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 are must complete a 15-course program comprised of:

  • 11 departmental courses
  • 4 courses in related fields

Departmental courses

  • Four 200-level courses (211, 213, 214, and 215) to provide a background in the four major subfields of anthropology.
    Exception: Students with previous background in anthropology may petition to substitute a 300-level course for a 200-level requirement.
  • 370 to examine the philosophical and historical roots of the discipline
  • Five additional 300-level courses to develop intellectual maturity in the discipline, selected in consultation with an advisor. Normally, these courses are chosen from the concentrations listed below, but students may, with adviser consent, develop a focus that bridges anthropology’s subfields (e.g., culture and technology, health and human development, the institutionalization of power).
    • Archaeology: 322 and 4 courses chosen from 316, 318, 319, 321 (offered in summer), 324, 325, 327, 328, 339, 343, 362, 382, 383, 384, 390, 391, 396 (offered in summer).
    • Biological Anthropology: 5 courses chosen from 306, 308, 310, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 334, 362, 383, 386, 390.
    • Cultural Anthropology: 389 and 4 courses chosen from 310, 315, 320, 330, 332, 334, 335, 340, 339, 341, 350, 354, 355, 360, 361, 365, 368, 369, 372, 373, 374, 376, 377, 378, 383, 390, 395.
    • Linguistic Anthropology: 360, 361 or 389, 365, and 2 300-level courses in cultural anthropology.
    • Human Biology: See Human Biology Concentration for requirements.
  • 398 to provide an opportunity to conduct original research and, in the process, gain valuable analytical, critical thinking, and writing skills.

Courses in related fields

All four courses from other departments and programs should relate to the student's independent research work and strengthen the focus that guided the selection of 300-level courses in anthropology.

They must include:

  • One course in formal or statistical methods
  • At least two 300-level courses

Note: Courses are subject to the approval of the department adviser. 

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