Skip to Content

Undergraduate Program

Anthropology, the study of human evolution, development, and diversity, includes archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology.Courses offered by the Department of Anthropology span humanities, natural and social sciences, augmenting studies in second language study, history, international studies, art history, planning, public policy and more. Our courses provide a broad understanding of human nature and diverse societies in the past and present for students in all fields. As a result, the Department of Anthropology enrolls more than 4,000 students in 50-60 undergraduate courses, and has approximately 350 undergraduate majors.

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 Descriptions and the Course Schedule. Multiple courses offered by the department fulfill Science Group (SC), Social Science Group (SSC), and Multicultural Group (American Cultures or AC, International Cultures or IC, and Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance or IC) requirements, as listed on the Course Descriptions page.

The Department of Anthropology also offers a number of  Freshman Interest Group (FIG) courses, bridging anthropology with other disciplines on campus, such as Biology, Geography, Human Physiology, and International Studies. See Course Descriptions page for more information.

Declaring the Major or Minor

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. We also offer a minor degree in Anthropology.

Information on  Major requirements and Minor Requirements can be found in linked PDF documents. Students interested in pursuing the specialized track in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) should follow the program outlined in the CRM Guidelines. In order to declare the anthropology major or minor, students must meet with an undergraduate advisor (See ‘Advising and Mentoring’) and complete the appropriate declaration form.

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

Advising and Mentoring

Our three undergraduate advisors 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.

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

Dr. Daphne Gallagher
Undergraduate Advisor (for archaeology)
Condon 253

Dr. Larry Ulibarri
Undergraduate Advisor (for biological anthropology)
Condon 354

ruby fried interview pic

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

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 faculty 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.

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.

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

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.