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What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is from the Greek anthropos (human) + logia (study). It is the science that studies human variation from its beginnings millions of years ago to the present day. To an anthropologist, diversity itself – seen in body shapes and sizes, blood types, different kinds of languages, customs, clothing, religion and ideas about the world – provides a frame of reference for understanding any single aspect of life.

Archaeologists study the things humans created, used, and left behind to understand ancient societies and how they lived.

Biological anthropologists study our species and its close relatives, tracing their biological origins, development and genetic diversity to understand human evolutionary history.

Cultural anthropologists seek to describe how societies and their institutions are constituted to explain differences among them.

Success Factors

While each branch of anthropology carries its own special techniques and required skill sets, certain attributes common to all will help a student succeed:

  • open-mindedness and willingness to understand how other social and cultural systems work
  • intellectual curiosity about human similarities and differences
  • desire to find out how things actually are vs. how someone thinks they "should be"
  • analytic ability and, for some branches, some quantitative and statistical skills
  • verbal facility: ability to read carefully and write clearly and concisely
  • desire to cultivate a disciplined imagination

Career Possibilities

Graduates of the anthropology program receive broad training that enables them to pursue a wide range of exciting career options. This training includes courses in cultural and biological anthropology and archaeology, as well as numerous field and lab methods. Graduates may work in research, teaching, or administration, in industry, government, non-governmental organizations and many other private and public institutions.

For more information about anthropology and its career options, you can browse the following websites:

Minoring in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology offers a minor for undergraduates enrolled in any college of the university.

Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours as follows:

  • Cultural Anthropology, ANTH 1001, 3 hours
  • Introduction to Archaeology, ANTH 1005, 3 hours
  • Biological Anthropology, ANTH1003, 3 hours
  • Elective Coursework: ANTH 2000-level or above, 8 hours
  • Advanced Elective Course: ANTH 3000-level or above, 3 hours

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

It is possible to complete the BA in anthropology in three years, utilizing summer terms and advanced standing credit options. Click here for a three-year plan.

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

Majors get a solid grounding in all four branches of anthropology from an accessible faculty actively practicing, or "professing," their fields. There are opportunities to become involved in faculty research and fieldwork, and the program stresses training and practice in learning to think like an anthropologist - a skill highly transferable into fields that reward careful thinking and respect for data (law, medicine, investigation, etc.).

A capstone activity or experience is required by the university general education program. Anthropology majors choose from among four capstone theory courses. It is important to check with the department when planning the senior year.

Freshman Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 at most recent institution

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors within UC Requirements

Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cum.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cum

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While mid-year admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology

Full-Time Program Duration

4 Years


Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria



450 Braunstein Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0380
Phone: (513) 556-5783
Leila Rodriguez