Anthropology, B.A.


Entrance Requirements

New freshmen who meet University admissions standards are eligible for admission to degree programs offered by the college. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another college on the Columbia campus must be in good standing and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher. A student who wishes to enter the College of Arts and Sciences from another USC campus must fulfill one of the following requirements:

  1. Be in good standing, meet the admission requirements for a baccalaureate degree on the Columbia campus, and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher.
  2. Be in good standing and have completed 30 semester hours with a GPA of 2.00 or higher on a USC campus.

Some programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have special admission requirements established by the department or committee that supervises the specific degree program, for example, Cardiovascular Technology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Economics, Environmental Science, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. These requirements are listed in the sections of this bulletin that describe department and special degree programs.

Degree Requirements (120 hours)

Program of Study

Requirements Credit Hours
1. Carolina Core 32-44
2. College Requirements 15-18
3. Program Requirements 31-46
4. Major Requirements 27

Founding Documents Requirement

All undergraduate students must take a 3-credit course or its equivalent with a passing grade in the subject areas of History, Political Science, or African American Studies that covers the founding documents including the United State Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation and one or more documents that are foundational to the African American Freedom struggle, and a minimum of five essays from the Federalist papers.  This course may count as a requirement in any part of the program of study including the Carolina Core, the major, minor or cognate, or as a general elective.  Courses that meet this requirement are listed here.

1. Carolina Core Requirements (32-44 hours)

CMW – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

ARP – Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving (6-8 hours) 

SCI – Scientific Literacy (8 hours)

  • Two 4-credit hour CC-SCI laboratory science courses

GFL – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

GHS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking (3 hours)

GSS – Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (3 hours)

AIU – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (3 hours)

CMS – Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component1 (0-3 hours)

INF – Information Literacy1 (0-3 hours)

VSR – Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility1 (0-3 hours)


Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

Choose 1 of the following to fulfill a Carolina Core requirement:

2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours)

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

History (3 hours) 

The College of Arts and Sciences requires one additional GHS course beyond the Carolina Core GHS requirement. 

  • If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a U.S. history course, the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement must be fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course.
  • If the Carolina Core GHS requirement is fulfilled by a non-U.S. history course, the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement must be fulfilled by a U.S. history course. 

Please select the College of Arts and Sciences history requirement from the approved list of U.S. and non-U.S. history courses.

Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (12 hours)

3. Program Requirements (31-46 hours)

Cognate or Minor (12-18 hours)

Students must complete a cognate (12 hours) or a minor as part of this program.  In lieu of a cognate or minor, an additional major may be added to a student’s program of study. Additional majors must include all major courses as well as any prescribed courses noted (*) in the bulletin.  Prescribed courses noted in the bulletin may be shared with Carolina Core, College requirements, and Program requirements in the primary program. 

Cognate (12 hours)

The cognate must consist of twelve (12) hours of courses at the advanced level, outside of but related to the major. The cognate may be taken in one or more departments or programs.

Courses offered by departments and programs that are acceptable for cognate credit are outlined in the section titled Courses Acceptable for Cognate Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Some major programs have specific cognate requirements. It should be emphasized that the cognate is not a second set of elective courses to be chosen at random by the student. Students are urged to consult their major advisors for specific requirements in their major.

For Bachelor of Arts degrees, all cognate courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

Minor (18 hours)

In place of the cognate a student in the College of Arts and Sciences may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses.

The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. It differs from the cognate inasmuch as the courses must follow a structured sequence.

Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University.

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z.

Electives (13-34 hours)

120 (or 128) degree applicable credits are required to complete any degree at USC. After the cognate, minor or second major is complete, any additional credits needed to reach 120 (or 128) total credits can be fulfilled by electives. No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Note: 7-28 hours of electives will be needed to reach hours to graduate if completing the B.A. with Distinction.

4. Major Requirements (27 hours)

A minimum grade of C is required in all major courses.

Any course taken to fulfill a major requirement may not also fulfill a Carolina Core requirement.

Major Courses (12 hours)

Course Title Credits
Select one course from Biological Anthropology:3
Plagues Past and Present
Forensics of Sherlock Holmes
Planet of the Apes: Behavior and Biology
Human Variation
Basic Forensic Anthropology
Medical Experimentation and the Black Body
Special Topics in Biological Anthropology
Becoming Human
Medicine, Disease, and Slavery
Human Osteology
Health and Disease in the Past
Human Identification in Forensic Anthropology
Nutritional Anthropology
Select one course from Archaeology:3
Great Discoveries in Archaeology
Modernity Archaeology and the Recent Past
Indigenous Caribbean Archaeology
Archaeology in Film and Popular Culture
Biblical Archaeology
Forbidden Archaeology: Fantasies, Frauds, and Mysteries of the Human Past
North American Prehistory
Southeastern Archaeology
Special Topics in Archaeology
Principles of Archaeology
Archaeology Theory
South Carolina Archaeology
Field School in Archaeology
Prehistoric Civilizations of the New World
Mesoamerican Prehistory
Ancient Civilizations
North American Archaeology
Prehistoric Archaeology of South America
Conflict Archaeology
Public Archaeology
Field Problems in Archaeology
Forensic Archaeological Recovery (FAR)
Archaeological Laboratory Methods
Archaeology of the African Diaspora
Select one course from Linguistic Anthropology:3
Anthropology of Nonverbal Communication
Language and Popular Culture
Cross-Cultural Communication
Special Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
Language, Culture, and Society
Ethnography of Communication
Introduction to Language Sciences
Cognitive and Social Aspects of Bilingualism
African-American English
Anthropological Approaches to Narrative and Performance
Language and Gender
Language and Globalization
Discourse, Gender, and Politics of Emotion
Select one course from Socioccultural Anthropology:3
Comparing Cultures Through Film
Anthropology of Magic and Religion
Gender and Culture
Introduction to Folklore
Ethnobotany: Plants and Peoples
Diversity in the United States
African-American Cultures
Contemp Cultures of South Carolina
Caribbean Cultures
Cultures of Africa
Cultures of Islam
Middle Eastern Cultures
South Asian Cultures
Southeast Asian Cultures
Chinese Popular Culture
Japanese Cultures
American Indian Nations Today: From Hard Times to Hard Rock
Humans Going Nuclear: Atomic Bombs, Cold War, and the Fallout
Special Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
Disease, Health, and Social Inequities
Latin American Cultures
Environmental Anthropology: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Environmental Change
Anthropology of Work
Anthropology & Development
The Family in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Anthropology of Law and Conflict
Anthropology of Art
Theories of Culture
Anthropology of Sex
Gender and Globalization
Toxic Environments and Invisible Harms
Gender Issues in China
Tradition and Transformations in Islamic Cultures
An Anthropological View of Blacks in Film
Visual Cultures
Medical Anthropology
Temporal Processes in Culture
Cultural Ecology
Culture and Identity in the African Diaspora
Globalization and Cultural Questions
Total Credit Hours12

Major Electives (15 hours)

  • Select one course from the ANTH 500-level 
  • Select an additional 12 hours from ANTH 200-level or above

Note: Selection of major courses must include at least one of the following courses: ANTH 261, ANTH 319, ANTH 320, ANTH 355, ANTH 366, ANTH 371, ANTH 381, ANTH 518 or ANTH 581.

B.A. with Distinction (33 hours)

Departmental Undergraduate Research Track/Intensive Major is available to students majoring in Anthropology who wish to participate in significant research activities in collaboration with, or under the supervision of, a faculty mentor. 

Major Courses (21 hours) 

  • Select one course from Biological Anthropology (3 hours) 
  • Select one course from Archaeology (3 hours) 
  • Select one course from Linguistic Anthropology (3 hours) 
  • Select one course from Sociocultural Anthropology (3 hours) 
  • Select one Fieldschool, Laboratory, Practicum, Qualitative Methodology or Quantitative Methodology course (3 hours) 
  • ANTH 201 OR an additional 500-level course (3 hours) 
  • ANTH 498 (3 hours) 

Major Electives (12 hours) 

  • Select two courses from the ANTH 500-level (6 hours) 
  • Select an additional 6 hours from ANTH 200-level or above 

Note: Selection of major courses must include at least one of the following courses: ANTH 261, ANTH 319, ANTH 320, ANTH 355, ANTH 366, ANTH 371, ANTH 381, ANTH 518 or ANTH 581.

Additional Requirements

  • A minimum major GPA of 3.30. 
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30. 
  • Public presentation of the Senior Thesis in a venue approved by the faculty mentor, such as:
    • Annual meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society (or another annual meeting of the appropriate professional organization)
    • A regular or special session of the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series 
    • USC Discovery Day
    • Submission to a professional journal 
  • A written sponsorship agreement from the faculty mentor to be placed on file in the Department of Anthropology office.

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Anthropology, B.A.