Anthropology Major (BA, BS)


Anthropologists study human behavior and thought in both the past and the present with the goal of improving our world. We holistically draw on sociocultural, archaeological, and biological approaches to engage with humanity’s current challenges: the outcomes of the humanity-environment relationship; human rights abuses and the need for social justice; and the complexities of human heritage and identities. Whether through ethnographic fieldwork, archaeological excavation, biological lab work, or visual and material cultural analysis, our students and faculty collaborate closely to learn and improve our knowledge of human variation. This is an invaluable resource for our students as they prepare for a more complex future.

The Anthropology Major consists of 24-25 required course credits plus 12 elective credits that allow students to augment their education with a dual major or minor in another field applicable to their goals and needs.

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

General Education (31-40 credits - 40 if students take stand-alone courses for I, W, and Y)

Major Department Requirements (36-37 credits)

Students pursuing the major in anthropology pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete the corresponding degree’s requirements.

The major consists of 36-37 credits as follows:

THREE introduction courses (9-10 credits) selected from:

THREE core courses (9 credits):

TWO methods courses (6 credits) selected from:

FOUR upper level elective courses (ANT 300-499), at least two of which must be at the 400-level

ANT Electives (12 credits)

  • ANT 3xx-4xx Anthropology Electives

Electives (43-53 credits)

Total Credits (120 credits)

*denotes courses that meet both major and general education requirements

Additional Degree Requirements

Majors need to earn a grade minimum of C- in core courses.


Completion of all college-wide degree requirements.

Strongly Recommended for all Majors

We recommend that all Majors complete an archaeological field school, a study-abroad program, and one or more internships depending on their anthropological interests.

In addition, we recommend that students take courses in a foreign language (two semesters), statistics, computer applications (like ANT 364 GIS and Spatial Survey for the Social Sciences), and advanced writing depending on their career goals. Courses ancillary to anthropology may be suggested by one’s advisor if these are relevant to career or graduate school goals. For example, anthropology majors intending to pursue careers and/or graduate work in areas such as museum work, biological anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, conservancy/conservation, medicine and law will be advised to take additional courses in disciplinary areas relevant to their career goals.

Majors may increase their chances for a successful career by:

  • combining anthropology with a professional or pre-professional program such as teacher certification, pre-law, or pre-medical;
  • completing a minor or a second major in a field that complements anthropology (such as environmental sciences, museum studies and public history, community justice, criminal justice, social work, and many other fields)
  • developing skills in areas outside of, but relevant to, anthropology, such as computer science, GIS, foreign languages, technical writing or advanced composition
  • completing an internship, field project or service position in an area relevant to anthropology
  • experiencing another culture through a credit-bearing semester study abroad

Departmental Senior Thesis

To complete a senior thesis, the student must:

  • Meet the preparation requirement, which is subject to departmental approval.
  • If preparing for the thesis via an Independent study (ANT 499), a student will need upper-division status (54+ credit hours), at least 12 credits at Brockport completed, and a cumulative index/GPA of 2.5.
  • Produce a piece of original anthropological research and analysis, and orally present on that work.

Note: the requirements for the senior thesis can be obtained from the department.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Knowledge base. Students gain an understanding of the broad knowledge base of human biocultural diversity through time and across cultures, as provided through archaeology, biological and cultural anthropology.
  2. Methods. Students gain knowledge and skills in the different anthropological research methods used in the sub-fields of archaeology, biological or cultural anthropology.
  3. Theory. Students learn to define and describe anthropological theory as used in current and past practice by anthropologists, in archaeology, biological and/or cultural anthropology.
  4. Critical Thinking. Students develop the ability to question, reflect and critique the data and arguments upon which evaluations of human diversity, behavior and change are made.
  5. Analysis. Students learn to apply theories and methods to explain or interpret anthropological problems, including cross-cultural patterns of social behavior, human evolution, and social change over time and space.
  6. Ethics. Students learn the appropriate procedures and protocols for obtaining informed consent or access permissions, in order to avoid harm or wrong to one’s human or non-human subjects and descendants.