Anthropology Major

Undergraduate Advisor Coordinator: Viva Barnes

The discipline of anthropology studies humankind in the cultures of the world, both past and present. This study includes humankind's physical development and the wide diversity of lifestyles people have created.

The main goal of Anthropology is to understand objectively the reasons for both similarities and differences among humans, their behaviors and ideas. Using the central concept of culture, a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and material objects that members of a society use to cope with their world, anthropologists investigate and gather data on the human condition.

The anthropology major focuses on four major degrees to provide a well rounded perspective and are the basics for the degree:

Anthropology seeks to understand and describe each culture in its own perspective and in comparative perspective. Cultural anthropologists gather data through first-hand field study in other cultures and do cross-cultural comparative studies which provide insight and understanding of the modes and patterns of human life.

Three concentrations are available Archaeology, Cultural and BioCultural

Biological Anthropology BS and Biologicial Anthropology BA are the biosocial analysis of all aspects of the human experience within the context of local ecology and sometimes, prehistory. Most majors pursue degrees in applied health or research in some aspect of human biology such as anatomy, forensics, genetics or physiology.

Linguistic Anthropology studies the interrelationships between human culture and language with special focus on unwritten languages, emphasizing the diversity of world languages and non-verbal human communication.

Utilizing ethnographic, ethnological and ethnohistorical tools, as well as information supplied by these four subdisciplines, the anthropologist comparatively studies cultures and the processes of human development. These findings have many practical uses.

Degrees offered in this department are the BA and the BAE (BA in Education). In addition a combined anthropology/biology BA or BS major is offered.

Students are only eligible to declare an anthropology major if they have successfully completed any one of the following core courses: Anth 301, 303, 335.


Anthropology-BA (65 credits)

Core Components

201 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
301 - Anthropological Theory
303 - Qualitative Methods in Anthropology
335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology or another basic statistics course under advisement
490 - Senior Seminar in Anthropology or other culminating project under advisement (e.g., internship or directed independent study)
496 - Portfolio Assembly

Methods Component: At least one course from the following:
410 - Archaeological Analysis and Interpretation
420 - Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology
428 - Cultural Resource Management
447 - Anthropological Semiotics
470 - Museology Studies
471 - Field Work Methods in Cultural Anthropology
472 - Visual Anthropology
473 - Field Course in Ethnography
480 - Applied Anthropology
(where appropriate an internship, practicum or archaeological methods course may be substituted under advisement)

Topical Component: At least one course from the following:

330 - Religion and Culture
338 - Economic Anthropology
350 - The Ecology of Human Variation
351 - Family and Kinship Organization
352 - Cross-Cultural Study of Aging
353 - Sex and Gender in Culture
424 - Medical Anthropology
429 - Politics, Power and Inequality
440 - Cyborg Anthropology
453 - Women of the Global South
475 - Global Migration
481 - Childhood and Culture
484 - Cross-Cultural Education

Culture Region Component: At least one course from the following:

361 - Native Peoples of North America
362 - Peoples of Asia
365 - Peoples of Latin America
460 - Culture and Society of Japan
462 - Native Peoples of the Northwest
463 - Peoples of East and Southeast Asia
465 - Peoples of Mexico and Central America
476 - Borderlands

At least one course from each of the major subfields: biological anthropology, archaeology (recommended Anthropology 215 and 210 respectively), and linguistics (LING 201 or 204, ENG 370 may be substituted for an anthropological linguistics course).

Only one 100-level course will count toward major, minor or archaeology concentration.


Page Updated 11.14.2013