Computer Science and Anthropology Major

Program Description

How do we analyze memes, emojis, and language on social media? How does culture shape technology and technology shape culture? Does technology bridge inequalities or make them even wider? Anthropologists use computational tools and algorithms to analyze substantial amounts of data, gathered from a field site or by studying online social communities and social networks, to consider these questions.  

Through this work, anthropologists consider the humanity within technology. 

In computer science + anthropology, students will gain the knowledge necessary to use computer, social, and behavioral sciences within larger cultural questions of globalization, community, security, the ethics of privacy, social transformation, and social justice. This program prepares students for specializations in biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, computational anthropology, and archeology as well as CS-related work in social media, UX design, user experience research, product management, and online communities. 

This dual major program is a collaboration within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Please review the LAS FAQ on CS + X Majors

Interested in what this dual program can offer? Check out this Interview with Austin Sun, a 2020 Graduate in Computer Science + Anthropology


Program Requirements

General education

Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Minimum required major and supporting course work: Normally equates to 66 hours. Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level Anthropology courses must be taken on this campus.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

The required coursework is listed below and may also be viewed here CS+Anthropology Major Requirements and Plan of Study Flowchart

Required Computer Science Coursework
  • CS 100 Computer Science Orientation (1 Credit Hours)
    • (Recommended; CS 100 is an orientation course aimed at first-year students, so students who declare the major after the first year are not required to complete it.)
  • CS 124 Introduction to Computer Science I (3 Credit Hours)
  • CS 128 Introduction to Computer Science II (3 Credit Hours)
  • CS 173 Discrete Structures (3 Credit Hours)
  • CS 225 Data Structures (4 Credit Hours)
  • CS 222 Software Design Lab (1 Credit Hours)
Choose one of the following combinations (8 - 11 Credit Hours)
  • CS 233 Computer Architecture
  • & CS 341 System Programming
  • CS 340 Introduction to Computer Systems
  • & two CS courses at the 400 level above CS 403, excluding CS 421 and CS 491
Choose one of the following
  • STAT 200 Statistical Analysis

  • STAT 212 Biostatistics

  • CS 361 Probability & Statistics for Computer Science

  • CS 374 Introduction to Algorithms & Models of Computation (4 Credit Hours)

  • CS 421 Programming Languages & Compilers (3 Credit Hours)

Mathematics (may also fulfill the General Education Quantitative Reasoning I and II requirements)
  • MATH 221 Calculus I (4 - 5 Credit Hours)
    • or MATH 220 Calculus
  • MATH 225 Introductory Matrix Theory (2 or 3 Credit Hours)
    • or MATH 257 Linear Algebra with Computational Applications MATH 231 Calculus II (3 Credit Hours)
Required Anthropology Coursework (Minimum of 24 Credit Hours Total)

Required Foundation Courses. Select at least 4 courses from the following. Students may make one course substitution for one of the required foundation courses, choosing from the option listed. (12 - 18 Credit Hours)

  • ANTH 101 Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 110 Humanizing Science
  • ANTH 220 Introduction to Archaeology
    • or ANTH 105 World Archaeology
  • ANTH 230 Sociocultural Anthropology
    • or ANTH 103 Anthro in a Changing World
  • ANTH 240 Biological Anthropology
    • or ANTH 102 Human Origins and Culture
  • ANTH 270 Language in Culture
    • or ANTH 104 Talking Culture
  • ANTH 374 Anth of Science and Technology
    • or ANTH 372 Topics in Lang & Culture

Elective Courses (Substitutions with permission of advisor) (6 - 9 Credit Hours)
  • ANTH 241 Human Biological Variation
  • ANTH 268 Images of the Other
  • ANTH 368 ’America' in the World
  • ANTH 375 The Culture of Nature
  • ANTH 399 Special Topics (check with advisor for appropriate topics)
  • ANTH 411 Research Methods in Socio-Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 423 Economic Anthropology
  • ANTH 453 Landscape Archaeology
  • ANTH 499 Topics in Anthropology (check with advisor for appropriate topics)
  • Optional Senior Capstone Project (See advisor for details)


Undergraduate Studies Program Contact Information

Dr. Petra Jelinek, Director of Undergraduate Studies 
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109 Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801


Dr. Maritza Quiñones, Undergraduate Academic Advisor
Department of Anthropology
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
109F Davenport Hall (MC‐148)
607 Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 265-8042


Department of Computer Science, Undergraduate Advising
University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign
Phone: (217) 333-4428