Medical Anthropology Track

Medical anthropology is a subfield of anthropology that seeks to understand human experiences of health, illness, and suffering.

Medical anthropologists study topics such as global health, local health systems, indigenous medicine, violence and trauma, disability and the body, gender and sexuality, biotechnology, bioethics, and social suffering.

The Medical Anthropology track is ideal for students who wish to focus on anthropological analyses of health and the body. It may be of particular interest to pre-medical students. This track allows students to focus on medical anthropology theory and ethnography while also gaining a foundation in broader anthropological theory and methods.

  1. A foundational course in medical anthropology, to prepare students for future courses within the track:
    • Culture and Health (ANTH 0300)
  2. Two courses in at least two of the four major subfields of anthropology, to ground the student’s learning within the discipline more broadly:

    Choose One:

    • Human Evolution (ANTH 0310)
    • Past Forward: Discovering Anthropological Archeology (ANTH 0500)

    Choose One:

    • Any 0000 or 1000-level course in socio-cultural anthropology or linguistic anthropology

    Appropriate courses offered in recent years include:Medical

    • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 0100)
    • Anthropology and Global Social Problems (ANTH 0110)
    • Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (ANTH 0800)
    • Language and Migration (ANTH 0805)
    • Anthropology of China (ANTH 1111)
    • Middle East in Anthropological Perspective (ANTH 1150)
    • Religion and Culture (ANTH 1240)
    • Anthropology of Disasters (ANTH 1255)
    • Anthropology and International Development (ANTH 1320)
    • Ethnography and Social Critique (ANTH 1848)
  3. A course in methods commonly used in medical anthropology, to prepare students for further research:Medical
    • Ethnographic Research Methods (ANTH1940)
  4. At least one 1000-level course in medical anthropology:
    • Bioethics and Culture (ANTH 1242)
    • Anthropology of Addiction and Recovery (ANTH 1300)
    • Anthropology of Homelessness (ANTH 1301)
    • International Health (ANTH 1310)
    • Stratified Reproduction (ANTH 1312)
    • Anthropology of Mental Health (ANTH 1515)

    Other appropriate anthropology courses may be used to fulfill this requirement with DUS approval.

  5. An additional three anthropology courses of the student’s choosing. At least two of the electives will need to be at the 1000-level to meet the general requirements of the concentration.
  6. At least one non-anthropology course in the natural sciences, public health, or psychology that focuses on human health, to give students basic exposure to the science of human physical and/or mental health. This course is in addition to the nine courses required in ANTH.

    Most qualifying courses will bear a BIOL, PHP, or CLPS designation, but students can choose any appropriate course to fulfill this requirement with DUS approval.

  7. Senior Seminar, (Re)Making Anthropology (ANTH 1990), normally taken in senior year, is designed to provide students a firm understanding of what defines the discipline of anthropology, as grounded through a look at anthropology’s past, present, and future.