University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
Skip to Content

On this page:

Admission to the Major

Acceptance into the major has three requirements. Applicants must:

  1. Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0;
  2. Have taken one of the required 100-level courses (APY 106, APY 107, or APY 108) and received a C- or above;
  3. Complete an Application for Major Status and submit the form in person to the Anthropology Undergraduate Office.

A student will be a provisional major until one of our required 100-level courses (APY 106, APY 107, or APY 108) is completed.  

We urge students to apply as soon as they have decided to declare an anthropology major so they can be assigned a faculty advisor, receive all announcements sent out by email and be fully involved in department activities. 

UB policy mandates that all courses used to satisfy a requirement for the major must be successfully completed with a letter grade of C- or above. S/U grades are not acceptable. UB’s only exception to the S/U rule is courses taken through the Study Abroad Program.

To be in good standing, students must maintain both an overall GPA and an Anthropology GPA of at least 2.0 through completion of their undergraduate program.

Major Requirements

REQUIRED COURSES: 12 Anthropology Courses + 1 Statistics Course

Introductory Courses (3 Total)

APY 106 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

APY 107 – Introduction to Physical Anthropology

APY 108 – Introduction to Archaeology

Students should take their 100-level courses at the beginning of their program, or as close to the beginning as possible.

Anthropological Theory Course (1 Total)

APY 401 – Theory in Anthropology

Offered every spring and focusing on theory and its applications in all three sub-fields. Students should plan to take this course in their sophmore or junior year.

Statistics Course (1 Total)

Students are required to take one statistics course. Choose from these accceptable courses: CEP 207, GEO 211, PSC 200, PSC 408, PSY 207, SOC 294, STA 119, SSC 225.

Area Studies Courses (2 Total)

Courses about the culture(s) of a specific geographic region; prehistory courses are acceptable, with adviser’s consent.

Problem-Oriented or Theoretical Courses (2 Total)

Courses focusing on specific topical/theoretical themes or methodological issues in anthropology.

Senior Seminar (1 Total)

APY 494 – Senior Seminar

This seminar required for full majors and is intended to be taken in the senior year. Topics vary each semester.

Electives (3 Total)

Majors may choose the electives from any of the APY-prefix courses to fulfill this requirement.

Practicum

Although the practicum is not a course, all majors are required to complete this component. The practicum is conducted under the close supervision of one or more faculty members and is a project involving the practical application of theory and/or the collection of new data for further theoretical analysis.

Students should plan to complete their practicum in their senior year, if possible. The three subdisciplines have established their own guidelines for satisfaction of this requirement.

Double and Triple Majors

Frequently, students will apply for major status in an additional department, or even in two additional departments. Students should inform the Undergraduate Office and the faculty advisers of this choice to ensure it is properly recorded in the student file.

Joint Major Requirements

The Department of Anthropology offers a joint major with other departments offering BA degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The joint major is an opportunity for students to develop an individualized degree program spanning two departments, while taking a smaller number of credits in each course of study than a double major requires.

Interested students should propose a program of study in consultation with their Anthropology faculty adviser and with their adviser in the second department. Their proposed plan of study should be submitted to the Anthropology Undergraduate Office to be entered into student’s departmental file. Subsequent courses taken should conform to the plan.

The practicum, senior seminar, anthropological theory course and statistics course are not required for the joint major.

REQUIRED COURSES: 8 Anthropology Courses   

Introductory Courses (3 Total)

APY 106 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

APY 107 – Introduction to Physical Anthropology

APY 108 – Introduction to Archaeology

Students should take their 100-level courses at the beginning of their program, or as close to the beginning as possible.

Area Studies Course (1 Total)

A course about the culture(s) of a specific geographic region; prehistory courses are acceptable with adviser’s consent.

Problem-Oriented or Theoretical Course (1 Total)

A course focusing on specific topical/theoretical themes or methodological issues in anthropology.

Electives (3 Total)

Majors may choose the electives from any of the APY-prefix courses to fulfill this requirement.

Double Degrees

It is possible to major in Anthropology, which awards a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and another program awarding a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. This is not at all an uncommon occurrence, especially for those students who plan on going to medical or dental school.

Double degree students must still complete all major requirements for each program. Students should inform the Undergraduate Office and the faculty adviser of this designation to ensure that it is properly recorded in the student file.