Ethnographic Studies for students not majoring in Anthropology

This page answers frequently asked questions about Ethnographic Studies certificate requirements for students who are already registered in the certificate program and have been working towards completion of the ETH certificate.

The ETH program is no longer accepting additional students for the certificate.

For students interested in learning ethnographic methods, but are unable to major in Anthropology, the department encourages non-majors to take the department's methods courses: ANT 300 and ANT 301 as well as ANT topics courses. Non-Anthropology majors are also welcome to sign up for any Anthropology faculty office hours if help with independent ethnographic research is needed. 

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FAQs about Courses

I'm majoring in Anthropology. Can I also get a certificate in Ethnographic Studies?

Anthropology majors are not eligible for the ETH certificate because ANT 300 and ANT 301 are required courses for both ANT majors and ETH certificate students, but ETH students may only apply one course from their major towards fulfillment of ETH course requirements.

May I count two of the departmental courses for my non-Anthropology major towards ETH elective courses?

You may apply one of your departmental courses towards completion of ETH course requirements, but not both. Only one course taken in satisfaction of a student's departmental course requirements may be counted for the ETH certificate.

May I count as ETH electives three courses that are all offered by the same department or program?

Three electives from the same department or program are too many!  Students should plan to take their electives from two or more departments.

May I use a course to satisfy ETH requirements if I apply that course towards other certificate programs?

Students may "double count" up to two courses toward the ethnographic studies certificate and certificates offered by other Princeton departments or programs (no matter how many other certificates may be involved).

If I take a course that's listed on this website as a sample ETH elective (under List 1 or List 2), would that course automatically count for me as one of my ETH electives?

List 1 and List 2 courses listed on this website are provided as examples of courses that are eligible for approval as ETH electives in the two respective content categories. The lists are updated periodically, but students should consider the examples as illustrative and not representative of all courses that could be approved as ETH electives.  However, the approval of a specific course for a particular student depends on the student's academic profile: department of concentration and other certificates.  Students should consult the program before course selection, if possible, even though courses already taken may be approved, if appropriate.

There's a course that's not listed as a sample ETH elective, but I think it fits well into one of the ETH elective categories (List 1 or List 2). Can this course be counted?

Absolutely!  Students are encouraged to contact the program to find out whether a particular course may be counted as an ETH elective. Please e-mail with the course number and title, course description, semester offered, and a syllabus, if available, and explain briefly why you believe the course belongs on List 1 or List 2.

Do ETH courses have to be taken for a letter grade? Can I take a course P/D/F and use it towards ETH?

ETH courses must be taken for a letter grade.

FAQs about Fieldwork

Do you have a question about fieldwork?
Send your question to and we will add your question with its answer on this page!

FAQs about the Writing Requirement

My ethnographic fieldwork is unrelated to the senior thesis that I am writing in my department of concentration. How do I fulfill the ETH certificate's writing assignment?

The motivation behind the writing requirement for the ETH certificate (whether as separate paper or integral to the thesis) is to understand how your ethnographic project contributed to your learning. What were your original questions? What were your main activities in the field? What were the main lessons learned — new questions, for example?  The format is flexible. A short paper of about 10 pages or so would fulfill the requirement — the default model being a thesis chapter rather than a full-length article or separate monograph.

Program in Ethnographic Studies
116 Aaron Burr Hall