Department Admission Requirements

Admission to the standard anthropology major requires the following:

  • A minimum of 15 ANTH/ARCHY/BIO A credits;
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for ANTH/ARCHY/BIO A credits, with no less than a 2.0 in each course;
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 for all prior college work including transfer credits.

Students are admitted all quarters and there are no quarterly deadlines.

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 401A (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, Denny Hall Rooms 245/247.

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:

  • Medical Anthropology and Global Health option: The study of topics relating to health, illness, and healing from sociocultural, biocultural, clinically applied, public health, and other related perspectives.
  • Anthropology of Globalization option: The study of today's increasingly interconnected and multicultural world, focusing on both contemporary and historical patterns of global exchange.
  • Archaeological Sciences option: The in-depth study of archaeological methods and theories through specialized laboratory, analytical and field skills.
  • 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.

Applying for the Options

Admission any of the options (Medical Anthropology and Global Health, Anthropology of Globalization, Archaeological Sciences and Human Evolutionary Biology) are non-competitive. The application form (available online) should be turned in to the main anthropology office on the mezzanine level of Denny Hall. The application deadline is 3 PM on the second Friday of Autumn, Winter and Spring quarters. Admission decisions will be made by the end of the 5th week of each quarter. Students who apply for an option will be notified of the admissions decision by the end of week five of the quarter in which they apply. Notification of decisions will come from the advising office by e-mail detailing what students need to do to complete the process.

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

In addition to fulfilling the core course requirements (20 credits) of the standard anthropology major, students will be required to fulfill additional requirements for their chosen option:

Medical Anthropology and Global Health option requirements (35 credits):

  • ANTH 215, which can also satisfy the ANTH 200 core course (5 credits);
  • ANTH and BIO A courses approved for the MAGH option available on the department website or in the Anthropology Advising Office, Denny Hall 247 (15 credits);
  • Electives (15-20 credits).

Anthropology of Globalization option requirements (35 credits):

  • ANTH, ARCHY, and BIO A courses approved for the option available on the department website or in the Anthropology Advising Office, Denny Hall 247 (20 credits);
  • Electives (15 credits).
Archaeological Sciences option requirements (30 credits):
  • Fifteen credits from ARCHY 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 495, 561;
  • At least 15 credits from the list of courses approved for this option. This list is available on the department website or in the Anthropology Advising Office, Denny Hall 247.

Human Evolutionary Biology option requirements (30 credits):

  • BIO A 101 Human Biological Diversity
  • BIO A 355 Evolutionary Medicine
  • 13-15 credits from the list of courses approved for this option. This list is available on the department website or in the Anthropology Advising Office, Denny Hall 247.

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 Denny Hall Rooms 245/247.


Three quarters prior to the quarter in which you plan to graduate, come to the Anthropology Advising Office in Denny Hall rooms 245/247 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.