The School of Social Sciences
Anthropology is a discipline that encompasses many subjects of study, all related to understanding human beings and their cultures. A student may organize a major in one or more of anthropology's principal fields or may combine a major in anthropology with one in another discipline.
The goal of anthropology is to understand and interpret cultural and biological differences among human societies, both past and present. The department at Rice includes diverse offerings in all major subfields of the subject. In archaeology there are courses on the rise and decline of past civilizations and cultures, as well as practical courses that permit students to participate in excavations. In biological anthropology there are courses in human evolution, human nutrition, and on the practice of medicine in our own and other cultures. Cultural anthropology surveys the diversity of world cultures, and offers courses on particular culture areas and provides critical perspectives on the study of contemporary culture changes globally.
Jump to: BA Degree with a Major in Anthropology Minor in Anthropology
Upon completing the BA degree, a student majoring in Anthropology will:
For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Anthropology (ANTH) must complete:
The major in anthropology has two distinct areas of concentration: anthropological archaeology and social-cultural anthropology. Anthropological archaeology. In this track, the focus is on research skills in the library, the field, and the laboratory. Archaeology students will also engage theoretical developments and critical contemporary debates on issues such as the politics of the past and cultural heritage. Students also develop at least one analytical skill, such as, archaeological statistics, osteology, or geoarchaeology, drawing on the university's laboratory and computer facilities. The archaeology program at Rice has a long-term focus on the archaeology of urban, complex societies in East and West Africa. The program offers students the opportunity to participate in archaeological excavations abroad as well as projects in Houston that focus on the city’s African-American past. Students inquiring about the major with a focus on anthropological archaeology should see Dr. Jeffrey Fleisher (email@example.com; Sewall 582). Social-cultural anthropology. This track engages with contemporary issues, populations and social dynamics that affect human life and culture broadly around the world. Social-cultural anthropology inquires across a vast range of human concerns from religion to social movements, from gender to medicine, from science studies to media, and from nature to law. Students are trained in ethnographic research methods and qualitative data collection and they learn the theoretical principles that have shaped the discipline as well as contemporary, innovative approaches that question how human sociality is constituted in the 21st century. The social-cultural anthropology program at Rice has always championed interdisciplinary, theoretical and experimental modes of anthropological inquiry and students are encouraged to add their creative intellectual insights to their research pursuits and goals. Students inquiring about the major with a focus on social-cultural anthropology should see Dr. Zoë Wool (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org 5th Floor, 574 Sewall Hall). Dr. Susan McIntosh is the undergraduate transfer credit advisor. All students seeking transfer credit in anthropology for courses taken elsewhere should see Dr. McIntosh for approval. CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) as listed below to satisfy the Anthropology major's Core Requirements.
Introductory Courses Students must complete 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the following:
Method Course Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:
Theory CourseStudents must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:
RESEARCH SEQUENCE: CAPSTONE OR HONORSStudents must complete one of the following research sequences, consisting of 3 courses (minimum of 5 credit hours). See below for requirements for each sequence.
ELECTIVESTo fulfill the remaining Anthropology major requirements, students must complete a total of 6 additional courses (18 credit hours) from ANTH course offerings at the 300-level or above. Up to 2 courses (6 credit hours) consisting of relevant course work may be completed outside of the department. Courses taken to satisfy the Research Sequence requirement may be applied toward the Electives requirement.
The Anthropology Capstone provides an opportunity for students to conduct an independent research project on a topic that interests them, while working one-on-one with a faculty supervisor. The project culminates in a research paper and a presentation to the faculty and assembled students.
The Capstone includes two one-credit research preparation and support courses, ANTH 493 and ANTH 494, and one three-credit course (Anthropology Capstone ANTH 495).
The Honors Program is intended to acknowledge outstanding students, and to provide them with advanced training in the planning and execution of sustained, independent research. As a rule, students should petition the undergraduate advisor to be admitted to the Program no later than the 10th week of the spring semester of their junior year. Admission is at the discretion of the department faculty. The only formal prerequisite to admittance are a Grade Point Average in the major of at least 3.5 and a cumulative GPA at the end of the junior year of at least 3.0. Final decisions concerning admission are at the discretion of department faculty. Once admitted to the Program, each student must complete a thesis, on a topic of her or his choosing, under the direction of one of the members of the department's faculty. Topics should be approved by the faculty advisor by the end of the first month of the senior year. Theses are due at the end of the last semester of the senior year.
The Honors Thesis includes two one-credit research preparation and support courses, ANTH 493 and ANTH 494, and two three-credit research courses (Directed Honors Research ANTH 490/491). back to menu
Students pursuing the minor in Anthropology (ANTY) must complete:
CORE REQUIREMENTSStudents must complete 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the list below to satisfy the Anthropology minor's Core Requirements.
ELECTIVES To fulfill the remaining Anthroplogy minor requirements, students must complete a total of 4 additional courses (12 credit hours) from departmental (ANTH) course offerings. 3 elective courses (9 credit hours) must be taken at the 300-level or above.
The Department of Anthropology offers a six-week field school in June and July in sub-Saharan Africa, alternating between eastern and western locales. Past field schools have been on the island of Gorée, located off the coast of Senegal, where research focused on the development of Gorée as a supply port for the Atlantic trade, and at Songo Mnara, a 15th-century Swahili urban center on the southern Tanzanian coast. This course is offered for a total of six hours of credit (ANTH 364 [3 credit hours] and ANTH 370 [3 credit hours]). The course is offered without specific prerequisites, but there is a general requirement that students have some prior course work in archaeology or African history. Program fees apply.back to menu
*NOTE: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Anthropology undergraduate degree, major, and minor. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject: ANTHDepartment Description and Code - Anthropology: ANTH Degree Description and Code - Bachelor of Arts degree: BAMajor Description and Code - Major in Anthropology: ANTHMinor Description and Code - Minor in Anthropology: ANTY
Upon completing the MA and PhD degrees, Anthropology students will be able to:
For general university requirements, see Graduate Degrees. Because each field of specialization offers different opportunities for training and different research orientations, the department seeks applicants with a defined interest in either social-cultural anthropology or archaeology; an undergraduate background in anthropology is strongly desirable, but not required. Entering students devise a detailed first-year plan of study and provisional plans for succeeding years in consultation with an advisor. The plan should emphasize broad training in the selected field before the eventual definition of a project for dissertation research.
MA Program—Although students are not normally admitted to study for an MA in the social-cultural area of specialization, graduate students may earn the MA after obtaining approval of their candidacy for the PhD. Students pursuing the MA degree as a terminal degree with a major in Anthropology must complete:
PhD Program—Students pursuing the PhD degree program in Anthropology with the social-cultural specialization must:
REQUIRED COURSESStudents must complete a total of 5 courses (15 credit hours) from the following:
ELECTIVESIn addition to the required courses listed above, students pursuing the social-cultural specialization must take at least 4 courses (12 credit hours) from departmental ANTH course offerings that are designated as 400/600 level courses.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PhD CANDIDACY (and thus eligibility for a candidacy the MA)Students pursuing the PhD degree program in Anthropology must complete the folllowing. These requirements must be completed no later than the end of the eighth semester of enrollment in the program:
The department will, at times, arrange independent study tutorials on specialized topics relevant to student training; these seminars may be conducted in supervisory consultation with scholars in other disciplines as well as with adjunct faculty. Students interested in the specialized field of medical anthropology may take advantage of the extensive resources of the Texas Medical Center through ties established with the University of Texas School of Public Health and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; students may earn degree credit for formal courses taken at both schools.
All first-year students receive the same level of support: a combination of graduate fellowships and tuition scholarships. These awards are renewed for a further four years of study contingent on satisfactory performance.
Descriptions and Codes Legend
Note: Internally, the university uses the following abbreviations (4-digit codes) to identify the Anthropology graduate degree program. The following is a quick reference:
Course Catalog/Schedule - Course offerings/subject code: ANTHDepartment Description and Code - Anthropology: ANTHDegree Descriptions and Codes - Master of Arts degree: MA - Doctor of Philosophy degree: PhDDegree Program Description and Code - Degree Program in Anthropology: ANTH
The official course offerings, including course descriptions, for Anthropology can be found in Rice's Course Catalog.
To view the most recent course schedule for the 2016-2017 academic year, see Rice's Course Schedule.
For additional information regarding Anthropology, see the department's website: http://anthropology.rice.edu/.