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Undergraduate Program

Anthropology, the study of human evolution, development, and diversity, includes archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural (social) anthropology. Courses offered by the Department of Anthropology span the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities and provide a broad understanding of human nature and society for students in all fields and for anthropology majors. For non-majors, anthropology courses offer a broad perspective on Western and non-Western cultures and can augment studies in many other fields, including second language study, history, international studies, art history, and planning, public policy and management. The department offers a number of introductory biological anthropology courses, such as Human Origins (ANTH 170) and Evolutionary Medicine (ANTH 175), which provide an introduction to the sciences and fulfill Science Group Requirements. The department also offers many courses that satisfy Multicultural Requirements, such as Sexuality and Culture (ANTH 165) and Anthropology of the United States (ANTH 322).

bioanth methods picture smaller

Dr. Josh Snodgrass supervising a laboratory exercise on cardiovascular and metabolic health in his Bioanthropology Methods course (ANTH 487/587)

A listing of our course offerings can be found on the Course Description Page. Since not all courses are offered each year, the Course Schedule provides information on which courses will be offered in the upcoming year.

Information on Major Requirements and Minor Requirements can be found in linked PDF documents (Adobe Acrobat required to view). Students interested in pursuing the specialized track in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) should follow the program outlined in the CRM Guidelines.

Each year, the Department of Anthropology enrolls more than 4,000 students in approximately 50-60 undergraduate courses, and has approximately 350 undergraduate majors. Courses range from large introductory courses, such as World Cultures (ANTH 161) and Evolution of Human Sexuality (ANTH 173), to intensive, seminar-style courses at the 400-level that include fewer than 20 students.

Further, a number of Freshman Interest Group (FIG) courses offered by the department bridge anthropology with other disciplines on campus, such as Biology, Geography, Human Physiology, and International Studies. For the Fall 2012 term, the FIG courses offered by the Department of Anthropology include: Animal Behavior (Dr. Frances White), Digging Up History (Dr. Daphne Gallagher), Paging Dr. Darwin (Dr. Josh Snodgrass), and The World Within Us (Dr. Diane Baxter).

White FIG field trip

Dr. Frances White leads a field trip with her FIG class (Animal Behavior) to the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center

Our undergraduate major is designed to provide students with a foundation in the three anthropological subdisciplines at UO: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology. The anthropology major is useful not only for those planning to go on to practice anthropology professionally, but also for careers in secondary education, international studies, social work, and other sciences or humanities. Students typically select one subdiscipline and complete the department requirements for that subfield; however, some students complete the requirements for multiple subfields and graduate with multiple concentrations within the major.

What To Do With A Degree in Anthropology

Particularly these days, students and parents are concerned with the practical utility of a bachelor’s degree. Is it “worth it” from a monetary perspective? The answer is YES! Studies show that those who have earned a liberal arts bachelor’s degree are more hire-able and earn more than those without the degree. Achieving a bachelor’s degree demonstrates to employers the ability to persevere and accomplish goals. It also shows a level of intellectual capability and writing and analytic skills that employers value. In addition, a degree in Anthropology suggests an appreciation of cultural difference and an ability to work with and relate to people from various walks of life. In today’s world, employers value these abilities. Anthropology grads find employment in business, social service organizations, non-profits, museums, political organizations, and education. Biological Anthropology students may find work in laboratories and Archaeology students have found work at the Forest Service and doing contract archaeology. Cultural Anthropology students have had jobs in adoption agencies and in political action jobs. Graduates of our program have gone on to graduate school in anthropology, medical school, and law school. A degree in Anthropology offers flexibility and opens up many doors for the future.

Students seeking work as professional anthropologists should plan for advanced degrees in anthropology. Graduates with master’s or Ph.D. degrees may find work in government, community colleges, or museums. For university teaching and research careers, a Ph.D. degree is necessary.

Grade Culture

What do grades reflect for the Department of Anthropology?

A+: Quality of student’s performance significantly exceeds all requirements and expectations required for an A grade. Very few, if any, students receive this grade in a given course.

A: Quality of performance is outstanding relative to that required to meet course requirements; demonstrates mastery of course content at the highest level.

B: Quality of performance is significantly above that required to meet course requirements; demonstrates mastery of course content at a high level.

C: Quality of performance meets the course requirements in every respect; demonstrates adequate understanding of course content.

D: Quality of performance is at the minimal level necessary to pass the course, but does not fully meet the course requirements; demonstrates a marginal understanding of course content.

F: Quality of performance in the course is unacceptable and does not meet the course requirements; demonstrates an inadequate understanding of course content.

Advising and Mentoring

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Undergraduate student Ruby Fried conducting an interview with a Shuar woman as part of Dr. Larry Sugiyama and Dr. Josh Snodgrass’ Shuar Life History Project

The Department of Anthropology has two undergraduate advisors who can answer general questions about the program, help students declare and fulfill the requirements for a major or minor, and advise students on courses and other opportunities. Head Undergraduate Advisor Dr. Diane Baxter works primarily with students interested in cultural anthropology, and Undergraduate Advisor Dr. Daphne Gallagher works primarily with students interested in archaeology and biological anthropology. Current office hours for both advisors can be found on the Office Hours & Contact Info page.

Anthropology majors and minors are also encouraged to consult with other faculty members in the department in order to discuss specific issues related to their sub-field. All department faculty are available to provide mentoring to students based on their individual interests. Information on faculty interests can be found on the Core Faculty Page and current office hours can be found on the Office Hours & Contact Info page.

All faculty in the Department of Anthropology are actively involved in research and this provides many opportunities for undergraduates. Faculty often integrate students into research projects, which gives students hands-on experience conducting research. In most cases, participation in faculty (or graduate student) research is through informal volunteer internships or through the Participatory Learning Experience (PLE) mechanism. In rare cases, undergraduates are paid through employment in faculty research. Students should contact faculty directly to inquire about the possibility of research opportunities.

Declaring the Major or Minor

In order to declare the anthropology major or minor, students must meet with an undergraduate advisor (either Dr. Diane Baxter or Dr. Daphne Gallagher) to complete the appropriate declaration form, which the advisor will then turn into the main department office for processing. Advisor office hours and contact information can be found on the Office Hours & Contact Info page.

Departmental Honors

Application for graduation with honors must be made through the Head Undergraduate Advisor no later than Winter term of the senior year. Approval for graduation with honors is granted to a student who:

1. Maintains a 4.00 or higher grade point average (GPA) in anthropology and at least a 3.75 overall GPA


2. Maintains at least a 3.75 GPA in anthropology and at least a 3.50 overall GPA and submits an acceptable honors thesis written under the guidance of a departmental faculty member serving as thesis adviser

Student Prizes and Awards

The Department of Anthropology each year awards a number of awards and prizes to undergraduate and graduate students in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments in the program. See the Departmental Awards Page for more information on undergraduate awards.


Senior Megan Sinclair with students from the Leh district if Ladakh, India

General questions about the undergraduate program should be directed to:

Dr. Diane Baxter
Head Undergraduate Advisor (primarily for cultural anthropology)
Condon 373


Dr. Daphne Gallagher
Undergraduate Advisor (for biological anthropology and archaeology)
Condon 308

Other specific questions about subfield or interest area within the department can be directed to individual faculty in the department. Information on faculty interests, along with contact information, can be found on the Core Faculty Page.

Important Links

Department of Anthropology Links

Major Requirements
Minor Requirements
Cultural Resouce Management Track Requirements
Course Descriptions
Course Schedule
Core Faculty—Interests and Contact Information
Anthropology Subfields and Areas of Expertise
Student Awards

UO Links

Office of Admissions
Division of Undergraduate Studies
Catalog (Anthropology Section)
Schedule of Classes
Freshman Interest Group Homepage