Undergraduate Fast Facts

What is Anthropology?

Anthropologists study human beings from every time period, in every way possible, in all their complexity. Sociocultural anthropologists talk to and observe living people, often over long periods of time and through close participation in the communities they form, whether those are in modern biological labs, in globalizing villages throughout the world, or people joined only through the internet. Medical anthropologists study how disease, violence, and the development of the body are understood by contemporary people. Archaeologists interpret human social life in the past through the study of the things people made, used, and discarded and the traces of their impacts on the environment, whether their sites are 20th century buildings on the Berkeley campus, early colonial villages in the Pacific, or the campsites of Palaeolithic Europe. Biological anthropologists seek to understand the physical nature of human beings and how present-day aspects of human biology interact with current social and environmental conditions, including exploring the social ecology and biology of our close cousins the primates and distinctively human features of human brains, genetics, reproduction, aging, and disease, all considered from an evolutionary perspective.

Do I qualify to undertake the honors thesis?

You must have a 3.6 GPA in Anthropology and an overall 3.3 GPA at UC. Further requirements for course completion (no Incompletes, Anthro 114 and the methods requirement completed) and total upper division units completed and in progress (at least 8 completed, at least 16 either completed or in progress) to apply.

How long should my honors thesis be?

A typical undergraduate Honors Thesis contains approximately 50 pages of text (but no more that 100), a bibliography, and often illustrations and tables.

How do I apply for the McCown Prize?

The McCown Prize ($1500) is awarded to the graduating senior judged to be the most outstanding Anthropology student in the class--someone that is BOTH an amazing student, and who has been actively engaged in the Anthropology community and ideally the community at large. Evidence of distinction in work done outside the Department may be taken into account, but McCown is primarily to reward for excellence in the work of the department. A minimum 3.6 GPA in their major course work, and a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.5 is required. Submit two letters of recommendation from faculty, two papers written for upper-division Anthropology courses, a resume/CV, and an essay of no more than 1 page.

How do I apply for the Kroeber Prize?

The Kroeber Prize ($1000) is awarded annually for the outstanding Anthropology Senior Honors Thesis. Applicants submit the thesis by the advertised deadline for review by the selection committee. No late submissions can be accepted.

How do I get approval for an Anthropology DeCal?

Deadlines are set each semester and there are no exceptions, because of necessary time for university approval. Create a course description that shows the frequency and length of class meetings; a reading list; an outline of each week's topic that includes reading required for that week; a clear description of assignments and requirements for the class, with the percentage each will contribute to the final grade and due dates. Answer the five questions on the Course Proposal form, which must be signed by the sponsoring faculty member. Checklists for the process are at http://www.decal.org/start/sponsoring.phpm. Submit all materials in person to the Undergraduate Advising Office (209 Kroeber).