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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara


Department of Anthropology
Division of Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences 2001
Telephone: (805) 893-2257
Department Chair: Casey Walsh


Anthropology is the study of humans in the broadest sense: biological, sociocultural, and historical. Most undergraduates in anthropology at UCSB select this major because of the opportunity it affords them to acquire a sound liberal education, even if they do not intend to become anthropologists. However, the professionally oriented student will also find the curriculum fully suitable.

The aim of the anthropology major is threefold: (1) to prepare for graduate school those students who wish to work professionally in anthropology; (2) to prepare students for careers in secondary education or in social work; and (3) to provide a background in behavioral studies for students who desire a broad education in either the biological or the social sciences.

Students interested in modern social and cultural groups choose an emphasis in cultural anthropology.  Students interested in understanding the biological underpinnings and ecological/evolutionary adaptations of modern and ancient humans choose and emphasis in biological anthropology. Students interested in ancient peoples from both cultural and biological perspectives choose an emphasis in archaeology.  Students who prefer a broad overview of all of these topics should choose the general major without an emphasis.

Students may declare the major after completing two anthropology courses. An overall 2.0 grade-point average is required. All major courses must be completed on a letter-graded basis.

The Department of Anthropology’s staff undergraduate advisor assists students regarding major requirements as well as other curriculum matters. A faculty advisor is also available for academic and career counseling.

Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in anthropology should consult with the departmental graduate program assistant. A full discussion of the graduate program appears in the graduate program description, below. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology who are also considering a California Teaching Credential should contact the credential advisor in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education as soon as possible.

Anthropology Honors Program

The Anthropology Honors Program is designed to facilitate individual research on topics chosen by the student and pursued in particular depth. Minimum qualifications are junior standing (completion of at least 105 units), completion of at least 20 upper-division units in Anthropology and a grade point average of at least 3.4.

Students must enroll in ANTH 195A during Spring Quarter of their Junior Year. Each candidate for honors then enrolls in Anthropology 195 B & C taken in consecutive quarters, under the guidance of a thesis advisor chosen by the student and approved by the department. In 195A, the student will formulate a research problem that they will pursue for the duration of the program and begin to conduct background research that will frame their project. In 195B, the student will concentrate on reading and gathering material for the thesis. Lastly in 195C, the student will write the thesis. A hard copy of the final honors thesis will be retained permanently in the department office for faculty and students to read.

Anthropology students who complete the honors program, maintain grades of B or better in Anthropology 195A-B-C, and graduate with a minimum 3.4 grade-point average in the major will be awarded Distinction in the Major on University records and on the diploma.

College of Letters and Science - Honors Program

Students enrolled in the College of Letters and Science Honors Program will be eligible to enroll in special honors discussion sections in some lower division Anthropology courses. See the departmental Staff Undergraduate Advisor for more information.