatherers
  • ANTH 3060/6060 South American Indians
  • ANTH 3070/6070 Cotntemporary Chinese Society
  • ANTH 3080/6080 East Asia
  • ANTH 3110 Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • ANTH 3150/6150 Cognitive Anthropology
  • ANTH 3160/6160 Peoples of the Pacific
  • ANTH 3180/6180 Ethnic China
  • ANTH 3190 Economic Anthropology
  • ANTH 3280 Middle American Indians
  • ANTH 3330 Anthropology of Gender
  • ANTH 3350/6350 Cultures & Religion
  • ANTH 3360 Anthropology of Cities
  • ANTH 3370 Locating Southeast Asia
  • ANTH 3380 Cultural Dynamics
  • ANTH 3395/6395 Music & Identity in N.O. and French L.A.
  • ANTH 3470 Many Faces of Islam
  • ANTH3480 African Modernities
  • ANTH 3510/6510 Ethnicity & Nationalism
  • ANTH 3530/6530 Arts of Native North America
  • ANTH 3540/6540 Plains Indians
  • ANTH 3700 Environmental Anthropology
  • ANTH 3710/6710 Historical Ecology of Amazonia
  • ANTH 3770 Global Vietnam
  • ANTH 3850 The Four- Field Model
  • ANTH 3860 Religions of Native North America
  • ANTH 4030 Kinship Systems
  • ANTH 4070 Urban Anthropology New Orleans
  • ANTH 4080 Race & Nation in Spanish Caribbean
  • ANTH 4210 Seminar in Historical Ecology
  • ANTH 6210 Development of Anthropological Theory
  • ANTH 6212 Concepts of Ethnohistory
  • ANTH 6270 Culture & Romantic Love
  • ANTH 6320 Social Structure
  • ANTH 6340 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 6520 Field Methods in Social & Cultural Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropology

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Language is a, if not the, particularly human ability. The study of this ability includes the study of definitional characteristics, the acquisition and loss of language by "hu-per-offspring-kind," its formal properties of sound, meaning, and juxtaposition, and the social contextualization of its use.

  • ANTH 3310 Introduction to Historical Linguistics
  • ANTH 3590 Introduction to Syntax
  • ANTH 3630 Linguistic Phonetics
  • ANTH 3640 Studies in Phonology
  • ANTH 3650 Morphology
  • ANTH 6420 Linguistic Field Methods
  • ANTH 3300 History of Writing
  • ANTH 3400/6400 Culture and Language
  • ANTH 3440 Dialectology
  • ANTH 3660 Discourse Analysis
  • ANTH 3670 Language Acquisition
  • ANTH 3680 Language and Power
  • ANTH 3690 Language and Gender
  • ANTH 3780 Language Death
  • ANTH 3930/7930 Languages of Louisiana

The study of foreign languages, particularly non-Indo-European ones, offers an important breadth to and an underpinning for a linguistic understanding of language.

Full Linguistic Anthropology Course catalog:

  • ANTH 2020 Visual Languages Across Cultures
  • ANTH 3290 The Nature of Language
  • ANTH 3300 History of Writing
  • ANTH 3310 Introduction to Historical Linguistics
  • ANTH 3400/6400 Language and Culture
  • ANTH 3440 Dialectology
  • ANTH 3441 Lexicography
  • ANTH 3520/4520 Diaspora Yoruba
  • ANTH 3535 Native American Language and Linguistics
  • ANTH 3590 Introduction to Syntax
  • ANTH 3640 Studies in Phonology
  • ANTH 3650 Morphology
  • ANTH 3660 Discourse Analysis: Pragmatics of Language Use
  • ANTH 3670 Language and Its Acquisition
  • ANTH 3680 Language and Power
  • ANTH 3690 Language and Gender
  • ANTH 3780 Language Death
  • ANTH 3930 Language of Louisiana
  • ANTH 6400 Language and Culture
  • ANTH 6415 Pidgins and Creoles
  • ANTH 6420 Linguistic Field Methods
  • ANTH 6700 Spoken Nahuatl
  • ANTH 6720 Spoken Yoruba
  • ANTH 6800 Spoken Yucatecan Maya
  • ANTH 6820 Classical Yucatecan Maya
  • ANTH 6840 Beginning Kaqchikel (Maya) Language
  • ANTH 6870 Kaqchikel Maya Culture