Examine processes of social and cultural life in human societies past and present, near and far, from First Nations in Canada to the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of other places in North America, as well as Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific, and Latin America.

Anthropology advances the study and constructive understanding of human diversity and commonality, across the globe and throughout the long span of human existence.

Anthropology prepares you for careers as medical researchers, doctors, lawyers, museum professionals, personnel managers, teachers, archaeologists, graphic designers, architects, city planners, environmental researchers, editors, international aid workers, marketing researchers, journalists, consultants to governmental and community organizations, and more.

You may be curious to know that the following celebrities have degrees in Anthropology: Prince Charles, Yo-Yo Ma, Glenn Close, Kurt Vonnegut, Tracy Chapman, Thandie Newton, Hugh Laurie, and more!

UBC Anthropology offers honours, major, and minor undergraduate programs in Anthropology (ANTH) and a minor in Anthropological Archaeology (ARCL).

  • Explore the worlds of cultural expression in different media from different places and times.
  • Experience the processes of conducting research and the challenges of making sense of other peoples’ lives, past and present.
  • Empathize with the contexts and perspectives of people from all walks of life and develop understanding through cultural literacy.

The majority of lower-level ANTH and ARCL are general courses open to all students. Besides ANTH 449 (Honours Tutorial), most upper-level ANTH and ARCL courses are open to non-majors and students in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program with appropriate prerequisites or permission of the instructor.


  • ANTH 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3 credits) is a recommended prerequisite for all upper-level ANTH courses
  • ARCL 103 Introduction to Archaeology (3 credits) is a recommended prerequisite to all upper-level ARCL courses

However, neither is required to register for 300 or 400 level ANTH and ARCL courses.

Indigenous Studies 

Students interested in First Nations and Indigenous Studies or First Nations and Endangered Languages may choose from among the following courses beginning in the second year: ANTH 220, 221, 232, 301, 304, 321, 329, 401, 404, 411, 431; ARCL 231, 420.

The following courses also regularly include material relating to Indigenous studies: ANTH 331, 332, 341, 407, 408, 424, 431. First Nations content is also explored in all First Nations and Endangered Languages (FNEL) and First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS) courses as well as many Art History (ARTH) and History (HIST) courses.

Program Options