Major Requirements

The Department of Anthropology offers a full range of courses in archaeological, biological, social, cultural, psychological, political and linguistic anthropology.  Courses include offerings that focus on specific societies or regions of the world as well as more theoretically oriented topics.

The Anthropology Department currently offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology (B.A.) in the concentrations of: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Climate change and Human Solutions Anthropology (Effective Fall 2019), and Sociocultural Anthropology and effective Fall 2019, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Anthropology (B.S).

All courses must be taken for a letter grade of C- or better.

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (B.A.)

Course Requirements

3 Core Classes

  • ANTH 101: Foundations of Social Complexity (Fall)
  • ANTH 102: Humans Are Cultural Animals (Winter)
  • ANTH 103: Sociocultural Anthropology (Spring)

4 Upper Division Concentration Courses   

  • ArchaeologyANAR courses
  • BiologicalANBI courses
  • Climate Change and Human Solutions (Begins Fall 2019): Anthropology courses as specified below:
    • REQUIRED: ANSC 191
    • TWO of the following: ANAR 146, ANAR 166, ANAR 120, AMBI 132, ANBI 174, ANSC 144, ANSC 147, ANSC 184, ANSC 193, ANTH 105, ANTH 106, ANTH 108, ANTH 109
    • ONE of the following: ANAR 104, ANAR 121, ANSC 138, ANSC 183, ANTH 107
  • Sociocultural: ANSC courses as specified below:
    • THREE of the following: ANSC 118, ANSC 120, ANSC 121, ANSC 122, ANSC 123, ANSC 124, ANSC 125
    • ONE ANSC w/region, country or religion focus in addition to above courses. (See course titles and options below).

5 Upper Division Electives

Additional Requirements:

  • Upper Division Residency Requirement: Students must complete a minimum of seven major courses at UC San Diego.
  • Overlaps: Lower division courses may overlap between your major, minor and college requirements. Students may overlap two upper division courses between your major and minor by submitting a request in the VAC (some courses may automatically overlap).
  • A maximum of four study abroad courses may be petitioned for credit toward the major.

Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology (B.S.) - Begins Fall 2019

To receive a B.S. degree with a major in Biological Anthropology, students must complete the following courses:

Lower Division (10 courses, 40 units)

  • Two courses of general biology (BILD 1, 2)
  • Three courses of general chemistry (Chem 6A, B, C)
  • Three courses of math/stats:
    • Choose two of these courses: Math 10A, B, C or 20A, B, C, and
    • Choose one of these courses: Math 11, Psych 60
  • One course in Anthropology: ANTH 2 (Human Orgins)
  • One course in Anthropology or Psychology or Sociology: ANTH 43 (Introduction to the Biology and Culture of Race) or ANTH 42 (Primates in a Human-Dominated World) or ANTH 5 (The Human Machine: Skeleton Within) or SOCI 70 (Sociology for Pre-medical Students) or PSYC 1 (Psychology)

Upper Division (12 Courses, 48 units)

  • Three Anthropology Core Courses: ANTH 101 (Foundations of Social Complexity), ANTH 102 (Humans are Cultural Animals), ANTH 103 (Sociocultural Anthropology), and 
  • Four upper-division courses in Biological Anthropology (choose any ANBI course), and 
  • Four upper-division courses in Anthropology (choose any ANAR, ANBI, ANSC course)
  • One upper-division Methods course (choose any ANBI course from the list below):
    • ANBI 112. Methods in Human Comparative Neuroscience
    • ANBI 114. Methods in Primate Conservation
    • ANBI 135. Genetic Anthropology Lab Techniques
    • ANBI 143. The Human Skeleton
    • ANBI 144. Human Anatomy
    • ANBI 174. Conservation and the Media: Film Lab

Biological Anthropology Promotional Video

Plan out your courses using the B.S. Degree Check

Degree Checks

What are the differences in the concentrations?

Anthropological Archaeology                                                                                                                                     The undergraduate program in anthropological archaeology incorporates comparative introductory courses; advanced theoretical and topical courses in our areas of expertise, field schools in Jordan, Israel, Peru, San Diego County and Puerto Rico, and archaeologically-oriented study abroad programs in Egypt, Mexico, Central America, Italy, Malta, and Spain.  Undergraduate students also may gain research experience working in our laboratories, through the Faculty Mentor Program, through Academic Internship Program (AIP) internships at the San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Archaeological Center, and California State Parks, and through the Senior Honors program in Anthropology.

Biological Anthropology
Biological Anthropology at UC San Diego addresses the evolution of the culture-bearing capacity in humans and closely related species from a strongly comparative perspective. Humans, today, are a super-dominant species. How we got this way fires up public and scientific imaginations; yet while there are many theories and speculations about our origins none has yet provided a full explanation of our evolutionary history. The difficulties go beyond the mere facts to profound philosophical issues including ones extremely relevant to the modern human predicament.

We believe that the answers can come only from the type of intra-, inter-, and cross-disciplinary collaborations we represent. We aim to understand the origins, organization complexity and socioecology of nonhuman primate societies. We explore the relationship between socioecology and the neural substrates of complex behavior in primates. We study and reconstruct subsistence strategies of humans and nonhuman primates within varied environments and social systems. We consider the constraints or consequences of food resources (energy availability) on energy expenditure and neural organization.

We are involved in applying our scientific knowledge to the conservation of primate species and habitats. We emphasize bioarchaeology in reconstructing prehistoric human diet, ecology, and migration patterns. We bridge with neurosciences and cognitive science in investigating the neural substrates of cognition in humans.

Sociocultural Anthropology
The faculty and students in sociocultural anthropology at UC San Diego share a basic concern with the shaping and reshaping of human life. We examine the forces and structures that regulate life as well as the ways that groups of people instantiate, modify and occasionally overturn such powerful geographical and historical tendencies and logics. Among the concerns reflected in our teaching and research are: colonial and imperial relations; capitalist restructuring and state transformation; rivalries around definitions of progress and development; shifts in paradigms of knowledge production as well as ethical and aesthetic benchmarks; struggles over how to mark and record competing histories, memories and desires, and the uneven patterning of life around such distinctions as age, ethnicity, citizenship, gender, nationalism, race, religion, and sexuality.

See what research our faculty are currently involved in!

SocioCultural Concentration Course Titles

Sociocultural Concentration Course Requirements

Choose three of the following courses: 

  • ANSC 118. Language and Culture
  • ANSC 120. Anthropology of Religion
  • ANSC 121. Psychological Anthropology
  • ANSC 122. Language in Society
  • ANSC 123. Political Anthropology
  • ANSC 124. Cultural Anthropology
  • ANSC 125. Gender, Sexuality, and Society

Choose one of the following courses with regional, country or religious focus:

  • ANSC 116. Language of the Americas: Mayan
  • ANSC 120. Anthropology of Religion
  • ANSC 130. Hinduism
  • ANSC 133. Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East
  • ANSC 134. Global Islam
  • ANSC 135. Indigenous People of Latin America
  • ANSC 136. Traditional Chinese Society
  • ANSC 137. Chinese Popular Religion
  • ANSC 142. Anthropology of Latin America
  • ANSC 143. Mental Health as Global Health Priority
  • ANSC 145. Indigenous People of North America
  • ANSC 147. Global Health and the Environment
  • ANSC 148. Global Health and Cultural Diversity
  • ANSC 150. Culture and Mental Health
  • ANSC 158. Anthropology of Crisis
  • ANSC 159. The Anthropology of Marriage
  • ANSC 162. Language Identity and Community
  • ANSC 165. Contemporary South Asia
  • ANSC 166. Film and Culture in Asia
  • ANSC 175. Money, Work and Nature: Anthropology of Capitalism
  • ANSC 176. The Meaning of Political Violence
  • ANSC 178. Brain, Mind, Culture and History
  • ANSC 180. Labor's Relations

Sample Four Year Plan

Sample Two Year Plan

Two year Plan


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I read my Degree Audit?

How do I enroll in ANTH 198/199?

How do I double major in Anthropology?

To Double Major in Anthropology you will need to do the following:
  1. Make sure you meet all requirements: Minimum 2.5 GPA, Junior Standing (more than 90 units, less than 135 units)
  2. Complete a Double Major Petition and attach a brief statement of purpose (reason why you are completing 2 majors).
  3. Take your petition to the advisor for each major to review your plan and obtain their signatures.
  4. Submit the petition to your college academic advising office.

For additional information see Declare a Double Major on Blink.


* All lower division courses can count towards both majors. 

* 10 upper division courses must be unique to each major. 

* You can overlap upper division courses if each major has 10 unique courses. (e.g. if art history and anthropology each have 12 upper division requirements, you can overlap 2 courses, since you would still have 10 unique upper division courses for each major)

How do I request pre-authorization to enroll in Anthropology courses?

How do I add the major?

You can apply for Anthropology major at any time by using the Major/Minor tool.

See more: Frequently Asked Questions


Contact an Advisor:

Stop in during Walk In Advising Hours

Social Science Building Room 210

For questions regarding your GE and University requirements, please contact your college advisor: