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

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

Students earning a degree in Anthropology will be able to 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.

Employers of recent Western graduates: 

  • Bao Sai Gon Giai PHong (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam): Editor  
  • Black Belt Museum (Livingston, AL): Museum and Archives Programs and Records Specialist 
  • Icon Developments (Seattle, WA): Project and Office Manager 
  • San Francisco Gyrotonic (San Francisco, CA): University Course Coordinator 

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • Johns Hopkins University: Museum Studies (MA) 
  • Seattle University: Criminal Justice (MA) 
  • Western Washington University: TESOL (Certification) 
  • Worsham College of Mortuary Science: Mortuary Science and Embalming 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • International Studies 
  • Law Enforcement 
  • Ethnologist 
  • Diplomacy 
  • Museum Curator 
  • Overseas Consultant 
  • Linguist 
  • Education 
  • Researcher 
  • Translator 
  • Archaeologist
  • International Business 
  • Politics 
  • Governmental Advisor 
  • Cultural Diversity Programs 
  • Human Resources 
  • Social Services


American Cultural Studies

An interdisciplinary program, American Cultural Studies takes advantages of the rich curricular offerings of the various departments and colleges within the university. Through the American Cultural Studies program, you will study issues arising specifically from cultural diversity in American society. 

The study of American Culture allows students and faculty to:

  • Address issues such as race/ethnicity, educational equity, social and cultural theory, socio-economic class, and gender and sexual orientation, while analyzing the formation of identities in societies. 
  • Concentrate on the Americanization process and American cultural institutions and/or American cultural values.
  • Examine and question the concepts of privilege, silence, and voice.
  • Become critical thinkers who will be well prepared to work for social change.


“American Cultural Studies prepares students to function and to be successful in an ever increasingly diverse and multicultural society. In line with shifting demographics, the understanding of different cultures and population groups will be essential within the twenty first century in virtually any field of endeavor.” –Larry Estrada, Faculty

Beyond the Classroom

Work or volunteer in the Associated Students Social Issues Resource Center, which facilitates the sharing of diverse perspectives by providing resources, information, and the coordination of events. The Social Issues Resource Center is a space in which students and other members of the Western and Bellingham communities can self educate, discuss, and organize around important social justice issues. 

Careers and Graduate Studies

The American Cultural Studies (ACS) major combines the social sciences with humanities to provide students with a rich undergraduate background that is the foundation for careers and advanced study in law, domestic social services, public service, government service, education, and graduate work in American studies, ethnic studies, and the social sciences. 

Graduates of the program are especially prepared to go on for further study. Over half of all ACS graduates go on to professional and graduate schools upon the culmination of their undergraduate degree.


Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • Attorney 
  • Public Administration Higher Education 
  • Social Worker 
  • Marketing Specialist 
  • Firefighter 
  • Teaching English as a Second Language 
  • Consumer Advisor 
  • Community Relations Director 
  • Human Resource Coordinator 
  • Police Officer 
  • Non-Profit Agency 
  • Administrator 
  • Public School Teacher


Department of American Cultural Studies


A thorough knowledge of accounting is necessary to understand the operation and financial condition of any business, non-profit organization, or governmental agency. Western's accounting students take a broad array of accounting courses, including courses from the economics and business Administration programs, to prepare them for accounting careers or post-graduate studies. Graduates leave the program equipped to take examinations to become certified public accountants (CPA) or certified management accountants (CMA). 


"Western's accounting program boasts many features that set it amongst some of the region's most distinguished curriculums. The caliber and accessibility of its faculty make it truly exceptional."

- Andrew Kangiser, Student

Beyond the Classroom

Western's Accounting major provides students with many opportunities to get involved outside the classroom. Students have the opportunity to be connected with relevant internships and jobs, and have access to a variety of scholarships through the College of Business and Economics.

Many students join the Accounting Society and Beta Alpha Psi chapter to attend professional events, meet other accounting students, and participate in service learning. These organizations meet jointly to maximize student interaction with the accounting profession. Chapter participants have the opportunity to meet professionals from all areas of the accounting field.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The accounting graduate can expect to find employment in a number of areas including private business, public accounting, non-profit organizations, or governmental units. Typical work may include areas such as cost analysis, auditing, accounting systems, taxation, or cash management.

The Accounting program at Western offers a fast track for a MPAcc (Master of Professional Accounting).

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Moss Adams (Staff Accountant)
  • Washington State Department of Revenue (Revenue Auditor)
  • T-Mobile (Tax Analyst)
  • Amazon (Financial Analyst)

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as:

  • University of Washington (Master's in Professional Accounting/Taxation)
  • University of Notre Dame (PhD in English)
  • Concordia University (Law School)


Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • Arts Management
  • Auditor Certified
  • Public Accountant
  • Controller
  • Cost Analyst
  • Estate Planner
  • FBI Agent
  • Fraud Examiner
  • Revenue Agent


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