Skip to main content

B.S. Biological Anthropology

Check out our promotional video from our Biological Anthropology Faculty!

Biological Anthropology Promotional Video

Major Overview

The Biological Anthropology B.S. focus on the evolutionary aspect of health (including ecological dimensions contributing to emerging and chronic diseases) and aspects of human evolutionary biology, emphasizing training in biological, anatomical and molecular methods to study aspects of human biology and health at the level of the DNA molecule up to the level of whole organisms, ecologies, and societies.  The B.S. in Biological Anthropology is highly relevant to the interests in human and non-human primate health as it focus on the evolutionary and biological dimensions of health (from molecular and cellular to societal and ecological levels) and in the context of One Health (integration of human and other animal health).  Students in the B.S. in Biological Anthropology will further benefit from closely working with faculty scientists in their laboratories on campus.  The B.S. degree in Biological Anthropology is a great option for students interested in graduate school, pre-health careers, and careers in science.

Course Requirements

Lower Division (10 courses, 40 units)

Two courses of general biology:

  • BILD 1, 2

Three courses of general chemistry:

  • Chem 6A, B, C
Three courses of math/stats:
  • Choose two of these courses: Math 10A, B, C or 20A, B, C
  • Choose one of these courses: Math 11, Psych 60
*Information on entry level Mathematics courses can be found at the Math Testing and Placement Website

One course in Anthropology:

  • ANTH 2 (Human Origins)
One course in Anthropology or Psychology or Sociology from the list below:
  • ANTH 43 (Introduction to the Biology and Culture of Race)
  • ANTH 42 (Primates in a Human-Dominated World) 
  • ANTH 5 (The Human Machine: Skeleton Within) 
  • SOCI 70 (Sociology for Pre-medical Students)
  • PSYC 1 (Psychology)

Upper Division (12 Courses, 48 units)

Three Core Classes:

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

Four upper-division Concentration Courses in Biological Anthropology:

  • Choose any Upper Division ANBI Course

Four upper-division Electives in Anthropology:

  • Choose any Upper Division ANAR, ANBI, ANSC, ANTH course
  • *Students may apply one Independent Research course (ANTH 197, 198, 199) towards their major elective requirements.
  • ANTH 128A & B is a two course series and will count toward two upper division elective requirements
One upper-division Methods course, choose from the list below:
  • ANBI 112. Methods in Human Comparative Neuroscience
  • ANBI 114. Methods in Primate Conservation
  • ANBI 135. Genetic Anthropology Lab Techniques
  • ANBI 143. The Human Skeleton
  • ANBI 144. Human Anatomy
  • ANBI 174. Conservation and the Media: Film Lab

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.

B.S. Biological Anthropology Degree Check