Anthropology Major

The major in anthropology consists of ten courses. 

Required Courses
Core Courses:
ANTH 1101Introduction to Cultural Anthropology1
ANTH 1103Introduction to World Prehistory1
ANTH 2010Anthropological Research: Methods and Ethics in Practice a1
ANTH 2030Anthropological Theory: Concepts in Context1
Select six electives. b,c6
  • Eight of the ten courses required for the major must be Bowdoin anthropology courses.
  • Up to two of the six elective courses, with departmental approval, may be taken from among off-campus study courses, Bowdoin sociology courses, and/or—with approval by the department chair—other Bowdoin courses in related fields that contribute to the student's specific interests.

Anthropology Minor

The minor in anthropology consists of five courses.

Required Courses
ANTH 1101Introduction to Cultural Anthropology1
or ANTH 1103 Introduction to World Prehistory
Select four elective courses. d4
  • One of the five courses, with department approval, may be from off-campus study.
  • Only two 1000-level courses (1000–1999) may be counted toward the minor.

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • In order for a course to fulfill major or minor requirements, a grade of C- or above must be earned in that course.
  • Courses that count toward the major or minor must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).
  • First-year writing seminars count toward the major or minor.
  • There is no limit on how many courses a major or minor in anthropology can double-count with another department or program major.

Independent Study

For the anthropology major program, two semesters of independent study may be counted. For the anthropology minor program, one semester of independent study may be counted.

Departmental Honors

Students seeking to graduate with honors in anthropology must have distinguished themselves in the major program. Students contemplating honors candidacy should have established records of A and B grades in anthropology courses. Students petition the department to pursue honors by submitting a written proposal early in the fall of their senior year. Students must prepare an honors project, which ordinarily is a written paper emanating from two semesters of advanced independent study work. A total of two semesters of independent study may be counted toward the major requirements in anthropology. Determination of honors is based on grades attained in major courses, an honors project that is approved by the department, and demonstration of the ability to work independently and creatively synthesize theoretical, methodological, archaeological, and/or ethnographic material.

Off-Campus Study

Off-campus study may contribute substantially to a major in anthropology and the department encourages students to consider academic work in another location, cultural context, and/or language. Students are advised to plan study away for their junior year and to complete ANTH 2010 Anthropological Research: Methods and Ethics in Practice—which focuses on research design, methods, and ethics—before studying away. Students must obtain provisional approval for their study-away courses in writing by department faculty before they leave, and then, to receive credit toward their major or minor, students must seek final approval from their advisor upon their return to Bowdoin. With departmental approval, students may count up to two off-campus study courses toward their major requirements and up to one off-campus study course toward their minor requirements.  

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate

For information on credit for International Baccalaureate tests, please see the department. No credit is given for Advanced Placement. In order to receive credit for International Baccalaureate work, students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin. 

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue