Anthropology - Biocultural Concentration

Advisors: Dr. Joan Stevenson, Dr. M.J. Mosher, Dr. Robert Marshall

The BA in Anthropology with a Biocultural concentration is a program housed solely in the Anthropology Department and designed for students that are interested in Biological Anthropology and may require more flexibility in scheduling in order to create a curriculum that fits their specific needs. The emphasis of this degree is on the interaction of biological and cultural forces on the human species. This major is excellent preparation for applied health careers that integrate behavioral sciences and biology. The overall credit requirement is relatively high and thus, ANTH 303 and ANTH 490 are optional.

The Biocultural BA degree has most of the same curricular expectations as the other anthropology degrees. One does not need to take upper division biology, in general, beyond anatomy and physiology and perhaps microbiology, but this degree provides more training in cultural anthropology. Students can receive post baccalaureate training in anthropology or related behavioral science graduate and health-related programs, but for some career tracks additional coursework will be required. Students with this major will be well-situated for further training in any aspect of biosocial anthropology particularly medical or aging specialties, occupational therapy, nursing, public health, rehabilitation therapy and so on.

Transfer students interested in the Anthropology Biocultural major are advised to complete a year of chemistry and biology before entering the the program. Fulfilling these courses prior to entering Western may considerably shorten the many quarters necessary to complete the major. Students are welcome to contact our Department Office at (360) 650-3620 or the Biology Department for more information and advisement.

Mid-Program Checkpoint
Students seeking to complete a BA degree in anthropology with a BioCultural concentration within a four-year time span should have completed the following courses by the start of their junior year. Major omissions from this list will make it difficult or impossible to complete this degree within two additional years.

  • Bio 204, 205 & 206; Chem 121, 122 & 123 OR Chem 125, 126, 225; Anth 201 and 210 and either Anth 335 OR Anth 301

NEW! 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 - Biocultural Concentration - BA  (95-98 Credits)

Anthropology requirements as follows:

ANTH 201   Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 301 - Anthropological Theory
ANTH 303 - Qualitative Methods in Anthropology (optional)
ANTH 335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology
ANTH 350 - The Ecology of Human Variation
ANTH 424 - Medical Anthropology
ANTH 490 - Senior Seminar in Anthropology (optional)
ANTH 496 - Portfolio Assembly

BIOL 204 - Introduction to Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity
BIOL 205 - Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
BIOL 206 - Introduction to Organismal Biology
BIOL 348 - Human Anatomy and Physiology
BIOL 349 - Human Physiology

Two courses from:
ANTH 361 - Native Peoples of North America
ANTH 362 - Peoples of Asia
ANTH 365 - Peoples of Latin America
ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology
ANTH 423 - Human Evolution
ANTH 457 - The Anthropology of Death and Dying
ANTH 460 - Culture and Society of Japan
ANTH 462 - Native Peoples of the Northwest
ANTH 463 - Peoples of East and Southeast Asia
ANTH 465 - Peoples of Mexico and Central America
ANTH 466 - Reproductive Ecology
ANTH 476 - Borderlands

Choose one of the following series:
CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I
CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II
CHEM 123 - General Chemistry III
CHEM 125 - General Chemistry I, Honors
CHEM 126 - General Chemistry II, Honors
CHEM 225 - General Chemistry III, Honors

Choose either:
CHEM 251 - Elementary Organic Chemistry
or all three of the following:
CHEM 351 - Organic Chemistry
CHEM 352 - Organic Chemistry
CHEM 353 - Organic Chemistry

Students are encouraged to further specialize according to their interests by pursuing appropriate course sequences and/or minors outside of the anthropology department, e.g., mathematics with an emphasis on statistics if pursuing epidemiology. Please confer with your advisor to tailor your training to meet your post-baccalaureate plans.

Program advisor: Joan Stevenson or MJ Mosher, Anthropology

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 any major or minor.

Page Updated 10.22.2013