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 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 on the American Anthropological Association website.
The undergraduate program at Tulane consists currently of more than 100 majors 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, visit our undergraduate research web page.
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.
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).
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.
A minor in anthropology consists of at least five 3- to 4-credit hour ANTH classes. Of these five classes, only one can be at the 1000-level, and at least one 2000-level (or higher) class must come from a second of the four fields (i.e., not all of a student’s upper level classes can be drawn from a single anthropological subdiscipline). The anthropological fields at Tulane are archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and 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.
The study of foreign languages, particularly non-Indo-European ones, offers an important breadth to and an underpinning for a linguistic understanding of language.