Undergraduate Program Requirements
for an A.B. in Anthropology
To major in Anthropology, a student should have taken – before the junior year – at least one course in anthropology or obtain special permission from the Departmental Representative. Especially recommended are ANT 201 and ANT 301. Both courses are offered only once each year during the fall term.
A minimum of eight departmental courses is required for an anthropology major. All students are required to take ANT 201 (Introduction to Anthropology), ANT 301 (the Ethnographer's Craft), and ANT 390 (History of Anthropological Theory). These required courses should be taken before the end of the junior year.
The rest of each student’s courses may be chosen in accordance with his or her special interests. Up to two courses in other departments at Princeton may be counted as COGNATE departmentals, so long as they are judged by the Departmental Representative to be relevant to a student’s Junior Paper or Senior Thesis. Anthropology courses must be taken for a grade and not pass/fail. Well-prepared undergraduates may take graduate seminars for departmental credit if they have the approval of the instructor of the course and of the Departmental Representative.
One large Junior Paper (of 25–35 pages), normally due in the Spring, is required.
Students who take a semester abroad during the junior year must make special arrangements with the Departmental Representative for a different due date. The topic of the Junior Paper should be an issue that has been studied by anthropologists. Normally field research is not appropriate for this paper.
During the fall term, each junior will prepare for the Junior Paper through a series of studies of anthropological works, writing an annotated bibliography on these readings, and preparing a research proposal for the Junior Paper. The bibliography and the proposal are due in January, and the final paper is due in April. Juniors should seek advice on their Junior Papers in the fall semester from the appropriate faculty members and from the Departmental Representative.
Anthropology department seniors write a thesis.
The department encourages innovative projects with multidisciplinary, creative or field components. Plans for a Senior Thesis topic are usually made in the spring semester of the junior year, and some students use the summer before the senior year for field research. Permission to do such research must be obtained from the Departmental Representative. (ANT 301 is offered once each year; its next offering will be during Spring 2014. Students should note that they may not begin field-related senior thesis research during the summer before the senior year if they have not completed ANT 301 by the end of the junior year.) Some theses have a creative component (e.g. photography, writing or directing a play) but these must be accompanied by a substantial written essay.
Advisors are assigned by early fall on the basis of a written proposal for the thesis topic. The thesis is due in early April.
Grade average for honors
Grade averages for departmental honors are calculated from the student’s departmental courses, including cognates. Choices of cognates are made in the fall of the senior year. To receive credit in departmental courses, Junior Paper, and Senior Thesis, a student must receive a grade of C or better.
Honors are calculated according to the following weighting system:
- Average grade in departmental courses, comprised of ANT 201, ANT 301, ANT 390, and five additional courses, including cognates: 60%
- Senior thesis: 25%
- Junior paper: 10%
- Senior departmental exam: 5%