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Painting by Paul Gaugin


Bachelor of Arts Degree

The URI anthropology curriculum offers courses in all major subfields of the study of humankind: archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and anthropological students looking at skullslinguistics. In the process of obtaining an undergraduate degree (B.A.), Anthropology majors learn about human prehistory, evolutionary biology, and cultures around the world. Depending on their academic records and individual career goals, Anthropology graduates can either pursue advanced degrees (M.A. or Ph.D.) at other universities or take jobs in nonacademic fields. Either way, we believe their lives are enriched through the study of humankind.

Students desiring to major in Anthropology must complete a minimum of 30 credits (maximum 45 credits) in that subject. The following course requirements apply for all majors:

Introductory Anthropology

Majors must take four of the following courses (12 credits)

  • APG 200 Language and Culture: A cross-cultural survey of the interaction between cultural patterns and language
  • APG 201 Human Origins: A survey of the fossil evidence for human evolution
  • APG 202 Introduction to Archaeology: Archaeological perspectives on the major developments in humanity's past
  • APG 203 Cultural Anthropology: An introduction to the study of culture illustrated by examples from around the world

Anthropological Methods

One methodology course is required from the following four offerings (3 credits)

  • APG 300 Human Fossil Record: Advanced study of hominid fossils
  • APG 302 Methods of Anthropological Inquiry: Study of the logic and techniques used in the collection and analysis of anthropological data
  • APG 412 Primate Behavior and Organization: Study of the behavior of wild prosimians, monkeys, and apes, and the use of primate data by anthropologists
  • APG 417 Archaeological Method and Theory: Problems of the collection and interpretation of archaeological data. (Note: APG 417 may be taken to fulfill either the Methods or the Theory requirement, but not both)

Anthropological Theory

All majors must take APG 401. In addition, majors must take either APG 417 (see note above) or APG 327 (6 credits).

  • APG 327 History of Physical Anthropology: Examination of certain classic studies in human evolution and physical anthropology
  • APG 401 History of Anthropological Theory: An overview of anthropological theory from the16th century to the present; emphasis on cultural theory

Anthropology Electives

A minimum of three additional courses must be taken from the anthropology offerings (9 credits)

  • APG 220 Introduction to the Study of Language
  • APG 301 The Anthropology of Nutrition
  • APG 303 New World Prehistory
  • APG 309 Anthropology of Religion
  • APG 310 Topics in Anthropology
  • APG 311 Native North Americans
  • APG 315 Cultures and Societies of Latin America
  • APG 319 Cultural Behavior and Environment
  • APG 320 Sociolinguistics
  • APG 322 Anthropology of Modernization
  • APG 328 Gender and Culture
  • APG 329 Contemporary Mexican Society
  • APG 350 Human Variation
  • APG 400 Evolution, Culture, and Human Disease
  • APG 405 Psychological Anthropology
  • APG 413 Peoples of the Sea
  • APG 427 Unity of Anthropology
  • APG 465 Seminar in Cultural Heritage
  • APG 470 Problems in Anthropology (Directed Research)
  • APG 490 Underwater Historical Archaeology

It is strongly recommended that anthropology majors take at least one course in inferential statistics (e.g., STA 308 or 409), complete a foreign language through the intermediate level, and gain computer proficiency. Early in the junior year, majors who plan to go to graduate school should meet with their advisor for curricular counseling.

News & Announcements


Donna Hughes, Carlson Professor of Gender and Women's Studies has accepted a joint appointment as Professor of Sociology. Professor Hughes is a leading international researcher on human trafficking. She has completed research on the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation in the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Korea and also does research and writing on women's rights.


Dr. Pravin Patkar, a Fulbright Scholar from India will be in residence in Sociology and Anthropology during the 2015-16 academic year. The founder of Prerana, a center for women and children in Kamathipura - the largest red-light district in the world -- he written extensively on the topic of human trafficking. He has worked with victims of bonded labor (modern-day slavery) and prostitution and sex trafficking, and is an advocate for laws and policy that protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Dr. Patkar will be doing research and co-teaching courses with Professor Donna Hughes.


Julie Keller Julie C. Keller has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to URI, Professor Keller was a Visiting Assistant Professor and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College.


Rosaria Pisa has been appointed director of the Gender and Women's Studies program. Professor Pisa has conducted in-depth fieldwork in rural and urban Mexico since 1993. Her research has evolved from studying the impact of the privatization of communal land on community life to her current focus on the gender dynamics of local and organic farming.


URI Anthropology & History student, Morgan Breene, earns prestigious international award to continue her studies of underwater archaeological sites. For full article click here



For the second year in a row, an anthropologist has been awarded the University’s Early Career Research Award.

Associate Professor Holly Dunsworth received the 2014 award for her research comparing energy use in apes and other mammals with particular reference to how the energetics and metabolic parameters of pregnancy, fetal growth, infant growth, and lactation and how those determine the timing of birth in humans and other mammals. Kudos to Holly!!!

Department contacts

Department Chair
Leo Carroll,

Justice, Law & Society Minor Coordinator
Professor Leo Carroll,

Administrative Assistant
Theresa Nobile,