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Medical Anthropology Sub-Major

This sub-major is intended for students curious about the social and material conditions that shape possibilities and politics of health, disease, exposure/infection, and treatment.

Students who take courses in this sub-major will learn how to think and write about health, disease, medicine, disability, madness, kinship, caregiving, therapeutic pluralism, and ethics, as well as the meanings of life and death, at scales of analysis ranging from families and local communities to transnational governmental and nongovernmental health interventions. Medical Anthropology’s comparative and critical frameworks are particularly valuable for students interested in working in healthcare, public health, clinical and patient research, medical development and humanitarianism, and health care activism at home and abroad. This sub-major provides students with a robust grounding in a comparative transnational framework for understanding how science, technology and medicine are inseparable from the political, economic and historical processes that make them.


None, but ANTHRCUL 101 is recommended.


Students in the Medical Anthropology sub-major must complete 16-17 credits from the courses listed below as part of their anthropology major elective credits for a minimum of 32 credits total.


The Medical Anthropology sub-major is only available to declared Anthropology majors and is not a major or minor. The sub-major will be notated on the student's official transcript.

A maximum of 6 credits of independent research can be counted toward the major.


At least 20 credits must be completed in residence at the University of Michigan.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the ANTHRARC, ANTHRBIO, and ANTHRCUL subject areas may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.


Students may elect only one of the optional sub-majors.