- Track Declaration
- Departmental Courses and Requirements
- Independent Work - Junior Paper | Senior Thesis | Funding | Drafts
- Senior Departmental Exam
- Departmental Standards - Grading Policy | Grades | Honors
- How Do I?
Important Dates for Majors
Track declaration must be completed on or before the first day of classes in the spring term of a student's junior year.
- Socio-cultural Anthropology (SCA): Default Track
- Medical Anthropology (MedAnth)
- Law, Politics and Economics (LPE)
The transcript degree for all concentrators will be A.B. in Anthropology; tracks are not noted on transcripts. Students who successfully complete the curriculum of their chosen track will receive a departmental attestation on Class Day and may note their track concentration on their resumés.
An Anthropology major's required and elective courses depend on the student's selected track. For more information, please refer to the page on departmental courses or the page showing ANT courses by term.
Two core courses are shared by all Anthropology concentrators:
- ANT 300 Ethnography, Evidence and Experience, normally taken in the fall term of the junior year unless a student is studying abroad
- ANT 301 The Ethnographer's Craft, normally taken in the spring term of the junior year unless studying abroad
Anthropology concentrators who plan to write a senior thesis based on ethnographic fieldwork are expected to complete ANT 301 by the end of junior year.
The goal of independent work is for concentrators to reflect on critical debates in the field of anthropology.
Anthropology junior papers are usually based on library research. Normally, field research is not appropriate for this paper. In the fall, students develop a detailed problem statement and annotated bibliography on a subject relevant to the student's interests, as a research proposal for approval by the department. In the spring, students continue their reseach and writing begun in the fall, with a rough draft completed by late February.
The completed Anthropology JP is a literature review between 4000-8000 words, not including footnotes, bibliography, tables, illustrations, and appendices (if applicable). Students should plan to use at least 2-3 academic monographs and 5-7 academic articles in their literature review.
Independent work in the senior year consists of a senior thesis, or a comparable project including a substantial written component, on a subject relevant to the student's interests and approved by the department. Field work is encouraged but not required.
All concentrators are required to participate in a senior seminar in the fall semester of their senior year. The seminar is designed to help students write their senior thesis.
Anthropology majors have opportunity to receive funding for their senior thesis research from many different funding units across the University. The Office of Undergraduate Research serves as central coordinator for senior thesis research funding (STRF) applications. By submitting one application, students are able to request funding from multiple sources. The Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE) is the home of this unified application process.
The Department of Anthropology awards senior thesis research funding primarily as summer support, although funds may also be used for project-related expenses if research continues into the academic year. To be competitive for ANT funding, projects should normally span at least 4 continuous weeks and students must be on track with their JP progress. Each funding source sets its own criteria. Applications for Anthropology funding are accepted during the spring term; other funders may accept applications in additional funding cycles. Refer to SAFE for detailed information.
In the spring term of junior year, rising seniors receive advising for thesis funding applications from their junior advisers.
The Department of Anthropology does not provide funding for student research conducted during the junior year, when students normally engage in a literature review as their junior independent work. However, students may find opportunities in SAFE and are encouraged to utilize all University resources.
To receive announcements regarding funding opportunities, students are encouraged to subscribe to Princeton's Undergraduate Research Calendar (PURC), a service provided by the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Anthropology majors are required to submit a draft version of their JP or senior thesis to their adviser. The draft submission is required at least two weeks before final submission to the department. This minimal timeframe gives students opportunity to make expected revisions to the draft, based on adviser comments, before final submission.
Students who request extensions from advisers need to be cognizant of both Departmental and University deadlines for independent work. A draft submitted within two weeks of a final deadline will render the final submission late because the department will not accept a final submission until at least two weeks after the draft submission. A late submission may incur a grade penalty. See Departmental Standards below for more information.
In the spring of senior year, after the thesis deadline, Anthropology concentrators complete a departmental examination designed to test their knowledge of anthropology as it relates to their area of expertise.
- Grading standards - See the Guide to Independent Work in Anthropology
- Policy on Extensions and Late Work
To count for the major, a course must be taken for a grade and not pass/D/fail. The final grade earned for independent work, the senior departmental exam, and any departmental course must be "C" or higher.
See also the Anthropology 2020-2021 FAQs for additional information.
Honors are calculated according to the following weighting system:
- Average grade in departmental courses (comprising the nine required and elective courses, including Princeton cognates and excluding study abroad cognates): 60%
- Senior thesis: 25%
- Junior paper: 10%
- Senior departmental exam: 5%
- COURSE ENROLLMENT
- Independent Work
- Senior Thesis Funding Application (in SAFE)
- IRB Application - PI (Principal Investigator)
- Other Faculty Advising
COURSE ENROLLMENT: Fall or Spring
- Student reviews outstanding General Education course requirements.
- Student reviews outstanding ANT Departmental course requirements.
- Student reviews the Registrar's Course Offerings.
- Student submits the Departmental Academic Planning Form (DAPF) in TigerHub.
- Student submits the Department of Anthropology Advising Form in the Blackboard for ANT_Concentrators.
- Undergraduate Administrator reviews the two completed forms and communicates with student, as needed, by email or by scheduled meeting.
- Director of Undergraduate Studies approves student's course plan.
- Student checks TigerHub DAPF for confirmation of DUS approval.
COURSE ADVISING: Outside Regular Enrollment Periods
Students with other course advising or course approval needs throughout the year should refer to the Undergraduate FAQs webpage.
Assigned Faculty Advisers
All students have individual faculty advisers throughout the academic year. Any faculty member can advise any student, but the Department makes every effort to match advisers with students based on the students’ interests and the faculty members’ areas of expertise.
Advisers help students develop and refine research topics, find relevant literature, conceptualize approach, and improve written expression. Advisers also evaluate their advisees' work. Every advising relationship is different, and good communication on a regular basis is an important part of the advising process.
Some students prefer structured deadlines to motivate their work; others prefer more independence and flexibility. In all cases, independent work demands focus, initiative, and organization. It is the student's responsibility to schedule advising meetings and to meet each departmental benchmark on time.
Senior thesis advisers are normally assigned at the beginning of the fall term of the senior year. Junior independent work advisers are normally assigned after the fall term is underway and students have settled into coursework. Normally, anthropology majors are assigned different faculty advisers for the junior paper and the senior thesis.
Independent Work Advice through Coursework
Students also receive guidance for independent work through coursework.
- In Ethnography, Evidence, and Experience (ANT 300), students learn, among many other things, what makes a question ethnographic or anthropological and what constitutes a literature review.
- In The Ethnographer’s Craft (ANT 301), students learn the methods and ethics of ethnographic research.
- Throughout ANT 300-301, students are encouraged to apply what they are doing in the course to their independent work and to incorporate themes from their own independent work into course writing assignments.
- In History of Anthropological Theory (ANT 390), students learn to use theory to frame their research.
- The required (ungraded) senior seminar supports the development and writing of the senior thesis.
Independent Work Advice from University Resources
- The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning offers learning strategies consultations.
- The Writing Center offers writing conferences with Writing Center Fellows.
Students with ideas for a thesis topic during junior year normally discuss them with their JP adviser, although other faculty members may also be consulted as appropriate to a specific project. Students interested in conducting summer research between junior and senior years should begin planning no later than the start of the spring semester, consulting their JP advisers for advice.
The department advises students to plan a minimum of four continuous weeks for field-based research, possibly longer, depending on the project. The JP adviser will be asked to evaluate any application that a student submits for senior thesis research funding.
Fieldwork-based thesis research requires IRB approval. A student with concrete summer research plans may be matched with a senior thesis adviser after their research proposal has been approved by the JP adviser. An early assignment would enable the thesis adviser to serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) on the student's IRB protocol for summer research. If a thesis adviser assignment cannot be made in time for IRB application during the spring, the JP adviser or the DUS may serve as PI until the student is assigned a thesis adviser following the normal timetable for thesis adviser assignments.
The Anthropology Department normally organizes an IRB boot camp each spring that is conducted by a member of the IRB compliance staff. Students planning an IRB application should attend the boot camp.
Students should submit their IRB applications as early as possible. Faculty advisers will be available to help advisees respond to IRB requests for modification of their IRB protocol (a common occurrence), but only until the end of June.
Anthropology majors are encouraged to seek advising from any faculty member in or outside the department. Anthropology faculty office hours are available on the department's faculty webpages. The director of undergraduate studies holds regular office hours. See contact information on this page.
To find an answer to a "How Do I …" question, please:
- Look again on this webpage
- Look on the Undergraduate FAQs page
- Look on other Undergraduate webpages
- Look for announcements in the Anthropology Concentrators' Blackboard
- Ask the Undergraduate Administrator