About the Program
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
The Anthropology major is designed to serve two purposes: to provide a general education in anthropology for students who are pursuing a liberal arts education and to provide preparation for graduate work for students who wish to become professional anthropologists. For both groups of students, anthropology provides communication skills, analytic approaches to human lifeways, and understanding of diversity. Students should select a combination of courses to form a unified plan of study that meets their intellectual interests and fulfills the requirements below.
Declaring the Major
Before you are eligible to declare the major, you must have completed or be in the progress of completing two of the three prerequisite courses and enrolled in the third, with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher in all courses intended for the major. For more details regarding the prerequisites, please see the Major Requirements tab on this page.
To declare the major, you will need to complete these three steps:
- Reach out to the Anthropology Academic Undergraduate Advisor in 215 Kroeber Hall, during office hours or by email at: email@example.com and address it to the Undergrad Advisor.
- Bring or attach to your email, photocopies of transcripts, (unofficial will suffice), showing courses satisfying the major prerequisites that you took anywhere other than Berkeley along with the grades you earned.
- To prepare, review the description of the program, and the requirements for the major to be prepared to identify how you might fulfill them. And please acquaint yourself with the faculty pages.
Declare the major as soon as you are eligible. You should declare the major no later than the end of your first semester of junior year. If you are a transfer student, this means you should declare the major during your first semester at UC Berkeley.
The honors thesis in Anthropology is the result of an independently-pursued course of research undertaken by qualified students under the mentorship of a faculty thesis advisor. An overall GPA of 3.5 and a GPA of 3.65 in the major in courses completed at UC Berkeley is required to qualify for the program. The program requires the sponsorship of an anthropology professor as an adviser. This advisor should be identified by the end of the junior year. A second reader must also be identified, in consultation with the thesis advisor. If students want to apply for research funding for summer between junior and senior years, they will benefit by having secured an advisor by January of the junior year. The year-long senior thesis course normally begins in the fall of senior year, but can begin in spring of senior year if justified. The honors courses, ANTHRO H195A and ANTHRO H195B, count as two of the five elective requirements for the major and are four unit courses each.
The Department of Anthropology offers an undergraduate minor in anthropology. In order to declare the minor, you will need to complete these three steps:
- Consult the Undergraduate Advisor in 215 Kroeber about your intentions and interests. The advisor will assist you in identifying courses that fulfill the minor requirements. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request the Undergrad Advisor.
- Bring or attach to your email the photocopies of any transcripts showing any lower division Intro to Anthropology, Anthro 1, 2, or 3 courses, that satisfy lower division minor requirements taken anywhere other than Berkeley, with the grades you earned. Two of the three courses and five Anthro Upper Division courses satisfy the Anthropology Minor.
- Submit the L&S "Completion of the L&S Minor" form by the end of the semester prior to graduation. See L&S Advising website for details.
In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.
- All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
- No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs, with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.
For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.
Lower Division Prerequisites
|ANTHRO 1||Introduction to Biological Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 2||Introduction to Archaeology||4|
|or ANTHRO 2AC||Introduction to Archaeology|
|ANTHRO 3||Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology||4|
|or ANTHRO 3AC||Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology (American Cultures)|
Upper Division Major Requirements
The nine required upper division courses must include at least one area course and one method course. Nine upper division Anthropology courses are required for the major. This includes a core of four classes, including Anthro 114: History of Anthropological Thought, and one upper division archaeology, one upper division biological anthropology, and one upper division sociocultural anthropology course. In addition to the core, five elective courses in Anthropology complete the nine courses. These courses must include at least one area course and one method course. For a list of courses that fulfill each requirement (upper division biological anthropology, upper division archaeology, upper division sociocultural anthropology, area and method), please see below. For a list of courses that fulfill the area and method requirements, please see below.
|ANTHRO 114||History of Anthropological Thought||4|
|Select one course in biological anthropology from the following:|
|Primate Evolution |
|Primate Behavior |
|Evolution of the Human Brain |
|Theory and Method in Physical Anthropology |
|Evolution of Human Behavior |
|Special Topics in Biological Anthropology |
|Bioarchaeology: Introduction to Skeletal Biology and Bioarchaeology |
|Bioarchaeology: Reconstruction of Life in Bioarchaeology |
|Select one course in archaeology from the following:|
|Historical Archaeology: American Material Culture |
|American Material Culture |
|Historical Archaeology: Theoretical Approaches in American Historical Archaeology |
|Historical Archaeology: Historical Artifact Identification and Analysis |
|Archaeology of the Americas: Archaeology of North America |
|Culture Contact in North America |
|Archaeology of the Americas: Archaeology of Central America |
|Archaeology of the Americas: World of Ancient Maya |
|Archaeology of the Americas: Andean Archaeology: People of the Andes |
|Archaeology of the Americas: California Archaeology |
|Archaeology of the Americas: Archaeology of the American Southwest |
|Old World Prehistory |
|Old World Cultures: Archaeology of Africa |
|Old World Cultures: Archaeology of Europe |
|Old World Cultures: Mediterranean Archaeology |
|Course Not Available |
|Pacific Cultures: Archaeology of the South Pacific |
|Hawaiian Ethnohistory |
|Archaeology of East Asia |
|Archaeology and Japanese Identities |
|Special Topics in Archaeology |
|Special Topics in Archaeology/Area |
|Special Topics in Archaeology/Method |
|Topical Areas in Archaeology: Prehistoric Art |
|Topical Areas in Archaeology: Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherers |
|Topical Areas in Archaeology: Household Archeology |
|The Archaeology of Health and Disease |
|History and Theory of Archaeology |
|Analysis of Archaeological Materials: Ceramics |
|Analysis of the Archaeological Record |
|Field Course in Archaeological Methods |
|Paleoethnobotany: Archaeological Methods and Laboratory Techniques |
|Environmental Archaeology |
|Museum Exhibit Curation and Design |
|Introduction to Museum Methods |
|Cultural Policy: Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy |
|California Historical Anthropology |
|Select one course in social/cultural anthropology from the following:|
|Introduction to Medical Anthropology |
|Special Topics in Medical Anthropology |
|History and Theory of Ethnographic Film |
|Field Production of Ethnographic Film |
|The Anthropology of Food |
|Comparative Society |
|Course Not Available |
|ANTHRO 146||Cities of the Global South||4|
|Anthropology of Gender |
|Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism |
|Anthropology of the Environment |
|Psychological Anthropology |
|Utopia: Art and Power in Modern Times |
|Anthropology of the Contemporary |
|Politics and Anthropology |
|Culture and Power |
|Anthropology of Law |
|Religion and Anthropology |
|Forms of Folklore |
|Topics in Folklore |
|Language, Culture, and Society |
|Data Analysis and Computational Methods |
|Research Theory and Methods in Socio-Cultural Anthropology |
|Research Theory and Methods in Linguistic Anthropology |
|Course Not Available |
|Ethnography of the Maya |
|European Society |
|Themes in the Anthropology of the Middle East and Islam |
|Topics in the Anthropological Study of Africa |
|South Asia |
|Special Topics in Social/Cultural Anthropology |
|Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology/Area |
|ANTHRO 121A||Historical Archaeology: American Material Culture||4|
|ANTHRO 121AC||American Material Culture||4|
|ANTHRO 121B||Historical Archaeology: Theoretical Approaches in American Historical Archaeology||4|
|ANTHRO 121C||Historical Archaeology: Historical Artifact Identification and Analysis||4|
|ANTHRO 122A||Archaeology of the Americas: Archaeology of North America||4|
|ANTHRO 122B||Culture Contact in North America||4|
|ANTHRO 122C||Archaeology of the Americas: Archaeology of Central America||4|
|ANTHRO 122D||Archaeology of the Americas: World of Ancient Maya||4|
|ANTHRO 122E||Archaeology of the Americas: Andean Archaeology: People of the Andes||4|
|ANTHRO 122F||Archaeology of the Americas: California Archaeology||4|
|ANTHRO 122G||Archaeology of the Americas: Archaeology of the American Southwest||4|
|ANTHRO 123A||Old World Prehistory||4|
|ANTHRO 123B||Old World Cultures: Archaeology of Africa||4|
|ANTHRO 123C||Old World Cultures: Archaeology of Europe||4|
|ANTHRO 123E||Old World Cultures: Mediterranean Archaeology||4|
|ANTHRO C123F||Course Not Available||3|
|ANTHRO 124A||Pacific Cultures: Archaeology of the South Pacific||4|
|ANTHRO 124B||Hawaiian Ethnohistory||4|
|ANTHRO C124C||Human Biogeography of the Pacific||3|
|ANTHRO C125A||Archaeology of East Asia||4|
|ANTHRO C125B||Archaeology and Japanese Identities||4|
|ANTHRO 128A||Special Topics in Archaeology/Area||4|
|ANTHRO C147B||Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism||4|
|ANTHRO 174AC||California Historical Anthropology||4|
|ANTHRO 178||Course Not Available||4|
|ANTHRO 179||Ethnography of the Maya||4|
|ANTHRO 180||European Society||4|
|ANTHRO 181||Themes in the Anthropology of the Middle East and Islam||4|
|ANTHRO 183||Topics in the Anthropological Study of Africa||4|
|ANTHRO 184||South Asia||4|
|ANTHRO 189A||Special Topics in Cultural Anthropology/Area||4|
|ANTHRO 121C||Historical Archaeology: Historical Artifact Identification and Analysis||4|
|ANTHRO 127A||Bioarchaeology: Introduction to Skeletal Biology and Bioarchaeology||4|
|ANTHRO 128M||Special Topics in Archaeology/Method||4|
|ANTHRO 132A||Analysis of Archaeological Materials: Ceramics||4|
|ANTHRO 134||Analysis of the Archaeological Record||4|
|ANTHRO 134A||Field Course in Archaeological Methods||6|
|ANTHRO 135||Paleoethnobotany: Archaeological Methods and Laboratory Techniques||4|
|ANTHRO 135B||Environmental Archaeology||4|
|ANTHRO 136A||Museum Exhibit Curation and Design||4|
|ANTHRO 136B||Introduction to Museum Methods||4|
|ANTHRO 136G||Cultural Policy: Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy||4|
|ANTHRO 138B||Field Production of Ethnographic Film||5|
|ANTHRO 160AC||Forms of Folklore||4|
|ANTHRO 169A||Data Analysis and Computational Methods||4|
|ANTHRO 169B||Research Theory and Methods in Socio-Cultural Anthropology||5|
Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but are not noted on diplomas.
- All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
- All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
- A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
- Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
- No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
- All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
- All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)
|Select two of the following:|
|Introduction to Biological Anthropology |
|Introduction to Archaeology |
or ANTHRO 2AC
|Introduction to Archaeology|
|Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology |
or ANTHRO 3AC
|Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology (American Cultures)|
|Select any five anthropology courses|
Undergraduate students must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.
For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide. For College advising appointments, please visit the L&S Advising Pages.
University of California Requirements
All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley.
The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university, should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.
Berkeley Campus Requirement
All undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass this course in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.
College of Letters & Science Essential Skills Requirements
The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.
The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.
In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing, and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete parts A & B reading and composition courses by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.
College of Letters & Science 7 Course Breadth Requirements
The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.
120 total units
Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units
- Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department
For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.
Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.
Senior Residence Requirement
After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.
You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.
Modified Senior Residence Requirement
Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP), Berkeley Summer Abroad, or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.
Upper Division Residence Requirement
You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding UCEAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.
Student Learning Goals
Learning Goals for the Major
- Learning About Anthropology
- Understand core concepts in contemporary biological anthropology.
- Understand core concepts in contemporary anthropological archaeology.
- Understand core concepts in contemporary sociocultural anthropology, including medical anthropology.
- Develop understanding of the history of anthropological thought.
- Gain experience in fieldwork and the application of theory and methodology.
- Develop understanding of the anthropological analysis of visual media and language.
- Critical Thinking, Communication, and Analytical Goals
- Encourage critical abilities in the analysis of evolutionary, historical, and contemporary situations.
- Develop the ability to analyze comprehensively and critically scholarly articles and monographs.
- Develop facility in conveying anthropological concepts and debates to public audiences.
- Formulate well-organized written and oral arguments supported by evidence.
- Learning About the World
- Understand the structure and transformation of society and culture past and present.
- Analyze regional and cultural diversity in the organization of human societies and the impact of cultural contacts and globalization.
- Integrate biological and cultural perspectives on human behavior, social organization, and the environment.
- Utilize anthropological concepts and methods to understand the history and forms of diversity in US society.
Faculty and Instructors
Sabrina C. Agarwal, Professor. Bioarchaeology, skeletal biology, gender research, biological and evolutionary anthropology, osteology and osteoporosis, health and disease, paleopathology .
Charles L. Briggs, Professor. Linguistic and medical anthropology, social theory, modernity, citizenship and the state, race, and violence.
Lawrence Cohen, Professor. Social cultural anthropology, medical and psychiatric anthropology, critical gerontology, lesbian and gay studies, feminist and queer theory.
Terrence W. Deacon, Professor. Neuroscience, anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, semiotics, primates, linguistic theory.
Nicholas Dirks, Professor. History and anthropology of South Asia, social and cultural theory, history of imperialism, historiography, cultural studies, globalization.
Mariane C. Ferme, Professor. Material culture and agrarian landscapes, gender, historical anthropology, Sierra Leone, contemporary Africa, political culture, transitional justice in post-conflict societies.
Daniel Fisher, Associate Professor. Social Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology of Media, Aboriginal Australia, Music and Sound, Art and Expressive Practice, Photography, Ethnographic Film and Video, Citizenship and the State, Bureaucracy .
Daena Funahashi, Assistant Professor. Medical anthropology, psychological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology.
Junko Habu, Professor. Japan, anthropology, archaeology, climate change, sustainability, East Asia, Jomon hunter-gatherers.
William F. Hanks, Professor. Social and cultural anthropology, linguistics, shamanism, language, Yucatan Mexico, Maya culture.
Christine Hastorf, Professor. Anthropology, archaeology, paleoethnobotany/archaeobotany, ancient plant use, foodways, Andean South America, ritual, agriculture.
Cori Hayden, Associate Professor. Latin America, Mexico, social and cultural anthropology, kinship, anthropology of science, technology, and medicine, post-colonial science, gender, queer studies.
Charles Hirschkind, Associate Professor. Islam, anthropology, religious practice, media technologies, political community, Middle East, Europe.
James Holston, Professor. Citizenship, Brazil, architecture, law, planning, the United States, cities, democracy, political and social anthropology, urban ethnography, the Americas.
Rosemary Joyce, Professor. Latin America, anthropology, gender, archaeology, sexuality, museums, cultural heritage, ethics, Central America, feminism.
Kent Lightfoot, Professor. California archaeology, coastal hunter-gatherers, North American archaeology, archaeology of colonialism, indigenous landscape management.
Xin Liu, Professor. History and/of anthropology, contemporary trends in social theory, social/cultural anthropology, comparative societies, capitalism and culture, America and China/East Asia.
Lisa A. Maher, Associate Professor. Archaeology, hunter-gatherers, prehistory, geoarchaeology, landscape use, stone tools technology, emergence of social complexity.
Karen Nakamura, Professor. Cultural anthropology, Disability Studies, LGBT movements, minority social movements and identity politics, visual anthropology and ethnographic filmmaking, Japan.
Aihwa Ong, Professor. Cultural anthropology, anthropology, transnationalism, citizenship, global cities, migration, Southeast Asia, urbanism.
Stefania Pandolfo, Professor. Cultural anthropology, Islam, Middle East, theories of subjectivity, postcolonial criticism, anthropology and literature, the Maghreb, mental illness.
Jun Sunseri, Associate Professor. Historical archaeology, zooarchaeology, ceramic material science, GIS, landscape archaeology, experimental archaeology, community-engaged scholarship, outreach, foodways, actualistic research.
Sarah Vaughn, Assistant Professor. Cultural anthropology, (Post)colonial Science studies, environment, expertise, climate change, vulnerability, critical theories of race and racialization, theories of liberalism, Caribbean/Latin America.
William A. White, Assistant Professor. Historical archaeology.
Laurie Wilkie, Professor. Anthropology, historical archaeology, oral history, material culture and ethnic identity, family and gender relations, North America, Northern California, Caribbean Bahamas, African consumerism, creolization, multi-ethnic community.
Alexei Yurchak, Associate Professor. Language, Discourse, power, social theory, late socialism, theories of ideology, subjectivity, popular culture, ideology, Soviet and post-Soviet culture and society, post-socialism, telecommunications, linguistics, speech synthesis.
Brent Berlin, Professor Emeritus.
Stanley H. Brandes, Professor Emeritus. Cultural anthropology, ritual and religion, food and drink, alcohol use, visual anthropology, Mediterranean Europe, Latin America, Spain, Mexico.
Margaret W. Conkey, Professor Emeritus. Anthropology, gender, archaeology, prehistoric art, hunter-gatherers, feminist perspectives, Paleolithic art, rock art.
Phyllis C. Dolhinow, Professor Emeritus. Anthropology, development, ecology, physical anthropology, primate social behavior, human behavior, evolution .
Nelson H. Graburn, Professor Emeritus. Social and cultural anthropology, kinship, art, tourism, Japan, circumpolar, China, Heritage, Inuit.
John A. Graham, Professor Emeritus.
Eugene A. Hammel, Professor Emeritus. Kinship, social anthropology, stratification, statistical and formal analysis, computer applications, peasant society and culture, demography, Balkans.
Patrick V. Kirch, Professor Emeritus. Historical anthropology, Oceania, ethnoarchaeology, Melanesia, Polynesia, environmental archaeology, prehistoric agricultural systems, human paleoecology, ethnobotany.
Donald S. Moore, Professor Emeritus. Ethnicity, development, cultural politics, race, and identity, spatiality and power, governmentality, environment, postcolonial theory, Africa.
Laura Nader, Professor Emeritus . Latin America, Mexico, social anthropology, comparative ethnography of law, dispute resolution, conflict, controlling processes, comparative family organizations, the anthropology of professional mind-sets, ethnology of the Middle East, contemporary U S .
Jack M. Potter, Professor Emeritus. Anthropology, social anthropology, U S , Thailand, classical social theory, peasants, change, ethnographic film, China.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Professor Emeritus. Critical medical anthropology, violence, genocide, inequality, marginality, childhood, family, psychiatry, deinstitutionalization, medical ethics, fieldwork ethics, globalization medicine, social/ political illness, disease, AIDS, Ireland, Brazil, cuba.
M. Steven Shackley, Professor Emeritus. Northwest Mexico, anthropology, archaeology, North America, geochemical analysis.
Ruth Tringham, Professor Emeritus. Archaeology, Central European, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Anatolian prehistory, early agriculturalists, neolithic, bronze age, prehistoric architecture, household archaeology, feminist practice of archaeology, multimedia (hypermedia).
Department of Anthropology
232 Anthropology and Art Practice Building
232 Anthropology & Art Practice Building
Graduate Student Affairs Officer
213 Anthropology & Art Practice Building
Undergraduate Academic Affairs Officer
215 Anthropology & Art Practice Building