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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 are designed to 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, as well as their 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.


SLU's anthropology graduates are prepared to successfully function in an interconnected world. The major and minor degrees in anthropology are designed to 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.


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. 


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 the student financial services office online at

  1. Graduates will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of foundational anthropological concepts and theory across the various subfields (e.g., cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology).
  2. Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of anthropological research, methodology and analysis.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate an ability to dissect and critically analyze existing anthropological research.

 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.
Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
ANTH 2200Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 2210
ANTH 2215
Biological Anthropology
and Biological Anthropology Lab
ANTH 2240Archaeology3
ANTH 3200Anthropological Theory3
ANTH 4870Capstone in Anthropology3
Methods Course
Select one course from the following:2-3
ANTH 4240
Primate Social Behavior
ANTH 4530
Urban Ethnography: Cities in a Global Perspective
ANTH 4720
Archaeological Lab Method
ANTH 4800
Research Activity: Supervised
SOC 2000
Research Methods
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 Electives23-32
Total Credits120

Continuation Standards

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

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here:
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Natural Science6
Social Science6
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science 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.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • 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
ANTH 1200 Introduction to Anthropology 3
ENGL 1900
or ENGL 1940
or EAP 1900
Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research
or Advanced Writing
or Rhetoric & Research Strategies
MATH 1200 College Algebra (or higher) 3
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
HIST 1110 Origins of the Modern World to 1500 3
SOC 2000 Research Methods 3
Foreign Language 2010 (if qualified) 3
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality 3
HIST 1110 Origins of the Modern World to 1500 3
Natural Science: BIOL, CHEM, EAS, FRSC, or PHYS 4
Year Two
ANTH 2200 Cultural Anthropology 3
Theology 2xxx 3
Literature ENGL 2xxx 3
PHIL 2050 Ethics 3
Natural Science: BIOL, CHEM, EAS, FRSC, or PHYS 4
ANTH 2210
ANTH 2215
Biological Anthropology
and Biological Anthropology Lab
Theology 3xxx 3
Literature 3-4xxx 3
Philosophy 3-4xxx 3
FPA 1xxx 3
Year Three
ANTH 2240 Archaeology 3
ANTH Elective 3
ANTH Elective 3
U.S. Diversity Course 3
Elective 3
ANTH 3200 Anthropological Theory 3
ANTH Elective/Global Citizenship 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Year Four
ANTH Elective 3
ANTH Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
ANTH 4870 Capstone in Anthropology 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
 Total Credits123