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Anthropology Major Guide for 2008-2009

What is Anthropology

Anthropology (literally the study of humans) is an extremely broad and diverse field concerned with every aspect of the human condition: past present and future. An undergraduate majoring in anthropology at the University of Tennessee learns of this breadth and diversity by taking courses in cultural, biological and archaeological anthropology. The major is designed so that all students are trained in these primary subfields, but the curriculum also allows the student to concentrate in those aspects of anthropology the she/he finds most interesting.

Career Opportunities in Anthropology

Students who earn undergraduate degrees in anthropology are prepared to enter careers in a variety of fields such as health care, education, government, law, social work, and human services. If the student is interested in a career as a professional anthropologist, graduate training is essential. The excellence of the faculty and the relevance of available courses in the department afford future anthropologists the undergraduate background necessary to pursue advance degrees.

Salary Trends in Anthropology

An Arts and Sciences degree can propel students in limitless directions. Majors are not always the deciding factor as to what career path is followed. As with any degree, pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, etc.) enhance the chances of obtaining desired employment and further affect the projected salary. As a group, Arts and Sciences graduates average $33,258 (

High School Preparation

Good writing and quantitative skills are essential. Science courses, particularly in biology and geology are useful, as are social science courses in history and geography. Students should also have training in a modern foreign language.

How to Major in Anthropology

Progression into the anthropology major is based on performance in the three prerequisite courses: Anthropology 110, 120, and 130. Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 for the three introductory courses, with none of the three grades below a C. Upon satisfactory completion of the prerequisites, the student may apply for progression into the anthropology major by completing a formal application for progression in the Anthropology Department and including with that application an academic history demonstrating satisfactory completion of the progression requirements. The Undergraduate Committee of the Anthropology Department will meet regularly to determine the status of these applications. Upon progression to the major, a department advisor will be assigned in consultation with the student.
Continuation in the anthropology major requires maintenance of a 2.5 GPA or better in all anthropology courses. Students failing to meet this standard will be notified in writing that they are on probation and their records will be reviewed. Those who continue in probationary status for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the major.

Requirements for Anthropology

The anthropology major consists of 30 hours including 450 (Current Trends in Anthropology) or 357 (Junior Honors in Anthropology) and 27 additional hours of upper-division course work in Anthropology. This course work shall be distributed as follows:

  • one course from archaeological method and theory: 361, 362, 440, 464
  • one course from archaeological area: 360, 363, 462, 463
  • one course from cultural area: 310, 311, 312, 313, 315, 316, 319, 320, 322
  • one course from cultural method and theory: 410, 411, 412, 413, 414, 416, 431
  • two courses from biological anthro­pology: 480, 485, 490, 494, 495, 496

Remaining hours may be selected from any upper-division anthropology courses.

Students with senior standing are encouraged to substitute appropriate 500-level courses (with permission of the instructor of the course and approval of the Department Head) for any portion of the above.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

Anthropology has an honors concentration that includes a senior thesis. In conjunction with the Current Trends course (450) the department each fall semester invites nine nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the field to present lectures and to visit with faculty, staff, and students. The department sponsors the Forensic Research Center and the Archaeological Research Laboratory. The department regularly offers archaeological field school programs, and there are opportunities for undergraduates to participate in laboratory work in the department, its research centers and at McClung Museum.

Highlights of Anthropology

The department has an active research faculty that often provide undergraduate students opportunities to participate in research activities. These have included ethnographic studies, prehistoric and historic archaeological projects in the Southeast as well as Europe and the Caribbean, and physical anthropological projects involving skeletal biology, forensics, primate behavior, and paleo­anthropology. The fall semester visiting lecturer program (Anthropology 357 and 450) regularly includes scholars who are among the world’s foremost authorities in cultural biological, and archaeological anthropology.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

"Ready for the World” is part of a long-range plan to transform the UTK campus into a culture of diversity that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century.  Thus students are encouraged to actively participate in the diverse cultural programs offered on campus.  Some of these events include the guest lecture series, cultural nights at the International House, and international film screenings.  Visit the Center for International Education website ( or the Ready for the World website ( for more information on upcoming cultural programs and activities. 
Students are also encouraged to develop a global perspective within their academic program through study abroad.  Visit the Programs Abroad Office website ( for information on study abroad opportunities.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Foreign Language 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Quantitative Reasoning 6-8
Anthropology 130 or 137 3
General Elective 0-2
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Non-US History Sequence 6
Anthropology 110 or 117, 120 or 127 6
Foreign Language or General Electives 6
Humanities 6
Social Science 3
General Electives 3
Anthropology (major) 3
Junior Year Credit Hours
Anthropology 450 or 357 3
Humanities 3
Upper Level Distribution 3
Anthropology (major) 9
Communicating Orally 3
Communicating Through Writing 3
Social Science 3
Upper Division Elective 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
Anthropology (major) 15
Upper Level Distribution 3
Upper Division Elective 3
General Electives 8

For More Information

Dr. Andrew Kramer,
Professor and Head
The Department of Anthropology
250 South Stadium Hall
University of Tennessee
865 974-4408



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.