Anthropology/Social Studies

Do you find human diversity and various cultures fascinating? If so, you may wish to consider a major in Anthropology, the scientific study of humankind in all the cultures of the world, past and present. Studies focus on human physical development, cultural behavior, adaptation to different environments, and creative expressions of meaning and belonging. Working in partnerships with communities and peoples worldwide, anthropologists help address contemporary human problems, highlighting evidence that points to both past and potential solutions.

Western's Anthropology curriculum reflects a strong commitment to a cross-cultural, comparative perspective. Students work with and take courses from faculty members who are nationally and internationally recognized researchers of Latin America, North America, Asia, The Pacific, and Eastern Europe, and who are dedicated to excellence in teaching.

The Anthropology Department provides training in four sub-disciplines: 

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Anthropological Linguistics

 The Anthropology/Social Studies major differs from the Anthropology major in that it’s intended to prepare students to become teachers of Social Studies with an Anthropology focus. This means students take more non-Anthropology classes in order to meet state requirements to teach Social Studies. When combined with Western’s teacher certification program offered by the Department of Secondary Education, this major meets content requirements for a qualifying teaching endorsement. 

Beyond the Classroom

Western's Anthropology curriculum is designed to provide extensive opportunities for students to engage in hands-on learning experiences working with clients in community social-services agencies, and through participatory research. 


There are opportunities for field work and library research in each of the four subfields of Anthropology. The department engages in a series of funded projects, providing a wide diversity of research opportunities, and the library holdings include resources for those pursuing cross-culture and culture-area research. Archaeological field school surveys are conducted on alternate summers.  


Students create internships that suit their specific interests to maximize their chances of long-term career success and satisfaction. Internships often include local museums and organizations, but can also be found outside the area or abroad.    

Anthropology Club

Western’s Anthropology Club is a group of students and faculty who promote interest in the discipline of Anthropology. The club plans and promotes speakers, trips, and events which relate to all four of the subdivisions within Anthropology. The main annual event is the planning and hosting of the Anthropology Conference, which is held in conjunction with Scholar’s Week.


Careers and Graduate Studies

While the Anthropology/Social Studies major is tailored for students interested in teaching Social Studies, graduates can apply their learning to a variety of graduate degrees and careers locally and internationally in both the public and private sectors. Opportunities may be found in teaching (public school, community college, and college), federal and state agencies, social services, applied health setting, museums, and international business.  


Sample Careers

  • Teacher 

  • Education 

  • Attorney 

  • Researcher 

  • Politician 

  • Governmental Advisor 

  • Diplomacy 

  • Human Services

Anthropology/Social Studies, BA

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