Anthropology is concerned with how humans and human societies evolve, with the differences and similarities among human cultures, and with the cultural and biological basis for human behavior. Anthropology integrates a wide range of perspectives on human behavior, culture, and society. Pitt anthropology majors learn the basic concerns and approaches of four subfields of anthropology: archaeology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology, and anthropological linguistics.

  • The archaeology program offers courses covering many geographic regions (Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe), techniques of analysis, and issues in prehistory. Museum collections, internships in cultural resource management, and summer field projects provide opportunities for student involvement in archaeological work.
  • The physical anthropology program offers classes on evolutionary theory, osteoarchaeology, and human and nonhuman primate evolution, anatomy and morphology.
  • Cultural anthropology is represented by a wide variety of courses on culture areas including the Pacific, Latin America, China, Japan and South Asia, Eastern Europe and the United States. Classes provide cross-cultural studies of topics such as medical anthropology, food, social and political organization, sex roles, kinship, ethnicity, folklore, and religion.
  • Linguistic anthropology examines the relationship between language and other aspects of culture and society.  Courses offered regularly in our department include language and culture, writing and recording, ritual, digital media, and language ideologies.

Course Requirements

At least 30 credits in anthropology distributed as follows:

1) Freshman and sophomores should begin with a three-course introductory sequence of:
ANTH 0780 Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 0680 Physical Anthropology
ANTH 0582 Archaeology
(these three required courses satisfy the prerequisites for most upper-level courses).

2) ANTH 1750 or another Undergraduate Seminar

3) 18 additional credits in anthropology may be elected from among all other anthropology courses. One of these courses must be a Writing (W) course offered by the department.

Note: Linguistics and quantitative analysis courses, though not required for the major, are highly recommended.

Grade Requirements: Majors are required to maintain at least at 2.00 QPA in all department courses.

Related Area: A twelve credit concentration in any field outside of anthropology approved by a student's anthropology faculty advisor.

Honors Major Requirements

Undergraduate majors with an overall QPA of 3.25 or above and a QPA in anthropology of 3.5 or above can graduate from the department with honors with the submission and acceptance of a paper representing substantial student research. The honors paper may be from a course or result from independent research. See titles of some recent honors theses here.

Double Majors

The requirements of the Undergraduate Anthropology program make it possible to pursue a double major in many other disciplines (including, for example, geology, history, psychology). Students who declare anthropology as a second major should consult with their anthropology advisor as soon as possible to ensure fulfillment of anthropology requirements.