Ancient cave painting in Cueva de las Manos in Argentina, dated between 7,300 BC and 700 AD. There are over 2,000 handprints in and around the cave. Most were created using their left hand as a stencil and blowing mineral pigments through bone pipes.
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology - the scientific study of humankind in all the cultures of the world, past and present - explores what it means to be human. This study includes humankind’s physical development and creation of diverse cultures. As a social science, anthropology shares techniques and methods with other behavioral sciences and also draws upon physical and biological sciences, making it unique among the social and behavioral sciences. Anthropologists obtain data primarily from field research and comparative cross-cultural studies in time and space.
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, federal and state agencies, social services, applied health settings, museums, and international business.
This major is more flexible than the Biology/Anthropology B.S. but is also excellent preparation for the applied health careers and graduate programs in Biological or Physical Anthropology. It is the study of both present and past human variation as it relates to local ecologies and cultures.
Anthropology/Social Studies, BA
Students earning a degree in Anthropology/Social Studies will be able to apply their knowledge and experience to a variety of careers locally and globally, particularly in settings for learning and teaching such as schools and learning across the life span.
Anthropology—Archaeology Concentration, BA
Archaeology is the "cultural anthropology" of the human past. Western's Anthropology—Archaeology program is active in regional prehistoric and historic archaeology. Undergraduate participation in fieldwork is encouraged, and necessary if one is to enter the field professionally.
Anthropology—Biocultural Concentration, BA
This program is the most flexible of the Biology/Anthropology combined majors and allows students to gain a broad interdisciplinary training relevant to many professions confronting the challenges of modern society.
Anthropology is particularly valuable for teachers, because it provides a broad understanding of human behavior, cultural diversity, and learning as a process of social interaction. While the major is tailored for students interested in teaching, graduates can apply their learning to a variety of graduate degrees and careers locally/internationally in both the public and private sectors.
Students interested in health-related careers find this major to be particularly attractive, because it offers greater access to courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology. In addition, it offers elective options in Biology and Anthropology courses, giving students a wide array of courses from which to choose.
Anthropology at Western
There are opportunities for field work and library research in each of the four sub-disciplines 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.
Organizations and Clubs
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 sub-disciplines within Anthropology. The main annual event is the planning and hosting of the Anthropology Conference, which is held in conjunction with Scholars Week.
The discipline of Anthropology perfectly balances science, philosophy, and art in such a way that it beautifully and accurately explains and describes the human experience and all of its complex interactions of spirituality, independence, biology, psychology, and social ritual.Alex DonigianAnthropology—Biocultural Concentration
What can you do with?
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 settings, 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
- International Studies
- Law Enforcement
- Museum Curator
- Overseas Consultant
- International Business
- Governmental Advisor
- Cultural Diversity Programs
- Human Resources
- Social Services