Graduating with Honors in Anthropology

In this Section:

Basic Information


Determining if you're eligible for the honors program is easy. If you answer "yes" to all the questions below, then you're eligible.

  • Are you an anthropology major?
  • Have you taken or plan to take ANTH 4010: Ethnographic Methods?
  • Do you have a minimum 3.25 GPA in the anthropology major?
  • Do you have a minimum 3.0 GPA in general coursework at the UM?


  • Inclusive grade point average of at least 3.00
  • Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 in the major
  • Completion of ANTH 4010: Ethnographic Methods
  • 4 honors courses in anthropology
  • Completion of independent research (traditional or engaged scholarship) culminating in an original research thesis or creative work.

* These requirements apply to students who join the UofM under the 2019-2020 Undergraduate Curriculum Catalog. Students who joined the university prior to this date have the option of completing the honors requirements detailed under earlier catalogs. Consult with Professor Latta to determine the best strategy for your individual circumstances.


  • Small classes with highly motivated students
  • Individualized attention from professors
  • Opportunities to conduct anthropological research
  • Opportunities to compete for scholarly awards
  • Greater preparation for graduate or professional school
  • “Honors in Anthropology” emblem attached to your diploma.

Choosing an Advisor:

Choosing an advisor is a critical step in the decision to join the honors program. Here are some questions to think about before choosing an advisor.

  • What faculty do you know in the department and how do you know them?
  • Does their research or coursework line up with your research interests?
  • Do you have a good relationship with your prospective advisor?
  • Have you talked to your advisor about working with them?
  • Is your prospective advisor available in the coming year to work with you?

Research Topic:

Deciding on a research topic can feel like an overwhelming task. Here are some questions/suggestions to think about when choosing a topic.

  • What course themes or issues got your attention most?
  • Students often choose their research topics from of a course theme or issue that grabbed their attention. Think about what inspired you in your courses and consider what a project of your own might look like.
  • Is this project important to you? Why?
  • Some students choose projects that relate to their own lives in some direct way. Others pursue research in areas that interested them in some other way. Think about what topic interests you the most and brainstorm some possible research ideas. Then discuss them with friends or a faculty member to get feedback.
  • Will you have time to devote to your research project in the coming year?
  • Some students work on their research for 1-2 months. Others may conduct several months of research built into a study abroad. Writing the thesis can take one to two semesters. How much time your project demands depends on your own goals but there's no single standard. Think about how much time you'll have to devote to this project. Time is an important piece of the research!

If you have any questions about the honors program, please contact Professor Latta at kslatta@memphis.edu.

Culminating Experience:

Students can enroll in:

  • (Preferred) ANTH 4899 Thesis Course: Work under the direction of a faculty member to write a thesis based on primary and/or secondary sources.
  • ANTH 4985: Directed Individual Research: Work under the supervision of a faculty member to conduct research (traditional or engaged scholarship), analyze and present findings in the form of an original research paper or creative work.
    • Students who pursue this option will develop a directed research learning contract with their supervisor that specifies a theoretical and methodological orientation, timeline for research/engagement, and resulting products.

Questions? Contact Prof. Kenny Latta at kslatta@memphis.edu

How to Apply:

  • Complete the application form available here
  • Submit a 500-800 word statement of interest that describes (1) your research topic and questions (what is your topic and what questions will guide your investigation of this topic); (2) your reason for wanting to pursue this project (why have you selected this topic and why/how does it fit into your interests: academic, personal, etc.; (3) and details of what experiences, coursework, or background have prepared you to be successful in achieving your goals in the honors program.
  • Identify a potential thesis advisor and second reader
  • (Optional) Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Materials should be emailed to Professor Latta at kslatta@memphis.edu