Go to content

Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Anthropology (ANTH)

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
1111 Woods Hall, 301-405-1423
Chair: P. Shackel
Professors: J. Chernela, J. Freidenberg, M. Leone, M. Paolisso, T. Whitehead
Associate Professors: S. Brighton, B. Pavao-Zuckerman (Assoc Prof)
Assistant Professors: S. Downey, C. Getrich (Asst Prof), G. Hambrecht, K. Lafrenz Samuels (Asst Prof), T. Sangaramoorthy, L. Shaffer
Lecturers: M. London, J. Messing
Affiliate Professors: A. Bolles (WMST), L. Frederik Meer (THET), J. Hanna, R. Harrison (CMLT, LASC), S. Kim (WMST), D. Linebaugh (HISP)
Adjunct Professors: S. Abbott-Jamieson (NOAA), M. Butler, T. Cederstrom, C. Crain (LTG Associates), S. Fiske (NOAA), A. Froment, S. Huertin-Roberts, J. Kunen (USAID), B. Little (National Park Service), F. McManamon (National Park Service), M. Mieri (Smithsonian), C. Puentes-Markides, D. Russell (USAID), J. Schablitsky (MD SHA), J. Schneider, R. Sobel (Smithsonian), N. Tashima (LTG Associates), R. Winthrop (BLM)
Professors Emeriti: M. Agar, S. Bushrui, N. Gonzalez (Emerita), F. Jackson

The Major

Anthropology, the study of culture, seeks to understand humans as a whole - as social beings who are capable of symbolic communication through which they produce a rich cultural record. Anthropologists try to explain differences among cultures - differences in physical characteristics as well as in customary behavior. Anthropologists study how culture has changed through time as the human genus has spread over the earth. Anthropology is the science of the biological evolution of human species, and the disciplined scholarship of the cultural development of human beings' knowledge and customary behavior.

Anthropology at the University of Maryland offers rigorous training for many career options. A strong background in anthropology is a definite asset in preparing for a variety of academic and professional fields, ranging from the law and business, to comparative literature, philosophy and the fine arts. Whether one goes on to a Master's or a Ph.D., the anthropology B.A. prepares one for a wide range of non-academic employment, such as city and public health planning, development consulting, program evaluation, and public archaeology.  Courses offered by this department may be found under the acronym ANTH.

Program Learning Outcomes

Having completed the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  • Students shall have an integrated knowledge, awareness and understanding of a culturally and biologically diverse world.
  • Students shall demonstrate an understanding of culture and society.
  • Students shall demonstrate the ability to understand complex research problems, and articulate appropriate methods and theory.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The Anthropology department offers beginning and advanced course work in three principal subdivisions of the discipline: cultural anthropology, archaeology, and ecological anthropology. Within each area, the department offers some degree of specialization and provides a variety of opportunities for research and independent study. Laboratory courses are offered in biological anthropology and archaeology. Field schools are offered in archaeology. The interrelationship of all branches of anthropology is emphasized.

The Anthropology department has a total of five laboratories, which are divided into teaching labs and research labs. The department's four archaeology labs, containing materials collected from field schools and research projects of the past several years, serve both teaching and research purposes. The other laboratory is a teaching laboratory in ecological anthropology.   The Center for Heritage Research Studies, located in the Department of Anthropology, focuses on research devoted to understanding the cultural characteristics of heritage and its uses.

The undergraduate curriculum is tied to the department's Master in Applied Anthropology (M.A.A.) program; accordingly, preparation for non-academic employment upon graduation is a primary educational goal of the department's undergraduate course work and internship and research components.  The department has also recently implemented a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program.  Students at the graduate level are asked to focus in one of three areas of faculty expertise: Health, Heritage, and Environment.

Requirements for the Major

Students seeking an undergraduate degree are required to complete at least 31 credits of anthropology coursework in addition to the supporting coursework sequence.  Every course being used to satisfy anthropology major requirements must be completed with a grade of "C-" or higher. Students must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major degree requirements.

Required Courses

 I. Foundation Courses Credits
ANTH220 Introduction to Biological Anthropology 4
ANTH240Introduction to Archaeology 3
ANTH260Introduction to Socio-cultural Anthropology  and Linguistics 3
  II. Method and Theory courses (2 courses) 6
ANTH320*Method and Theory in Biological Anthropology  
ANTH340*Method and Theory in Archaeology  
ANTH360*Method and Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology  
 *Two of the upper level method and theory courses (ANTH320, 340, 360) are required. Students must complete the method and theory course associated with their chosen focus area - sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology. Students may not take a method and theory course unless they have completed the associated foundation course.  If a student completes all three of the method and theory courses, one course can be used as an anthropology elective.  
 III. Anthropology Electives  
 Minimum of 12 credits. 6 of the 12 credits must be taken at the 300-400 level.  
ANTHxxAnthropology electives 6
ANTH300/400Upper level Anthropology courses 6
 IV. Applied Field Methods
Minimum of 3 credits selected from the following. Other courses can be used with approval of UG Director. Courses used to fulfill the Applied Field Methods requirement may not be used to fulfill any other anthropology requirement.
3 or more
ANTH386Experiential Learning Internship (3-6 credits)  
ANTH496Field Methods in Archaeology (6 credits)  
ANTH498Advanced Field Training in Ethnography (1-6)  
ANTH468BApplied Urban Ethnography (3 credits)  
ANTH493Anthropological Fieldwork and Experience in Argentina (3 credits)  
ANTH498CAdvanced Field Training in Ethnography: Brazil (6 credits)  
ANTH498NEthnology of the Immigrant Life (4 credits)  
ANTH498WJamaica: Connections, Celebration and Identity (6 credits)  
ANTH498ZJamaica: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (6 credits)  
ANTH499Fieldwork in Biological Anthropology (3-8 credits)  
  V. Skills Requirement  
  Quantitative course (chosen from list below and required for all students entering the major Fall 2008 and after)  3 or more
SKILLSxxBIOM301, MATH111, STAT100, ECON201, ECON321, EDMS451, GEOG306, MATH112 or higher (excluding MATH113), PSYC200, SOCY200  
 VI. Supporting Course Work: 18
ELECTMinimum of 18 credits of supporting electives; at least 10 credit hours must be outside of the department (with your academic advisor's approval). 8 hours may be anthropology course work, but then cannot 'double count' as Anthropology electives.  



The primary advisor for students in the Anthropology major is the Undergraduate Advisor.  The advisor is available to students during appointments, walk-in hours, and by phone and email.  The advisor is responsible for helping students plan their successful completion of the Anthropology major. Students will work with the advisor for an orientation to the department, status on degree progress, administrative approval for special course enrollment, academic audits, and graduation clearance.  In addition, students should consider the Undergraduate Advisor a resource for general academic and career advice during their time at Maryland.

The office of the Undergraduate Advisor is supervised and supported by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (a faculty member) in the Department of Anthropology.   In addition, all faculty members in the department serve as faculty advisors to students.  Students are expected to select and request a faculty member who works within their area of focus to be their faculty advisor (i.e. Archaeology, Ecological Anthropology or Cultural Anthropology).  For more information, or to contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies or Undergraduate Advisor, please call 301-405-1423 or go to www.bsos.umd.edu/anth .

Undergraduate Research Experiences

There are several undergraduate research experiences available for students:

  1. Archaeology laboratories
  2. Biological anthropology lab
  3. Chesapeake heritage program
  4. Immigrant Life Course
  5. Cultural Systems Analysis Group
  6. Center for Heritage Resource Studies

For more information, please see our website: www.bsos.umd.edu/anth .

Fieldwork Opportunities

The Department of Anthropology encourages students to explore its field school and study abroad opportunities which include, summer archaeology field schools including field schools in Iceland and Ireland, and an ethnographic field school in the Brazilian Amazon.

For more information, see our website: www.bsos.umd.edu/anth .


All undergraduate students are encouraged to do an internship.  There are many non-profit and government agencies in the Baltimore-Washington area that are willing to support Anthropology interns.  For more information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Undergraduate Advisor.

Co-op Programs

The Department has a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service.  When available, students have opportunities to work on various archeology and museum projects in the National Capital Region.  For more information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Undergraduate Advisor.

Honors Program

The Anthropology department also offers an Honors Program that provides the student an opportunity to pursue in-depth study of his or her interests. Acceptance is contingent upon a 3.5 GPA in anthropology courses and a 3.0 overall average. The Honors Citation is awarded upon completion and review of a thesis to be done within the field of anthropology.  For additional information, students should contact the Director of Departmental Honors Program, Dr. Stephen Brighton, 301-405-3700; E-mail: sbrighto@umd.edu .

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Anthropology Student Association (ASA): An anthropology student association that meets regularly to plan student events and to help coordinate various student and faculty activities. For meeting times contact the Undergraduate Advisor.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Return to top