Anthropology Department

About the Major


See the Academic Catalog for Anthropology major requirements.

Anthropology major concentrations:

Interdisciplinary Majors and Anthropology

Anthropology offers several opportunities for formal or informal interdisciplinary majors. Students interested in combining their foreign language and literature work with anthropological theory and method can pursue an ad-hoc interdisciplinary major in anthropology and a foreign language taught at Reed. See your advisor for planning such a major.

Anthropology also participates in the Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies (CRES) interdisciplinary major. More information on CRES requirements.

Declaration of Major

It is necessary for you to declare a major in order to be admitted to junior standing in the Division of History and Social Sciences. It is important that you declare as soon as you have determined that anthropology is to be your major field because the Division then takes responsibility for the oversight of your academic program in the junior and senior years. When you have chosen the major, be certain that not only is the official form completed and filed, but that you have also chosen an adviser in the Department of Anthropology. A reminder: the Division requires that you take some non-anthropology courses in history and/or the social sciences; discuss this distributional requirement with your adviser and check the catalog. Also, remember that reading competence in a foreign language as demonstrated by completion of two units of a second, third or fourth year foreign language course or by examination at equivalent levels is required.

In many cases, students express an interest in having an ad hoc committee supervise an ad hoc major. This is an inter-divisional major, which includes Anthropology as one of its components. This has been done successfully in the past (Anthro/Phil, Anthro/Bio, Anthro/Lit), but requires advanced preparation; at least as early as the middle of the semester prior to the junior review (i.e., the Qual, etc.). Any proposal for interdisciplinary studies must be approved by the constituent departments. It is not necessary to establish an interdisciplinary major within the Division of History and Social Sciences. If an ad hoc major is undertaken, it would be necessary to have an adviser in each of the constituent departments. Those advisers will negotiate to determine an appropriate program for the following two years. A thesis topic or thesis area should be clearly articulated before the ad hoc major has been approved. This is not to say that a specific thesis topic will be accepted at that time, but rather that a legitimate area of intellectual inquiry has been identified that makes sense of a program which goes beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries. Forms for interdisciplinary majors, as well as forms for admission to the Division, are available at the Registrar's Office.