Major Requirements

Students who entered Johns Hopkins in the 2020-2021 academic year should refer to the current Academic Catalog for a current list of major requirements. Students who entered Johns Hopkins University in a previous academic year should refer to the catalog of that academic year.

To fulfill the general requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree, students majoring in Anthropology must complete a total of 30 credits (10 courses) in Anthropology, to include:

  • 070.132 Invitation to Anthropology
  • 070.273 Ethnographies
  • 070.317 Methods
  • 070.419 Logic of Anthropological Inquiry
  • Six other courses
    • At least four of which must be 300-level or higher, of which one can be a cross-listed course taught outside the department. After consultation with faculty, majors can take an independent study course that will count toward the major.

All Anthropology majors must also meet a foreign language requirement (intermediate level). Native speakers of another language, or those fluent in a language not taught at the university, can devise a plan to meet this requirement in consultation with the department.

Students majoring in Anthropology maintain a close working relationship with their major adviser, meeting at least twice each term to coordinate their progress through the program.

Honors Program

In order to get honors in anthropology, students have to have a 3.5 GPA in anthropology and to write an honors thesis (also referred to as a senior essay) in their final year. Students have to sign up to take the Senior Essay course each semester of their final year with a faculty member who has agreed to serve as their supervisor of the thesis project. The supervisor need not be the assigned department advisor, although the department advisor, along with the DUS, may also provide guidance as requested. Only after successful completion of the first term, may the honors candidate proceed to the second term. When there are five or more students who wish to write theses, a 3-credit senior thesis seminar may be offered to replace one of these two Senior Essay courses. Departmental honors will be awarded to students whose theses receive a grade of A- or better. The honors thesis is due no later than the last day of spring term to ensure that the registrar’s office is notified as to whether the student has received honors.

Working closely with their faculty supervisors, honors candidates build their own research proposals; carry out some combination of fieldwork, library research, and archival work; and write and submit an honors thesis/senior essay. If students plan to undertake research involving human subjects, they will be required to apply for approval from the Homewood Institutional Review Board under supervision of their faculty advisor. 

It is strongly advised that students have undertaken the bulk of their research prior to their senior year so that they can concentrate on data transcription and analysis, and writing in that year. Therefore, if the student is a rising junior and is interested in getting honors in anthropology, they should approach the faculty member of interest to them in the first semester of their junior year and make preparations to carry out research. This will involve writing a proposal and getting IRB permission if needed, followed by some combination of fieldwork, library research and archival work to be undertaken sometime between the first semester of the junior year and that of the senior year.

If the student is a rising sophomore and is interested in undertaking independent research or carrying out an internship, they should discuss with their department advisor whether this work can apply towards their honors thesis/senior essay. Such longer term planning will ensure that the student is well placed to write an honors thesis/senior essay in their final year. 

If students are interested to get grant monies to support their research, they are encouraged to apply for any number of awards available to undergraduates within Hopkins. Please search the following resources to get the most updated information on awards: Office of the Vice-Provost for Research; KSAS office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity; Women Gender Sexuality; East Asian Studies; Islamic Studies; Jewish Studies; International Studies; Agora Institute, among others. The Anthropology Department also provides small summer grants that may be used towards research for the honors thesis/senior essay. Students should plan to speak to the DUS, their department advisor or thesis supervisor at the earliest opportunity to ensure that they have working proposals and referees in place to make successful grant applications. 

Please address all questions and concerns to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Naveeda Khan.