Earn Honors in Anthropology
Students with a strong academic record (a GPA of 3.5 or higher) are encouraged to pursue honors in the major. Eligible and interested students should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and request the required forms. If the student’s GPA is between 3.2 and 3.5, they must formally petition the DUS to be accepted into the program. Once accepted, the student is given a contract that includes forms to be signed by a supervising professor as various steps of the program are completed (see below). The student is expected to maintain an overall GPA of 3.5 while undertaking honors research. You can find out more by watching our most recent Q&A session about the program here.
Sociocultural Anthropology Honors
For students in the Sociocultural Anthropology Specialization the normal progression through the honors process includes the following steps:
The student enrolls in AN 461 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory I and AN 462 Ethnography and Anthropological Theory II.
By the end of their junior year, the student is required to have identified and met with a faculty member who is willing to supervise their proposed research project.
By the beginning of the senior year, the student must develop a 2–3 page proposal and research plan. This plan should be attached to the Honors Contract (Part I) and signed by the supervising faculty member. The student should return these documents to the DUS.
In the senior year, the student enrolls in CAS AN 401 and/or AN 402 (Honors Research in Anthropology) and undertakes a significant research project under the supervision of their research advisor for either one or two semesters. The student is expected to write a thesis of 35–40 pages (for a two-semester project) or 25–30 pages (for a one-semester project). The supervising professor, in consultation with the student, assembles a committee of one to two additional faculty members and sets a date for the defense of the thesis, giving committee members sufficient time to read the thesis. The student then defends the thesis before the committee. After a successful defense, the supervising professor will submit Part II of the Honors Contract to the DUS.
The student may petition the DUS to change the sequence of these requirements if necessary (e.g. AN 461 and 462 may be taken during the senior year or AN 401 and/or AN 402 may be taken during the junior year under certain circumstances).
Biological Anthropology Honors
For students in the Biological Anthropology Specialization, the honors process follows these steps:
In their junior year, the student identifies a professor who is willing to supervise their work and – with the approval of that supervisor — enrolls in either CAS AN 595 (Methods in Biological Anthropology) or a 500-level biological anthropology course that has a methods component relevant to their area of research.
At least by the beginning of the senior year, the student must develop a 2-3 page proposal and research plan. These documents should be attached to the Honors Research Form (Form I) and signed by the supervising faculty member. The student should return these papers to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator who will scan them and send copies to a) the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), b) the supervising faculty member, and c) the student.
In the senior year, the student enrolls in CAS AN 401 and/or AN 402 (Honors Research in Anthropology) and undertakes a significant research project under the supervision of their research advisor for either one or two semesters. It is possible to take AN 401 during the junior year, if the thesis research has already begun during that time period.
The student then writes a thesis of 35-40 pages (for a two-semester project) or 25-30 pages (for a one-semester project).
The supervising professor assembles a committee of 1-2 additional faculty members and sets a date for the defense of the thesis, giving committee members sufficient time to read the thesis. The student then defends the thesis before the committee.
If the defense is successful, the committee members sign Form II to that effect. The student then submits the form to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, who scans and sends it to a) the DUS, b) the thesis advisor, and c) the student.
The student may petition the DUS to change the sequence of these requirements (in the case, for instance, that they choose to study abroad).
Anthropology, Health, and Medicine Honors
Students in the Anthropology, Health, and Medicine Specialization should choose either the Socio-Cultural or the Biological Anthropology Honor’s process in consultation with their advisor.
Past Honors Students
*Student theses are available for viewing upon request.
*Jade Lau (CAS’22) Anthropology & Religion
“‘Chinese for Sale’ (venta de chinos) to ‘Chinese Cubans’ (chino cubanos): Shifts in White Elite Representations of Chinese Indentured Laborers in Cuba, 1847-1892”
Madeline Eori (CAS’20) Biological Anthropology
“Assessing Wild Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) Populations with Drone Imagery”
*Rebecca DeCamp (CAS’20) Biological Anthropology
“Investigating the Genetic Evolution of Olfaction in Strepsirrhine Primates”
*Austin Woodward (CAS ’19) Biological Anthropology
“Infant Clinging and Maternal Locomotion in Bornean Orangutans: An analysis of the femoral, humeral angles and infant position”
*Dionis Mucollari (CAS’19) Sociocultural Anthropology
“Interfaith: Albanian American Religious and Ethnic Identity”
*Eleni Constantinou (CAS’19) Biological Anthropology
“Gene Flow and Juvenile Paget’s Disease”
*Graham Grail (CAS’18)
“Quantitative Analysis of Vocal Change Due to Testosterone Therapy”
*Natalie Robinson (CAS’18) Biological Anthropology
“Quantifying Free Simple Sugars in Orangutan Foods Using Spectrophotometry: A Comparative Analysis of Phenol-Sulfuric Acid Methods”
Anna Diorio (CAS’14) Sociocultural Anthropology
Corey Gill (CAS’14) Biological Anthropology