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 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.

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 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.

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 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 

Sample Jobs

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


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.