Department of Anthropology

  • Chair

    Carolyn M. Rouse

  • Departmental Representative

    Andrew A. Johnson

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Rena S. Lederman

  • Professor

    João G. Biehl

    John W. Borneman

    Carol J. Greenhouse

    Rena S. Lederman

    Serguei Oushakine also Slavic Languages and Literatures

    Carolyn M. Rouse

  • Visiting Professor

    Didier Fassin

    Janet M. Monge

  • Associate Professor

    Elizabeth A. Davis

    Julia Elyachar, also Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies


  • Assistant Professor

    Lauren Coyle

    Andrew A. Johnson

  • Lecturer

    Jeffrey D. Himpele

    Naomi S. Stone

  • Associated Faculty

    Amy B. Borovoy, East Asian Studies


Information and Departmental Plan of Study


Students who wish to concentrate in anthropology must take one anthropology course (any level) prior to junior year or have permission from the departmental representative.

Early Concentration

A sophomore may apply for early concentration through consultation with the departmental representative.

Program of Study

Anthropology concentrators must take nine departmental courses: two courses at the 200-level (normally completed prior to senior year), three core courses (described below), and four elective courses (at least one of which should be at the 300-level and one at the 400-level).

The core courses ensure that students will have a systematic understanding of the scope, methods and theories of anthropology associated with cultural inquiry and its implications for an understanding of human experience. They are:

  • ANT 300 (Ethnography, Evidence and Experience, normally taken as 300B in junior fall unless a student is studying abroad)
  • ANT 301 (The Ethnographer's Craft, normally taken as 301B in junior spring unless studying abroad)
  • ANT 390 (History of Anthropological Theory, normally taken as 390B in the fall of the student's senior year)

Required junior and senior seminars support students' independent work. To prepare for independent senior thesis research, students should plan to complete Ethnography, Evidence and Experience and The Ethnographer's Craft by the end of their junior year.

The departmental electives may be chosen in accordance with each student's special interests while satisfying departmental requirements as explained in the first paragraph above. Up to two courses outside the anthropology department may be taken as cognates to satisfy departmental electives. These may be courses taken during study abroad, or courses in other departments at Princeton. Any proposed cognates must be approved by the departmental representative. Cognates taken at Princeton may be counted so long as they are judged by the departmental representative to be relevant to a student's junior or senior independent work. Well prepared undergraduates may take graduate seminars for departmental credit. To enroll in a graduate seminar, the student must have the approval of the departmental representative and the instructor of the course. Actual course offerings every year are more extensive than what is listed in the Undergraduate Announcement, so students should always check Course Offerings.

Independent Work

Junior Independent Work. Independent work in the junior year involves an original paper, usually based on library research. The junior seminar is designed to support juniors' independent work. In the fall, students work through the junior seminar as well as individually with a faculty adviser to 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 write a paper based on the research initiated in the fall, in consultation with their adviser and with the support of the junior seminar's writing workshops. Students enrolled in ANT 300B and ANT 301B during their junior year are automatically enrolled in the junior seminar; students not taking ANT 300B or ANT 301B during junior year will also enroll in the junior seminar by individual arrangement with the department.

Senior Independent Work. In the senior year, the independent work consists of a 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. The senior seminar is designed to support seniors' independent work during the fall term. Students enrolled in ANT 390B during their senior year are automatically enrolled in the senior seminar; students not taking ANT 390B during senior year will also enroll in the senior seminar by individual arrangement with the department.

Senior Departmental Examination

In the spring of senior year, after the thesis deadline, all concentrators must complete a departmental examination designed to test their knowledge of anthropology.

Special University Programs. Students who choose to concentrate in the department are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for individual study under special University programs. For example, under the Study Abroad Program, students may enrich their programs at Princeton with a term or a year of anthropological study abroad. Under the Field Study Program it is possible for concentrators to conduct intensive field study in the United States. The International Internship Program organizes internships for students abroad, usually during a summer term. The Community-Based Learning Initiative also provides opportunities for independent research. Students should consult with the departmental representative about these and other possibilities.

Interdepartmental Programs. Students concentrating in the department may participate in programs such as: African American studies, African studies, American studies, East Asian studies, environmental studies, European cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, global health and health policy, Hellenic studies, humanistic studies, Latin American studies, Near Eastern studies, South Asian studies, creative and performing arts, various languages and cultures programs, and the Program in Law and Public Affairs.

Ethnographic Studies Certificate Program. The Department of Anthropology offers students concentrating in other departments the opportunity to earn a certificate in Ethnographic Studies. Please consult the listing for the Program in Ethnographic Studies for additional information.