Anthropology, B.A.

Anthropology is the study of humans. The anthropological endeavor involves both the sociocultural and biological aspects of humankind. The study of anthropology requires a holistic approach; it is comprehensive, inclusive and integrates information from many different areas of study through ethnographic, biological, cross-cultural, archaeological and sociological inquiries.

An anthropological perspective — including an examination of the similarities and differences among human groups, cultures and societies both locally and worldwide — emphasizes the concepts of cultural relativism, multicultural perspectives and globalization processes that are vital to many areas of study at Saint Louis University.

By participating in anthropology courses in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, students will be further prepared to successfully function in and partake of an interconnected world. The major and minor degrees in anthropology complement any other major at the University.

The anthropology program also supports an active Anthropology Club and houses the Eta Chapter of Lambda Alpha, the national anthropology honor society. Both organizations are engaged in numerous outreach programs at SLU and within the greater St. Louis community.

Curriculum Overview

Key program components include a rigorous social science curriculum focused on the subfields of cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology; lab courses that provide a hands-on learning dimension; practical applied experiences through fieldwork opportunities and independent research projects; and connections made with the larger community via internships, study abroad opportunities and a senior capstone project.

Students choose an emphasis in one of four subfields of anthropology:

  • Cultural/social anthropology: the study of human cultures in the present or recent past
  • Physical/biological anthropology: the study of humans from a biological and evolutionary perspective
  • Linguistic anthropology: the interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life
  • Archeology: the study of the ancient and recent human past through excavation, analysis and interpretation of material remains

One characteristic that sets anthropology apart from other fields of study is its holistic approach. It is comprehensive, inclusive and integrates information from many different areas of study through ethnographic, biological, cross-cultural, archaeological and sociological inquiries. 

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Fieldwork takes place within and outside the U.S. This allows students to experience other cultures in a unique, firsthand way and gain a greater appreciation for cultures different from their own. Faculty are pleased to offer SLU students dynamic courses and fieldwork opportunities in the upcoming months and years that will enrich their classroom learning and lives.

The Archeology Lab provides an excellent workspace for students to explore and contribute to the science of archeology. Each semester, the lab provides hands-on opportunities for students to explore prehistoric and historic lithics, ceramics and other materials and to develop student-initiated research projects.

The Urban Lab makes the city of St. Louis a classroom. Through coursework, internships and field schools, you’ll have the chance to conduct original research on urban culture, inequality and development.

Careers

SLU's anthropology graduates are prepared to function in an interconnected world successfully. The major and minor degrees in anthropology complement any other major. Alumni of the anthropology program have the following careers:

  • Archaeological technician
  • Corporate anthropologist/market research
  • Foreign Service officer
  • Preservation assistant
  • Documentary filmmaker
  • International development
  • Mission organizer

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will demonstrate a broad knowledge base in the subfield of biological anthropology.
    1. Understand the complexity of the hominid fossil record, and be able to discuss important ‘milestones’ in hominid evolution, as well as understand where recent fossil finds fit into the “family tree”.
    2. Articulate how biological anthropology bridges and incorporates both the social sciences (e.g., Anthropology) and the life sciences (e.g., Biology), especially in terms of methodology and theory.
    3. Assess the diversity of nonhuman primates by examining behavior, ecology and evolution.
    4. Explain the relationship between evolutionary forces, the environment, and culture in modern human populations.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate a broad knowledge base in the subfield of archaeological anthropology.
    1. Assess the nature of the practice of archaeology as a science, including inductive and deductive reasoning, the scientific method, and research design.
    2. Explain the role of the environment in the development of human cultures.
    3. Demonstrate how archaeologists act as anthropologists when studying human cultures and cultural change.
    4. Distinguish the ways archaeologists can detect cultural change in the archaeological record.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate a broad knowledge base in the subfield of cultural anthropology.
    1. Demonstrate familiarity with the anthropological concept of culture.
    2. Apply comparative, holistic, and culturally relativist perspectives to the study of human societies.
    3. Discuss similarities and differences across and within human cultures/societies, including across time.
  4. Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of anthropological theories.
    1. Identify core theories, research, and concepts in anthropological thought across the subfields.
    2. Explain multiple ways in which power, hierarchy and identity shape social interactions and outcomes.
    3. Recognize that ideas, theories and methods were shaped and changed over time in particular historical contexts.
    4. Demonstrate knowledge of historical works of theory by anthropologists of diverse backgrounds.
  5. Graduates will understand and be able to apply methods used in the discipline, and communicate their findings effectively.
    1. Demonstrate familiarity with the collection, analysis, and strengths and limitations of quantitative and/or qualitative data related to human behavior and culture.
    2. Use anthropological methods — such as participant-observation, open-ended interview, lab analysis, and excavation — to conduct hands-on research in an ethical fashion.
    3. Locate, critically assess, and work with textual sources in the library and on the internet.
    4. Formulate well-organized and convincing written and/or oral arguments supported by evidence.

 Anthropology students must complete a minimum total of 31 credits for the major.

  • A maximum of two (2) sociology courses may count toward the anthropology major.
  • A maximum of two (2) anthropology, sociology and/or forensic science courses may count toward both the anthropology and sociology majors.
University Undergraduate Core32-35
Major Requirements
ANTH 2200Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 2210
ANTH 2215
Biological Anthropology
and Biological Anthropology Lab
4
ANTH 2240Archaeology3
ANTH 3200Anthropological Theory3
ANTH 4870Capstone in Anthropology3
Methods Course
Select one course from the following:2-3
Primate Social Behavior
Urban Ethnography: Cities in a Global Perspective
Archaeological Lab Method
Research Activity: Supervised
Research Methods
Major Electives
The remaining 12-13 credits can be selected from courses with the Anthropology Elective attribute.12-13
In addition, all students are required to take three electives at the 3000 level or above to qualify for completion of the major.
General Electives54-57
Total Credits120

Continuation Standards

Students who major in anthropology must maintain a 2.00 GPA in courses for the anthropology major.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete the University Undergraduate Core curriculum requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department-/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar (Must be taken in first 36 credit hours at SLU / Cannot carry attributes) 2-3
CORE 1500 Cura Personalis 1: Self in Community (Must be taken in first 36 credit hours at SLU / Cannot carry attributes / Must be taken at SLU) 1
CORE 1900 Eloquentia Perfecta 1: Written and Visual Communication (Should be taken in first 36 credit hours at SLU / Cannot carry attributes) 3
ANTH 2200 Cultural Anthropology 3
General Electives 6
 Credits15-16
Spring
CORE 3200 Ways of Thinking: Quantitative Reasoning (Should be taken in first 45 credit hours at SLU) 3
CORE 1600 Ultimate Questions: Theology 3
ANTH 2210
ANTH 2215
Biological Anthropology
and Biological Anthropology Lab
4
General Electives 5
 Credits15
Year Two
Fall
CORE 1200 Eloquentia Perfecta 2: Oral and Visual Communication (Should be taken in first 60 credit hours at SLU / Cannot carry attributes) 3
CORE 1700 Ultimate Questions: Philosophy 3
ANTH 2240 Archaeology 3
ANTH ElectiveThis elective can be used to fulfill your METHODS requirements 3
General Electives 3
 Credits15
Spring
CORE 3800 Ways of Thinking: Natural and Applied Sciences 3
CORE 2500 Cura Personalis 2: Self in Contemplation (Cannot carry attributes) 0
ANTH 3200 Anthropological Theory 3
ANTH ElectiveThis elective may be selected from any Anthropology course or approved Sociology or Forensic Science courses 3
General Electives 6
 Credits15
Year Three
Fall
CORE 2800 Eloquentia Perfecta 3: Creative Expression 2-3
CORE 3400 Ways of Thinking: Aesthetics, History, and Culture 3
ANTH ElectiveThis elective may be selected from any Anthropology course or approved Sociology or Forensic Science courses 3
General Electives 7
 Credits15-16
Spring
CORE 3600 Ways of Thinking: Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
CORE 4000 Collaborative Inquiry 2-3
ANTH ElectiveThis elective may be selected from any Anthropology course or approved Sociology or Forensic Science courses 3
General Electives 7
 Credits15-16
Year Four
Fall
CORE 3500 Cura Personalis 3: Self in the World (May be added to a capstone for the major / Cannot carry attributes) 1
ANTH ElectiveThis elective may be selected from any Anthropology course or approved Sociology or Forensic Science courses 3
General Electives 11
 Credits15
Spring
ANTH 4870 Capstone in Anthropology 3
General Electives 12
 Credits15
 Total Credits120-123