Majors and Minors

The department offers a variety of options for undergraduates interested in focusing on anthropology as a field of study. In addition to the anthropology major listed below, we offer an anthropology minor and a concentration in human biology.

Major requirements

Students must complete a 13-course program comprised of:

  • 12 departmental courses
  • 1 course in related fields

Departmental courses

  • 4 core 200-level courses (211, 213, 214, and 215) provide a background in the four major subfields of anthropology (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology) 
  • 370 examines the philosophical and historical roots of the discipline
  • 1 research course (322, 361, 386, or 389) teaches research, analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills within a subfield of anthropology
  • 3 300-level courses selected from a subfield develop intellectual maturity in a subfield
    Archaeology: 318, 319, 321, 324, 325, 327, 328, 343, 381, 382, 383, 384, 390, 391, 396, 398
    Biological Anthropology: 306, 308, 309, 310, 312, 313, 314, 316, 317, 362, 390, 398
    Cultural Anthropology:  310, 311, 315, 320, 330, 332, 334, 339, 340, 341, 347, 350, 354, 355, 368, 369, 372, 373, 374, 376, 377, 378, 390, 395, 398
    Human Biology:  See Concentration in Human Biology for requirements.
    Linguistic Anthropology:  360, 365, 378, 390, 398
  • 3 additional 300-level courses selected from any subfield course or research course develop intellectual maturity across the discipline

Courses in Related Field (1 unit)


  • 1 formal studies course
  • For Biological Anthropology and Human Biology the formal studies course must be fulfilled by STAT 202 or 210, or a statistics classes for particularly majors, such as PSYCH 201, ECON 381, or SESP 201.
  • For the Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology subfields statistics or another formal studies course can fulfill this requirement
  • A student with an AP score of 4 or 5 in Statistics places out of this requirement.

How to declare your Major/Minor

How do I declare a major or minor in anthropology? Which courses count toward the major or minor? What are the different subfields or concentration areas in anthropology? How do I get involved in research? The Undergraduate Advisor (UA) will be able to answer these and other questions about the anthropology undergraduate program. The Undergraduate Advisor is responsible for approving and signing all Declaration of Major forms, all transfer credits, study abroad approvals and credit evaluation/transfer and, most importantly, all petitions to graduate. All Northwestern undergraduates who are interested in the major, the minor, or who want to talk about anthropology at the undergraduate level at Northwestern are encouraged to meet with the UA. Office hours for the UA are by appointment. Stop by the front office or call (847-491-5402) to make an appointment.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies for Anthropology is:
Prof. Cynthia Robin

The Undergraduate Advisor for Anthropology is:
Prof. Erin Waxenbaum

To see the Anthropology major requirements prior to academic year 2017/18 see this PDF.