BA in Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of human biological and cultural diversity, seen over time in human evolution, and seen around the globe in the range of cultures and societies as they have themselves changed over time. Our cultural anthropology faculty are at the forefront of research in the study of modern religion, politics, and society; youth culture, food, gender and sexuality; public anthropology, human rights and democracy, and psychological anthropology and morality. Our biological faculty are at the cutting edge of paleoanthropological research on primates and other mammals, evolutionary biology, human and primate reproduction and development, primate sensory evolution, and primate ecology and behavior.

For undergraduates we offer two tracks of study which offer them occupations and opportunities in a number of fields:

  • Our cultural anthropology coursework prepares students for careers in law, business, international relations, development, and related fields.
  • Our biological anthropology coursework prepares students for careers in medicine, health sciences, and development work.

Both courses of study also prepare students for the strongest graduate programs in the field. We also offer a joint major in Anthropology & Religion, as well as minors in Anthropology and Medical Anthropology.

The opportunity to pursue an honors program in anthropology is available to academically qualified students. Study abroad is strongly encouraged.


All required courses listed below are 4 credit hours.


  • CAS AN 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology or CAS AN 103 Anthropology Through Ethnography
  • CAS AN 102 Human Biology, Behavior, and Evolution

Principal Courses

Four courses beyond the prerequisites, one from each of the following areas:

  • Biological anthropology
  • Linguistics (CAS AN 351, AN 521, or LX 250)
  • Social anthropology (in any topical or theoretical subject)
  • Archaeology (excluding CAS AR 100)

Additional Courses

Social Anthropology Track (six courses)

  • CAS AN 461 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory 1
  • CAS AN 462 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory 2
  • two social anthropology courses dealing primarily with a geographical region of the world (one may be in archaeology); the two courses need not deal with the same region. Anthropology courses that meet this requirement are indicated by the parenthetical designation “area” following the course title in the Courses section of this Bulletin.
  • two additional anthropology or archaeology courses (excluding CAS AR 100), including any of the 600-level courses listed in the BU Bulletin website for the Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice program offered by the BU School of Medicine.

Biological Anthropology Track (seven courses)

  • one course in archaeology (excluding CAS AR 100)
  • two 200-level or above courses in biology
  • four courses in biological anthropology (two at the 300-level or higher; two at the 400-level or higher)