Department Admission Requirements

Anthropology is an open major.

Declaring the Major

To declare your major, you need to bring a copy of your records and a signed change of major form to the Anthropology Advising Office, Condon Hall 401 (9 AM–3 PM Monday through Friday). If you are declaring a major for the first time, your records are available in the Undergraduate Gateway Center, Mary Gates Hall Room 141. If you have already declared a major, your current major will have your record.

If you are adding anthropology as a second major, request a copy of your records from your first major and obtain a change of major form signed by them. Bring the copy of your record and the change of major form to the Anthropology Advising Office, Condon Hall Room 401.

Anthropology Standard Major Requirements (55 credits)

The UW General Catalog entry for the anthropology major is here and is reproduced below.

Core Courses (20 credits):

  • BIO A 201: Principles of Biocultural Anthropology (5 credits);
  • ANTH: Any 200 level ANTH course (5 credits);
  • ARCHY 205: Principles of Archaeology (5 credits);
  • One of the following: CS&SS/SOC/STAT 221, STAT 220, STAT 311, Q SCI 381 or ARCHY 495. Occasionally other basic statistics courses may be accepted upon petition to the departmental advising office.

Electives (35 credits):

  • 35 additional ANTH, ARCHY, and BIO A credits distributed across the subfields or concentrated as suits the interests of the student. 20 of these credits must be in upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses. Students may count one 100-level ANTH, ARCHY, or BIO A course toward the major, but are not required to do so;
  • The following AIS courses may apply toward this requirement:  AIS 201, AIS 202, AIS 203, AIS 240, AIS 311, AIS 312, AIS 316, AIS 317, AIS 330, AIS 335, AIS 340, AIS 443.

Maximum 12 credits (18 for Honors students) from ANTH 499, ARCHY 499, and BIO A 499 combined can be counted toward the major.

Departmental Stipulations

  • Courses with a grade of 1.9 or lower do not count toward the major;
  • At least 25 credits in the major must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.5;
  • Transfer students must complete a minimum of 15 upper-division credits in anthropology at the UW.

Options in the Major

In addition to the standard anthropology course of study, four options are available in the anthropology major:

  • Human Evolutionary Biology: The study of how human evolutionary history has shaped modern human biology and evolutionary perspectives on the cause of disease in contemporary humans.

Admission to any of the options (Medical Anthropology and Global Health, Anthropology of Globalization, Archaeological Sciences and Human Evolutionary Biology) is non-competitive. To declare an option, see an advisor in the Anthropology Advising Office, Condon Hall Room 401.

Please note: Anthropology students are not required to participate in an option; they may select to follow the standard course of study described above.

Requirements for the options can also count toward major requirements. Those who successfully complete an option will have Medical Anthropology and Global Health or Anthropology of Globalization or Archaeological Sciences or Human Evolutionary Biology noted on their transcript upon graduation.

Please note: Students fulfilling an option must complete all other remaining requirements of the standard anthropology major.


Under some circumstances it may be necessary for a student to petition for the waiver of certain departmental or university rules and requirements. Petitions are available in the Anthropology Advising Office in Condon Hall Room 401.


Three quarters prior to the quarter in which you plan to graduate, come to the Anthropology Advising Office in Condon Hall Room 401 to apply for graduation. It is very important that you come in to apply early so that you will have plenty of time to complete any outstanding requirements.

Declaring a Minor

Students wishing to declare anthropology as a minor must also fill out a change of major form.

Minor Requirements (30 credits):

  • A minor in anthropology requires 30 credits from courses with the following prefixes: ANTH, ARCHY, BIO A
  • Certain AIS courses may apply toward this requirement (as listed above)
  • At least 15 credits must be upper division
  • Only courses in which a minimum grade of 2.0 is received may be counted toward the 30 credits required for the minor
  • ANTH 100 can be applied but is not required

Considering graduate or professional school?

Anthropology majors who intend to continue to the graduate level in anthropology or a related social science should plan their coursework carefully. It is strongly recommended that such students include as many of the upper-division and theoretically-oriented courses as possible, as well as courses in research methods, data analysis, and appropriate courses outside the department. Study of a foreign language is essential. Qualified students should consider entering the Anthropology Honors Program.