The Department of Anthropology offers a major and a minor in the field of Cultural Anthropology.

Major in Anthropology

The major in anthropology requires ten courses: four core courses and six electives. The four core courses are ANTH-001 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, ANTH-320 The Ethnographic Imagination, ANTH-358 Doing Anthropological Fieldwork, and ANTH-495 Anthropological Theory. Only the introductory course (ANTH-001) may be transferred from another institution; the other three core courses must be taken at Georgetown.

At least three of the six electives must be taken at Georgetown, either from elective offerings in Anthropology or cross-listed courses taught by anthropologists in other departments. Questions about courses not cross-listed with Anthropology should be directed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. A maximum of three electives may be transferred from coursework taken abroad. 

Anthropology Major Requirements
Four Core required courses:
  • ANTH-001 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH-320 The Ethnographic Imagination
  • ANTH-358 Doing Anthropological Fieldwork
  • ANTH-495 Anthropological Theory

•    ANTH-100 Urban Anthropology: Culture of the City
•    ANTH-120 Visual Anthropology
•    ANTH-141 Applied Anthropology
•    ANTH-170 Commerce Across Cultures
•    ANTH-180 Urban Legends, Moral Panics, and Myths
•    ANTH-205 Justice and Media
•    ANTH-206 Media and Global Protest
•    ANTH-215 Anthropology and Youth Culture
•    ANTH-220 Dangerous Kids
•    ANTH-225 Environmental Anthropology
•    ANTH-240 African Cultural Modernities
•    ANTH-245 Cultures & Sexualities
•    ANTH-250 Introduction to Medical Anthropology
•    ANTH-252 Global Race in Motion
•    ANTH-255 Cultures and Identities
•    ANTH-260 South Asia and the World
•    ANTH-279 Police in the Contemporary World
•    ANTH-280 Urban Anthropology
•    ANTH-282 Anthropology of Human Rights
•    ANTH-283 The African Diaspora
•    ANTH-290 The Anthropology of the Arab World
•    ANTH-300 Class and Culture in America
•    ANTH-305 Class, Culture, and Race in America
•    ANTH-315 Migration, Labor, and Rights
•    ANTH-328 Culture and Globalization
•    ANTH-340 Anthropological Perspectives on Gender
•    ANTH-342 Masculinities
•    ANTH-347 Religion and Politics
•    ANTH-350 Anthropology of War & Peace in Darfur (Qatar)
•    ANTH-352 Shamans, Priests and Healers
•    ANTH-353 Turkish Cultural Modernities
•    ANTH-356 The New Black Atlantic
•    ANTH-359 Ethnicity and Nationalism
•    ANTH-360 War Ethnography
•    ANTH-363 Anthropology and Islam
•    ANTH-380 African Cultures in the Americas
•    ANTH-382 Race and Ethnicity in Latin America
•    ANTH-385 African Culture and Foreign Policy
•    ANTH-386 Native Peoples of the Americas
•    ANTH-390 Global Health and Humanitarianism
•    ANTH-392 African Feminism Re-Imagined
•    ANTH-437 Race & Mestizaje: Latin America
•    ANTH-454 Anthropology of Social Engagement
•    ANTH-457 Anthropology and the Historical Imagination 
•    ANTH-460 Political Anthropology of the Russian Federation
•    ANTH-492 Ethnography of the Colombian Conflict


Anthropology majors may apply by the end of the spring semester of junior year to undertake a senior honors thesis under the direction of a faculty mentor. Consult the department website for procedures.


Anthropology distinguishes itself from related fields in Social Sciences and Humanities by emphasizing sustained and intimate engagement with people’s lived experiences. Our curriculum prepares students to understand and communicate the linkages between culture and power in changing, local, national, and global circumstances as they affect people’s daily lives. Our courses explore anthropology through engagement in and beyond the classroom with pressing issues surrounding the new economy, gender, human rights, legal systems, transnational migration, politics, race, religion, and social justice.  Writing is critical to these explorations and is integrated throughout our curriculum to prepare students to reflect upon and engage with these pressing social concerns. 

Ethnographic writing involves placing oneself in the research context to gain first-hand sense of how local knowledge is put to work in grappling with practical and philosophical problems.  Anthropology students learn the skills of qualitative research by reading ethnographies and applying methods like participant observation; writing field notes; developing social maps of particular communities; media analysis; written observations; reflective writing about advocacy projects in which students are engaged; and, analysis of interview and observational data.

Our majors are required to design and carry out their own research projects in the fieldwork methods core class. This course gives the students a chance to get a first hand experience of crafting a research proposal, to design and apply methods and to gather and interpret their findings.  In addition to learning the tools of ethnographic writing, students also typically write reading reflections, précis of significant readings, as well as full research papers that draw on their ethnographic field research. Throughout this process, faculty work with students to revise and develop their analysis across courses and years of study. Our senior core courses offer students an in-depth understanding of the core texts and theoretical debates about the ethics, politics, representation, and meaning of the discipline. The writing goals in these courses are to facilitate critical reflection and assessment of classical and contemporary works of anthropologists. [More information about specific writing goals for the core classes can be found on the Learning Goals section of the Anthropology Department website.]

Anthropology majors also develop e-portfolios that showcase analytical and critical writing skills.  In their senior year, majors and minors use their e-portfolios and the guidance of faculty to construct an engaging narrative about their academic career in anthropology at Georgetown, which highlights their research and writing and integrates relevant work, internship, and study abroad experiences.

Writing in the anthropology major is a central tool for communicating and producing knowledge about “local” realities and everyday experiences, and how they are shaped by the larger forces (economic, cultural, political) that shape – and are shaped by – all human experience.  In our program, students also learn to be attuned to their own roles as researcher and writer, insiders and outsiders, and observers of socio-cultural phenomena drawing on their own experiences and positions in society.

Minor in Anthropology

The minor in anthropology requires six courses: three core courses (ANTH-001 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; ANTH-320 The Ethnographic Imagination; and ANTH-358 Doing Anthropological Fieldwork) and any three electives in Anthropology.

Only the introductory course (ANTH-001) may be transferred from another institution; the other two core courses in the minor must be taken at Georgetown. All electives must either originate in Anthropology or be taught by an anthropologist in another Georgetown department with approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Minors may transfer a maximum of two electives from coursework taken abroad.

(For course listings for Anthropology see