Anthropology is the study of human beings in all their cultural and biological diversity. It includes the study of human evolution, the archaeological record, language and culture, the relationship between humans and their environment, and cultural modes of being as these differ in time and space. In studying anthropology, students can better understand how to find ways to live together in today's world, respecting cultural diversity while building upon common human values.
The study of anthropology at the University of Washington comprises three sub-disciplines:
Study at the undergraduate level can further entail any of four optional tracks: Medical Anthropology and Global Health, Anthropology of Globalization, Archaeological Sciences, and Human Evolutionary Biology.
247 Denny, Box 353100
The Department of Anthropology offers the following undergraduate programs:
Bachelor of Arts
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: ARCHY 205; BIO A 201; any additional 200-level ANTH course; and one from CS&SS 221/SOC 221/STAT 221, STAT 220, STAT 311, Q SCI 381, or ARCHY 495.
Department Admission Requirements
Additional requirements for students applying to medical anthropology and global health (MAGH) or anthropology of globalization (AG) options.
Admission to the MAGH or AG options is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for admission to the major does not guarantee admission to either option. Applications are available on the department website on the first day of the quarter. Application deadline is the second Friday of autumn, winter, or spring quarters. Students are notified of the admission decision by the end of week five of the quarter in which they apply.
See department advising office for additional requirements.
Admission to the archaeological sciences (ASc) and human evolutionary biology (HEB) options is not competitive and is open to all students accepted into the anthropology major. A passing grade in ARCHY 205 is required for admission to the archaeological sciences (ASc) option.
55 credits as follows:
Medical Anthropology and Global Health (MAGH) Option: Requirements for the general anthropology major, as shown above, to include ANTH 215 and 15 credits from ANTH and BIO A courses approved for the MAGH option. A list of approved courses is available at the department advising office (247 Denny) or on the department website.
Anthropology of Globalization (AG) Option: Requirements for the general anthropology major, as shown above, to include 20 credits from courses in ANTH, ARCHY, and BIO A approved for the AG option. A list of approved courses is available at the department advising office (247 Denny) or on the department website.
Archaeological Sciences (ASc) Option: Requirements for the general anthropology major, as shown above, to include at least 15 credits from ARCHY 372, ARCHY 373, ARCHY 465, ARCHY 467, ARCHY 480, ARCHY 481, ARCHY 482, ARCHY 483, ARCHY 484, ARCHY 486, ARCHY 495, BIO A 487, and at least 15 credits from courses approved for the ASc option. A list of approved courses is available on the department website or at the department advising office (247 Denny).
Human Evolutionary Biology (HEB) Option: Requirements for the general anthropology major, as shown above, to include BIO A 355; either BIO A 101 or BIO A 348; and 15 credits from courses approved for the HEB option. A list of approved courses is available at the department advising office (247 Denny) or on the department website.
Minor Requirements: 30 credits (at least 15 credits at upper-division level) from courses with the following prefixes: ANTH, ARCHY, BIO A. ANTH 100 may be applied to the minor but is not required. (Certain AIS courses may apply toward this requirement. See departmental adviser for list.) Minimum 2.0 grade required in each course.
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
Graduate Program Coordinator
The department recognizes three principal subfields of anthropology within its faculty, programs, and curriculum: archaeology, biocultural anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology (including linguistic anthropology). The department offers three distinct PhD programs within the sub-disciplines. Additionally, the department has an informal program in environmental anthropology which applicants may pursue within one of the traditional PhD track programs. A concurrent degree program with Health Services offers an MPH/PhD. A PhD program in sociocultural anthropology with emphasis in ethnomusicology is offered in cooperation with the School of Music. The MA degree may be earned within the PhD programs. Graduate students are admitted to, and specialize in, their chosen subfields from the beginning of their graduate studies.
Applicants are admitted to begin study only during autumn quarter and are advised to have their application materials completed by the beginning of the prior January. A complete application file includes the online application to the Graduate School, official transcripts, the supplementary application to anthropology, three recommendations, a statement of purpose, and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). International students are required to take the TOEFL exam as well as the GRE.
For each of the respective graduate programs, completion of the core requirements and a reading knowledge of one foreign language are required. Under the guidance of a Supervisory Committee selected from the appropriate subfield, the student shapes an individual program. The major areas emphasized in the faculty and curriculum are the United States, Mexico, Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Oceania, Middle East, and the post-Soviet states. The MA degree usually requires two years of graduate study; the PhD programs usually require at least three years beyond the master's level, including a year of independent field research and a year to organize field materials and write a doctoral dissertation. The MA degree can be earned only within the PhD programs as a thesis or non-thesis degree.
Two multi-year recruitment fellowships are awarded to outstanding entering students. A limited number of teaching and research assistantships and hourly positions are offered primarily to advanced students. Applicants should apply for Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowships if qualified. Work-study positions may also be available for eligible graduate students.