B.S. Degree Requirements

Anthropology majors may work toward a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Either major is appropriate preparation for advanced training or careers in anthropology, allied fields and professional programs. Students with interests in physical anthropology, archaeological lab work and quantitative approaches within sociocultural or linguistic anthropology are encouraged to pursue the B.S. major.

Common Requirements

All anthropology majors (B.A. or B.S.) must complete the following requirements:

  • ANTH:1101 Cultural Anthropology — 3 s.h.  
  • ANTH:1201 World Archaeology — 3 s.h.
  • ANTH:1301 Human Origins — 3 s.h.
  • ANTH:1401 Language, Culture, and Communication — 3 s.h.
  • ANTH:1001 Issues in Anthropology — 3 s.h.
  • One 2000-, 3000- or 4000-level course in archaeology (areal or topical) or biological anthropology
  • One 2000-, 3000- or 4000-level course in sociocultural or linguistic anthropology
  • One 2000-, 3000- or 4000-level course in area studies
  • Three additional 2000-, 3000- or 4000-level elective courses in anthropology

Bachelor of Science students must also fulfill requirements in the following areas (a) a quantitative or formal reasoning tool (minimum of one course, minimum 3 semester hours), (b) directed laboratory or field research (minimum of one course, 3 semester hours. Hours can be credited towards honors in the major when appropriate), and (c) allied topical coursework (related minor). Total hours needed to graduate is 39 (not including the hours for the minor). 

A) The Bachelor of Science requires an additional course in quantitative and formal reasoning (QFR) beyond the one taken to fulfill the General Education Requirement.  Students can choose from a list of approved courses or select another course in consultation with their advisor.  Courses for the Bachelor of Science can be taken in the same department used to fulfill the General Education Requirement QFR, but only at more advanced levels.

B) An approved directed research requirement, consisting of one of the following (a minimum of 3 s.h.):

  • Laboratory research. Including a laboratory practicum in anthropology research labs or independent, faculty-guided, laboratory research.

  • Field research project. Faculty advised projects involving the collection of primary data in fieldwork setting.

  • A University of Iowa field school program or approved equivalent. Current and future field schools include Plum Grove Historical Archaeology, and The University of Iowa Southwest Archaeology Field School

  • The University of Iowa's Office of the State Archaeologist. Supervised research or internship with the collections or research programs of the Office of State Archaeologist.

  • An approved internship (typical approved internships may be in Cultural Resource Management firms, Museums, public health research or education projects). To receive research credit for an internship, students must make a final report to faculty advisor, summarizing the work accomplished or presenting materials from period of work that documents the nature of the work.

C) A topical specialization, consisting of at least a minor in one of the following allied fields: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Exercise Science, Geography, Geoscience, Global Health Studies, Health and Human Physiology, Linguistics, Mathematics, Psychology, Science Education, Statistics and Actuarial Science. Minors (or at least five courses) in other fields and chosen in consultation with the student's adviser may also be applied.

Four-Year Graduation Plan for a B.S. in Anthropology

The following checkpoints list the minimum requirements students must complete by certain semesters in order to stay on the University's four-year graduation plan. 

Before the third semester begins: at least one anthropology or other course required for the major, and one-quarter of the semester hours required for graduation.

Before the fifth semester begins: at least four anthropology or other courses required for the major, one course in the minor area, one course for the quantitative/formal reasoning tool requirement and one-half of the semester hours required for graduation.

Before the seventh semester begins: at least seven courses required for the major, three courses in the minor area, the second quantitative/formal reasoning tool course, and at least three-quarters of the hours required for graduation.

Before the eighth semester begins: at least nine courses required for the major including the directed research requirement and four courses in the minor area.

During the eighth semester: enrollment in all remaining course work in the major, all remaining General Education courses, and a sufficient number of semester hours to graduate.

Independent Study

The department encourages students who have sampled both introductory and upper level classes to deepen their experience through independent study. The typical independent study project grows out of material that a student has encountered in class and wishes to explore in more detail with the guidance of a professor.

To initiate an independent study, a student needs to approach a professor with relevant interest and find out if the professor is interested and available. Student and professor then work out readings, research tasks, writing projects or other appropriate elements of the independent study.

No more than 9 s.h. of independent study may be applied toward the 120 s.h. needed to earn a degree from the University of Iowa.

For advice or assistance in setting up an independent study, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.