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The Undergraduate Experience

Anthropology majors at UIC enjoy a small-college experience in a large, urban, research university. With few exceptions, our undergraduate courses are taught by UIC faculty, composed of leading researchers and award-winning teachers. The Department of Anthropology, located within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, offers a  Major in Anthropology and a Minor in Anthropology. Students can also earn a Certificate in Medical Humanities. Our courses focus on both modern and ancient societies throughout the world. We frequently offer archaeological field schools in North or South America. We currently have about 120 majors, of which approximately 45 graduate each year.

Our undergraduates have the freedom to explore a variety of interests while remaining grounded in the mainstream of the discipline. Majors are encouraged to create their own regional or thematic concentrations in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Many of our majors work closely with our professors, and UIC Anthropology undergraduates are known for presenting papers and research results at local and national meetings. Our students have also won Fulbrights and other prestigious awards. Many Anthropology majors also choose to study abroad.

Majors are required to take 35-36 hours in Anthropology, Anthropology minors require 20 hours, and minors in Geography take 18-20 hours (see the complete requirements for more information). The department also offers its top majors departmental distinctions and/or a variety of awards.

Programs and Requirements Heading link

Students interested in anthropology are encouraged to major, double major, or minor in anthropology at UIC. Students from other disciplines may also choose to complete the Certificate in Medical Humanities. Information about all of these options is available below.

The anthropology major requires 32-38 credits in addition to 82-88 General Education and Electives credits in order to reach 120 total credit hours for graduation from UIC. The required courses for a major are:

  • ANTH 101 World Culture: Introduction to Social Anthropology (3 credits)
  • ANTH 102 Introduction to Archaeology (4 credits)
  • ANTH 105 Human Evolution (4 credits)
  • ANTH 309 Writing Culture (3 credits)

Students are required to take six additional anthropology courses totaling 18-24 credits. Two of these additional courses must be at the 300- or 400-level.

Anthropology articulates and creates synergy with a number of other programs at UIC. Students with any existing major are encouraged to add a double major in anthropology. Double majoring in anthropology and any of the programs listed below will specifically play to and elabroate upon the strengths of both programs.

  • Art History
  • Biological Sciences
  • Classical Studies
  • Criminology, Law, and Justice
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Global Asian Studies
  • Integrated Health Sciences
  • Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Political Science
  • Public Health
  • Sociology
  • Urban Studies

Students majoring in other disciplines who do not wish to double major in anthropology may also choose to complete a minor in anthropology. The anthropology minor requires a total of 20 credit hours, including the courses listed below.

  • ANTH 101 World Cultures: Introduction to Social Anthropology (3 credits)
  • ANTH 102 Introduction to Archaeology (4 credits)
  • ANTH 105 Human Evolution (4 credits)

Students are required to take three additional anthropology courses totaling 9 credits. These additional courses must be at the 200-, 300-, or 400-level.

The Certificate in Medical Humanities allows students to use interdisciplinary approaches to explore and understand how health and health care operate in diverse cultural and social contexts. The certificate is recommended for students who intend to enter a health profession and wish to work more effectively in cross-cultural settings, but it is open to undergraduate students from any college or major. Students can satisfy the requirements of the certificate by completing 15 hours in the following courses:

  • ANTH 216 Medicine, Culture, and Society (3 credits)

Select one of the following:

  • COMM 205 The Health Media Environment
  • ECON 215 Health Economics
  • GWS 262 Constructions of Gender, Race, Health, and Human Rights
  • PHIL 116 Biomedical Ethics
  • SOC 251 Health and Medicine

Three electives, to be chosen with the advisor. Must deal with the background, experiences, and unique challenges of different groups and populations who engage with healthcare systems.

At least nine of the 15 hours in the certificate must be at the 200 level or above. At least half of the credits must be completed in residence at UIC, and no more than six total hours (two classes) may satisfy requirements for both the Certificate in Medical Humanities and the student’s major or minor.


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