Undergraduate Requirements: Majors, Minors, Graduation with Distinction, IDM, Independent Studies and Double Majors


Major Requirements: 10 Courses

  • **3 Foundation Courses:

    • CULANTH 101 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
      • This introductory course to Cultural Anthropology is taught by several faculty members of the department and is offered at least once a year.
    • CULANTH 301 - Theories in Cultural Anthropology
      • This is a survey of the main intellectual currents in Cultural Anthropology, designed especially for majors. It is usually taken in the sophomore or junior year and serves as a strong foundation for the rest of the work in the major.  Please note: Beginning academic 2020-21, CulAnth 301 Theoretical Foundations will only be offered in the spring semester. 
    • CULANTH 302 - Fieldwork Methods: Cultural Analysis and Interpretation
      • This course combines theories of anthropological fieldwork methods with practice, including participation, observation, and interviews. Students will undertake original research in a local field site of their choice and produce their own mini-ethnography.
  • **The 3 Foundations courses may not be satisfied through study abroad or at other institutions. 
  • At least 5 Cultural Anthropology courses at the 100-level and above, includes FOCUS and Duke Engage courses cross-listed with cultural anthropology.
  • At least 1 Cultural Anthropology course at the 400-level and above, includes CulAnth Senior Seminar 489S and 499S.  
  • 1 additional course in Cultural Anthropology at any level.
  • Students must take at least five of their ten courses with instructors whose primary appointment is in the Department of Cultural Anthropology.  The instructor for Senior Seminar counts toward this requirement.  Instructors for all courses that originate in Cultural Anthropology (see the course codes) are considered primary instructors.  If you have questions about a particular course, be in touch with the DUS, DUSA, or your advisor.
  • Students seeking CA approval for a study-abroad class need to send the full syllabus, with full readings, to the DUS for approval.  Note that we do not approve independent studies done abroad. No more than three courses may be transferred from other institutions or study abroad.

    We strongly recommend study abroad, summer ethnographic research, and the senior thesis capstone experience.

Minor Requirements: 5 courses

  • CULANTH 101 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.
  • 3 Cultural Anthropology courses at the 100-level and above.
  • 1 additional Cultural Anthropology course at any level (this may include a course taken in the first-year FOCUS program and Duke Engage courses cross-listed with cultural anthropology.)

Degrees and Credentials: Double Major, Interdepartmental Major, Program II, Certificates

Interdepartmental Major Requirements: 7 courses

  • CULANTH 101 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • CULANTH 301 - Theoretical Foundations
  • CULANTH 302 - Fieldwork Methods
  • 1 Cultural Anthropology course at the 400 level and above.
  • 3 additional Cultural Anthropology courses at any level (this may include cross-listed courses, a course taken in the first-year FOCUS program and Duke Engage courses cross-listed with cultural anthropology).

    In the application for the IDM, the student will be asked to write a short essay outlining their IDM plan.  This document should be structured as a short, argumentative essay which provides the intellectual rationale for combining fields, identifying the key issues that the IDM examines,  the intellectual yield of working at this interdisciplinary intersection, and the rationale for choice of classes.  2-3 pages, double spaced.

Independent Study

Independent Studies can be approved as a Cultural Anthropology elective if they are supervised by a primary faculty member in Cultural Anthropology.   Students may not receive Cultural Anthropology credit for an Independent Study supervised by a faculty outside of Cultural Anthropology.  Independent studies cannot be cross-listed with other departments.  Primary faculty include Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors in Cultural Anthropology.  Note that we do not approve independent studies done abroad. 


Senior Seminar/Graduation with Distinction - how to apply

The department offers an intensive and personalized graduation with distinction program to qualified seniors. Admission to the program requires:

  • 3.0 GPA overall and a 3.3 grade point average in the major, both of which must be maintained to graduation
  • Enrollment in the senior seminars, Cultural Anthropology 489S and Cultural Anthropology 499S, in the fall and spring of their senior year, where they will learn about research methods and prepare a thesis
  • Senior thesis on a topic of a student’s own choice in close collaboration with members of the Cultural Anthropology faculty is required.

Qualified juniors will be notified each year by the director of undergraduate studies about their eligibility.