Anthropology Major

Undergraduate Adviser Coordinators:
Viva Barnes, Lauren Townshend

The discipline of anthropology studies humankind in the cultures of the world, both past and present. This study includes humankind's physical development and the wide diversity of lifestyles people have created.

The main goal of Anthropology is to understand objectively the reasons for both similarities and differences among humans, their behaviors and ideas. Using the central concept of culture, a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and material objects that members of a society use to cope with their world, anthropologists investigate and gather data on the human condition.

Areas of focus in Anthropology include Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics, and BioCultural Anthropology. Utilizing ethnographic, ethnological and ethnohistorical tools, as well as information supplied by these four sub-disciplines, the anthropologist comparatively studies cultures and the processes of human development.

Our department offers four different degrees in Anthropology:

The Anthropology BA seeks to understand and describe each culture in its own perspective and in comparative perspective. Cultural anthropologists gather data through first-hand field study in other cultures and do cross-cultural comparative studies which provide insight and understanding of the modes and patterns of human life. Areas of focus in Anthropology include Cultural Anthropology, Linguistics, BioCultural Anthropology, and Archaeology. A degree concentration in Archaeology is available.

The Biological Anthropology BS and Biologicial Anthropology BA are the biosocial analysis of all aspects of the human experience within the context of local ecology and sometimes, prehistory. Most majors pursue degrees in applied health or research in some aspect of human biology such as anatomy, forensics, genetics or physiology.

The Anthropology BAE is a combined major offered in conjunction with the Woodring College of Education. Anthropology is an approved endorsement for elementary/secondary education. Anthropology is a particularly desirable major concentration for teachers, because it provides a broad and basic understanding of human behavior. Prospective teachers will often work with students of various cultural backgrounds and an awareness of specific cultural learning influences, perception, attitudes, motivations, and behavior is an integral part of working with students from diverse backgrounds.

Students are eligible to declare an anthropology major once they have successfully completed, with a C- or better, the following core courses: Anth 201 and 301, PLUS one of the following: 210, 215 or 247.


Anthropology-BA (65 credits)
Core Components

201 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
210 - Introduction to Archeaology
215 - Introductory Biological Anthropology
247 - Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (LING 201 or LING 204 or ENG 370 may be substituted)
301 - Anthropological Theory
303 - Qualitative Methods in Anthropology
335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology or another basic statistics course under advisement
490 - Senior Seminar in Anthropology or other culminating project under advisement (e.g., internship or directed independent study)
496 - Portfolio Assembly

Methods Component: At least one course from the following:
410 - Archaeological Analysis and Interpretation
420 - Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology
428 - Cultural Resource Management
447 - Anthropological Semiotics
454 - Participatory Action Research Methods
470 - Museology Studies
471 - Field Work Methods in Cultural Anthropology
472 - Visual Anthropology
473 - Field Course in Ethnography
480 - Applied Anthropology
(where appropriate an internship, practicum or archaeological methods course may be substituted under advisement)

Topical Component: At least one course from the following:
330 - Religion and Culture
338 - Economic Anthropology
350 - The Ecology of Human Variation
351 - Family and Kinship Organization
353 - Sex and Gender in Culture
424 - Medical Anthropology
429 - Politics, Power and Inequality
440 - Cyborg Anthropology
453 - Women of the Global South
475 - Global Migration
481 - Childhood and Culture
484 - Cross-Cultural Education

Culture Region Component: At least one course from the following:
361 - Native Peoples of North America
362 - Peoples of Asia
365 - Peoples of Latin America
462 - Native Peoples of the Northwest
463 - Peoples of East and Southeast Asia
465 - Peoples of Mexico and Central America
476 - Borderlands

Electives in anthropology under departmental advisement. Student selection of a complimentary minor under advisement is strongly recommended.

Only one 100-level course will count toward major, minor or archaeology concentration.