Social and cultural anthropology is the comparative study of human society and culture. Although it shares much of its theory with other disciplines, it remains distinct in many of its research methods. While often associated with the study of societies of the Third World, it has never been entirely devoted to them and, increasingly, is concerned with the study of postindustrial societies. The department offers a BA and BA Honours in Social and Cultural Anthropology.
The BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology adopts a sociological perspective and emphasizes links with sociology, political science, history and economics. This program requires a total of seven full-course equivalents in Anthropology including the foundation courses of ANTH 203 (Introduction), 365 (Theory) and 411 (Methods). The BA Honours program in Social and Cultural Anthropology offers students the opportunity to participate in more extensive studies involving an honours thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. Entrance and continuation in an Honours program is contingent upon maintenance of at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA, and the availability of faculty members to supervise. Students interested in the Honours program must have a confirmed agreement from a faculty member indicating his/her willingness to supervise before enrolling in the program.
If you are interested in more information regarding Social and Cultural; Anthropology please visit the Canadian Anthropology Association webpage.
Faculty and Department requirements
Students admitted by the University of Calgary must indicate a program of study in a specific Faculty. Anthropology belongs to the Faculty of Arts. Students already in a program can initiate a Change of Program or Faculty on March 1 (all faculties for fall session) and December 1 (all faculties except engineering for winter sessions). Until at least three full-course equivalents at the junior level have been successfully completed, a student may not register in senior courses unless their program requires it.
Students wishing to major in Anthropology must first be admitted to the Faculty of Arts and must meet all of the requirements of the Faculty, in addition to the requirements of the Anthropology department, in order to graduate. Carefully read the section of the Calendar which explains degree requirements for students in the Faculty of Social Science. Pay particular attention to the Graduation Requirements. Most questions that students have are answered there. The Anthropology department requirements should also be reviewed in the Calendar. The undergraduate advisor can help you with any questions you may still have.
Once a Major is declared, the student is responsible for fulfilling the degree requirements of both their Faculty and their Department. At least seven and not more than 10 full-course equivalents in the Major field are required. Students operate under the requirements listed in the Calendar as they are set out in the year that the student declares their major. NOTE: These requirements sometimes change, so the valid requirements of a particular student are considered to be those listed in the University Calendar the year that the student declared a major.
A Minor field in anthropology is also available. This requires at least five and not more than six full-course equivalents, half of which must be at the senior level (300, 400 or 500 level courses). Note that declaring a Minor is not required of students but, because it is noted on your transcript, it indicates to future employers that you have specialized in another area outside your major degree.
CAUTION: Students are strongly advised not to wait too long to declare a Major, as some required courses are not offered every term, and sometimes not every year, so the earlier you know what courses you must take, the less likely you are to be involved in a scheduling conflict.
Students desiring a degree with double Major must complete all requirements of both Major fields. Permission to undertake a double Major must be obtained from the Associate Dean (Student Affairs). Students are not normally allowed to use the same course(s) in both Majors.
Full and Half Course Credits
Throughout the University, most courses are denoted as half or full credit courses according to their numbered designation. A full credit course usually ends with an even number, e.g. ANTH 404 and spans two semesters, while a half credit course usually ends with an odd number, e.g., ANTH 203. Twenty full course equivalents (or forty half courses) are required to graduate.
Many anthropology courses require the student to have taken what is known as a prerequisite course (ANTH 201 or 203). The department strongly recommends that students take one or more of these introductory courses before attempting a 300 or 400 level course. They are specifically designed to prepare the student for the more specialized courses to follow. Students are further advised to defer taking 400 level courses until their third year, even if they have the formal prerequisites, as some sophistication in the learning-to-learn aspects of university, e.g., note-taking, exam and essay writing, will be taken for granted at that level. Second year students are advised to confine themselves to 300 level courses plus non-anthropology 200 and 300 level courses.
Generally, if a student requests that a prerequisite be waived, it is because s/he is not majoring in anthropology and so only wishes to take one particular course. For example, a student in Women's Studies had previous exposure to specific course material and a judgement may be made to waive the prerequisite on that basis. Requests for wavier are handled by the undergraduate adviser or the course instructor. The department strongly discourages students in their 2nd or 3rd year from seeking a prerequisite waiver. Normally a waiver is considered for students in their graduating year so that they can complete their program requirement. CAUTION: If a student takes a senior level course in anthropology on the basis of a pre-requisite waiver and then decides later that s/he wishes to take more anthropology courses, s/he is subject to what is known as the "go back" rule. This rule states that, once an exemption for a course prerequisite is granted, and a senior level course is taken, a student cannot "go back" and take that prerequisite course. This rule will make it impossible for a student to complete a Major or Minor in Anthropology.