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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

New Faculty in Sociology:

Dr. Melanie S. Brasher has joined the department as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University in 2013. Prior to coming to URI, Dr. Brasher was a visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College. Her appointment is a joint appointment in Sociology and in Human Development and Family Studies where she will participate in the Gerontology program. For more info click here.

Dr. Hilda Lloreans has joined the department as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut in 2005. Prior to coming to URI, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University and a Lecturer at Middlebury College. She has also held positions as a Research Associate at the University of Puerto Rico and at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, Connecticut. For more info click here.

Early Career Faculty Research Award

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