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Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

SIU Anthropology group looking through finds of Dig

Humans are an intriguing species known for their creativity, conflict, cultural transmission, and ritual creation. Despite our individual differences, we share a profound biological connection, with 98.7% of our DNA matching that of bonobos. Anthropology delves into these complexities, exploring the significance of our actions and traditions and fostering a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

Anthropology is a social science — bridging the humanities with social, earth, biological and chemical sciences. It is a research-based discipline, but it is also a way of understanding the human condition itself. You’ll benefit from the in-the-field experience of your professors and teachers and you can get involved with on-going research. Or you might take a deep dive into a topic of your own. In Anthropology, the world is your classroom, and you will see humans through the lens of Anthropology that brings focus and clarity to human diversity.

SIU Anthropology Student Researching the location of the original boardwalk in Makanda.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

The Anthropology degree program can be earned by fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree.

  • Total Degree Requirements: 120 credit hours
  • University Core Curriculum: 39 credit hours
  • College of Liberal Arts Requirements: 12 credit hours
  • Major Requirements: 33 credit hours
  • Approved Electives: 36 credit hours

Compass IconCheck out the undergraduate Curricular Guide, which helps you outline what courses you would want to take each semester for all four years.


A minor can help focus a major and make it more specific. Or it can supplement a major and give it greater flexibility.

Anthropology majors often find these interdisciplinary minors relevant to their goals: Africana Studies, Forensic Science, Latino and Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Other majors that pair well with Anthropology include Art History, Biological Sciences, Business Management, Communication Studies, Economics, Geography and Environmental Resources, Geology, History, Linguistics, Marketing, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, and Sociology.

Program Tracks


Biological Anthropology.

Sociocultural Anthropology.



The Center for Archaeological Investigations (CAI) is the premiere archaeological research center in southern Illinois. Our research staff are focused on developing research projects that provide students with experiential learning opportunities to help prepare them for careers in archaeology and related fields. Since 1978, the CAI's research agenda has been recognized internationally for the contributions that our staff have made within the field of archaeology.

The Complex for Forensic Anthropology Research (CFAR) is an outdoor laboratory dedicated to research, training, and service in forensic anthropology. Our research focuses on decomposition patterns and clandestine body disposal scenarios. We offer training courses and academic programs in forensic anthropology, provide forensic services to agencies, and engage in community outreach through lectures.

Field School

Since 1970, our Archaeology Field School has been a vital hub for immersive learning in anthropology. Open to majors and students from related fields, the program is led by a dedicated team including a faculty member or senior doctoral student and two graduate teaching assistants. Emphasizing essential excavation and laboratory techniques, the school offers hands-on experience in artifact analysis. Selection criteria prioritize academic achievement, fieldwork experience, and a passion for archaeology, ensuring a rich learning environment for all participants.


Anthropology proudly awards several endowed scholarships to undergraduate students each year.

Undergraduate anthropology majors can apply for departmental, college, and university-level scholarships.


If you want to become a professional anthropologist, you’ll probably need to continue your education past your bachelor’s degree.

The skill set you learn as an Anthropology major, though, applies to other career paths. You could find a career in business, for example. Your research and data analysis skills as well as your understanding of human behavior are good qualities for a career in marketing and market research. Governmental agencies hire anthropologists in planning, research, and managerial roles. Other career paths include law enforcement or other areas of the legal system, education and training or community-based and not-for-profit organizations. We’ll help keep you on a career-minded track as you earn your degree!

Contact Information

Ulrich Reichard,
Program Director
Faner Hall 4443
1000 Faner Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901

Steven Sawyer
Academic Advisor
Faner 1229
1100 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL  62901

Mark Wagner and  Research Grad Student George Hunt researching and locating old Freedmen Housing during the Civil War Era in Cairo IL.