Departmental Courses

Anthropology concentrators must take nine departmental courses. The course of study, or selected track, determines each student's mix of required and elective courses, including cognates.

Required courses

Students who major in Anthropology choose a concentration in one of three tracks:

Each of the three tracks requires students to take two core courses plus up to two additional required courses. 


Socio-Cultural Anthropology

Medical Anthropology

Law, Politics, and  Economics

     SCA    MedAnth    LPE
Ethnography, Evidence and Experience ANT 300
ANT 300                   ANT 300
The Ethnographer's Craft ANT 301 ANT 301                       ANT 301
Medical Anthropology¹,³ ANT 240 or ANT 340       
Human Evolution or Human Adaptation²,³ ANT 206 or ANT 215                   
History of Anthropological Theory³ ANT 390 ANT 390

¹ Normally Medical Anthropology (ANT 240), but may also be Medicine and the Humanities (ANT 340). Students may also take both 240 and 340, one as a required and one as an elective course, and/or ANT 340 multiple times as long as the topic differs. Additionally, students who have taken Medical Humanities (ANT 235) in Spring 2018 may substitute ANT 235 for ANT 240, but they should not also take ANT 240, since the two courses are considered equivalent.

² Students may take both ANT 206 and ANT 215, one as a required and one as an elective course.

³ For students in any track, an ANT course not required for that track may be used as an elective.

Elective courses

Elective courses are non-required Anthropology courses or cognates that are relevant to a student's chosen track.  Students in SCA or LPE with three required courses take at least six electives.  MedAnth students with four required courses take at least five electives. In any track, two cognate courses may be used to satisfy an elective requirement. Students in LPE and MedAnth may additionally substitute one of their elective courses with a class taught within the Department of Anthropology but outside their respective tracks.

Anthropology electives are typically taught every other year, although some may be offered annually and others less frequently. For students in the Socio-Cultural Anthropology track, any course with an ANT course number may be an elective, provided that the student fulfills the course-level distribution of elective courses specified for the SCA track. Similarly, students in the Medical Anthropology track or the Law, Politics, and Economics track fulfill their elective course requirements according to the course of study specified for MedAnth and LPE, respectively. For details, please refer to the individual tracks.

Each semester, pre-approved elective courses for the LPE and MedAnth tracks are published before course enrollment begins.


A cognate may be an anthropology course taught outside a student's selected track or a non-anthropology course that the director of undergraduate studies has reviewed and deemed to be relevant to a student's independent work or correspond to a student's course of study (i.e., track). The cognate may be a course taken during study abroad and/or a course offered by another department or program at Princeton that is not also cross-listed by Anthropology. 

Two cognate courses may be used to satisfy an elective requirement in any track. Proposed cognates must be approved by the department. Approval prior to enrollment is normally expected, however, retroactive approval is granted when warranted. 

Course descriptions and distribution areas

For descriptions of all Anthropology courses by semester, see Courses. Anthropology courses cover a range of distribution areas, resulting in concentrators being able to satisfy many of their general education requirements using departmental courses. For example, ANT 390 (required for the SCA and LPE tracks and a possible elective for MedAnth) satisfies the Historical Analysis (HA) requirement. ANT 240 (EM), ANT 206 (EC), and ANT 215 (STL) are just a few examples of Anthropology courses satisfying other distribution areas.