Honors, Prizes and Awards

Photo of students receiving awards with faculty.

Departmental award recipients with faculty.

Anthropology majors are eligible for a number of SUNY, UB and departmental awards. Award recipients are announced during the spring semester and presented at the annual university and departmental awards celebrations.

SUNY and UB Awards

SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

The highest student award. Candidates are selected by a UB committee based on overall GPA and activities, then forwarded to Albany where final SUNY-wide candidates are selected.

College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Outstanding Senior Commencement Award

The Director of Undergraduate Studies with members from the Undergraduate Committee select the best senior candidate based on GPA and university service and present the student's dossier to the CAS Dean.

Faculty-Nominated Department Awards

Leadership Award

Presented to an undergraduate student who has shown exceptional dedication to the Department of Anthropology through service. Selected by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Undergraduate Committee.

Lucia Maria Houpt Award

Presented to the outstanding graduating senior in the Department of Anthropology, based on GPA, departmental service and university-wide service. Selected by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Undergraduate Committee.

Marion Dickson Scholarship for Outstanding Junior 

This award is given to a junior student based on overall and departmental GPA and departmental service. Selected by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Undergraduate Committee.

Department Awards Requiring Application


In the spring semester faculty and students are invited to put forth nominations for the below awards (self-nominations are encouraged). Final selections are made by the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Undergraduate Committee:

The Phyllis Hartrich Memorial Award supports independent undergraduate research. This award honors the memory of Phyllis Hartrich, who served for many years as the Undergraduate Coordinator in our department. The research project must be designed and carried out by students in consultation with their advisors. The award is designed to defray expenses directly related to research, including equipment and travel to research sites. No funds will be provided for travel to conferences or for research designed by a faculty member. Awards will be announced at the annual department graduation in May, and will cover expenses for research projects carried out over the subsequent calendar year.

The selection committee will make one or more awards totaling up to $2,000.

The Justin Van Ness Award is awarded to a senior majoring in Anthropology with documented, active interest in the environment.

The Klein Family Student Scholarship in Honor to Viola Odenheimer is awarded to an Anthropology major who has demonstrated academic promise in the pre-medical/pre-dental concentration. Current undergraduate majors in this concentration who will be enrolled at UB during academic year 2019-2020 are welcome to apply.

The Nathaniel Cantor Award is meant to assist deserving undergraduate students in Anthropology at UB who intend to enter fields related to social work or vocational rehabilitation. This award is provided through an endowment in the School of Social Work. Preference will be given to full-time students.

The Undergraduate Professional Activities and Achievements Award is presented to a graduating senior who has engaged in professional activities as an undergraduate to an extent that it warrants special recognition.

Academic Recoginition

Latin Honors are bestowed by UB upon conferral of the degree. The honor designations include cum laude (“with praise;” cumulative GPA of 3.2), magna cum laude (“with great praise;” cumulative GPA of 3.5), or summa cum laude (“with highest praise;” cumulative GPA of 3.75).

Students may receive Honors in Anthropology by maintaining an overall 3.5 GPA or above and completing a senior thesis.

Phi Beta Kappa, established on December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious liberal arts honors society. Outstanding junior and senior students are elected to the honors society by a committee of the Omicron Chapter at UB.