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Anthropology - Biological Concentration 

Major Overview

Biological Anthropology at UC San Diego addresses the evolution of the culture-bearing capacity in humans and closely related species from a strongly comparative perspective. Humans, today, are a super-dominant species. How we got this way fires up public and scientific imaginations; yet while there are many theories and speculations about our origins none has yet provided a full explanation of our evolutionary history. The difficulties go beyond the mere facts to profound philosophical issues including ones extremely relevant to the modern human predicament.

We believe that the answers can come only from the type of intra-, inter-, and cross-disciplinary collaborations we represent. We aim to understand the origins, organization complexity and socioecology of nonhuman primate societies. We explore the relationship between socioecology and the neural substrates of complex behavior in primates. We study and reconstruct subsistence strategies of humans and nonhuman primates within varied environments and social systems. We consider the constraints or consequences of food resources (energy availability) on energy expenditure and neural organization.

We are involved in applying our scientific knowledge to the conservation of primate species and habitats. We emphasize bioarchaeology in reconstructing prehistoric human diet, ecology, and migration patterns. We bridge with neurosciences and cognitive science in investigating the neural substrates of cognition in humans.

Course Requirements

3 Core Classes

  • ANTH 101: Foundations of Social Complexity (Fall)
  • ANTH 102: Humans Are Cultural Animals (Winter)
  • ANTH 103: Sociocultural Anthropology (Spring)

4 Upper Division Concentration Courses   

  • BiologicalANBI courses

5 Upper Division Electives

Additional Requirements:

  • Upper Division Residency Requirement: Students must complete a minimum of seven major courses at UC San Diego.
  • Overlaps: Lower division courses may overlap between your major, minor and college requirements. Students may overlap two upper division courses between your major and minor by submitting a request in the VAC (some courses may automatically overlap).
  • A maximum of four study abroad courses may be petitioned for credit toward the major.

Degree Check

In order to plan out your Anthropology major and remaining courses effectively, please utilize the Degree Check below. Students are encouraged to review their plan and progress with the Department's Undergraduate Advisor.

Biological Concentration Degree Check