Combined Anthropology & Biology, BA or BS

Anthropology & Biology BA and BS Advisors:

Dr. Joan Stevenson and Dr. MJ Mosher

The consideration of human biology is a necessary part of the holistic view of human beings. Physical anthropologists try to understand the nature of human variation in body size and shape, disease resistance, nutritional needs, and other medically relevant variables. The interaction of culture and environment with human health has given rise to the rapidly expanding field of medical anthropology. The success of this endeavor was highlighted by the work of Blumberg, a physical anthropologist who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1976 for his work with hepatitis.

The best models for the human body are our closest relatives, the primates; hence the interest in the ecological and historical variables influencing monkey and ape anatomy and physiology. The human fossil record is given much attention by the popular press, but physical anthropologists are most likely to be employed because of their expertise in human anatomy, genetics, growth and/or physiology.

The importance of a strong biology background is reflected in the dual Anthropology/Biology Combined Major. Undergraduate training in Biological Anthropology provides the requisite background for some entry-level technical positions in disease control, at population centers, blood centers, forensic laboratories, medical schools and universities; and can serve as the basis for more advanced studies in the health-related professions (e.g. doctor, physician's assistant).

Transfer students interested in the Anthropology/Biology major are advised to complete a year of chemistry and biology before entering the the program. Fulfilling these courses prior to entering Western may considerably shorten the many quarters necessary to complete the major. Students are welcome to contact our Department Office at (360) 650-3620 or the Biology Department for more information and advisement.

Mid-Program Checkpoint 

Western Washington University undergraduates seeking to complete a BA or BS degree in biology/anthropology (human biology emphasis) within a four-year time span should have completed the following courses by the start of their junior year. Major omissions from this list will make it difficult or impossible to complete this degree within two additional years.

  • ANTH 201, 210, 215
  • CHEM 121, 122, 123 (or CHEM 125, 126, 225)
  • BIOL 204, 205, 206
  • Physics and calculus

Note that a 2.9 average in both the Biology 200 series and Chemistry 100 series are necessary to be admitted to Phase II of the Anthro/Bio major. In addition, the chemistry and biology classes must be completed during the first two years or by the completion of 75 credits.

DEGREE COURSEWORK & REQUIREMENTS

Combined Major - Anthropology/Biology BA  (90 Credits)

90 credits including 23 in supporting courses; Biology Phase II status required for admission into 300- and 400-level biology courses for biology majors.

ANTH 201 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 210 - Introduction to Archaeology (5cr)
ANTH 215 - Introductory Biological Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 496 - Portfolio Assembly (1cr)
BIOL 204 - Introduction to Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity (4cr)
BIOL 205 - Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (5cr)
BIOL 206 - Introduction to Organismal Biology (5cr)
BIOL 321 - Genetics (4cr)
BIOL 348 - Human Anatomy and Physiology (5cr)
BIOL 349 - Human Physiology (5cr)

Choose one of the following series:
CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I (5cr)
CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II (5cr)
CHEM 123 - General Chemistry III (4cr)

          or
CHEM 125 - General Chemistry I, Honors (5cr)
CHEM 126 - General Chemistry II, Honors (5cr)
CHEM 225 - General Chemistry III, Honors (5cr)

Choose either:
CHEM 251 - Elementary Organic Chemistry (5cr)

 or all three of the following:
CHEM 351 - Organic Chemistry (4cr)
CHEM 352 - Organic Chemistry (4cr)
CHEM 353 - Organic Chemistry (3cr)

One course from:
PHYS 101 - Physics Analysis (4cr)
PHYS 114 - Principles of Physics I (5cr)
PHYS 115 - Principles of Physics II  (5cr) - recommended

One course from:
ANTH 335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (5cr)
BIOL 340 - Biometrics (5cr)
MATH 240 - Introduction to Statistics (4cr)

10 credits in anthropology under advisement
ANTH 308 - Hunter-Gatherer Societies in World Prehistory (5cr)
ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology (4cr)
ANTH 424 - Medical Anthropology (5cr)

8 credits of biology under advisement
BIOL 322 - Genetics Lab (4cr)
BIOL 323 - Cell and Molecular Biology (4cr)
BIOL 324 - Methods in Molecular Biology (3cr)
BIOL 345 - Fundamentals of Microbiology (3cr)
BIOL 410 - Animal Behavior (4cr)
BIOL 465 - Vertebrate Zoology (5cr)
BIOL 467 - Comparative Vertebrate Physiology (3cr)

Program Advisers: Joann Otto, Biology; and MJ Mosher & Joan Stevenson, Anthropology 

DEGREE COURSEWORK & REQUIREMENTS

Combined Major - Anthropology/Biology BS  (102-105 Credits)

Major requirements include 79-85 credits of foundation courses in anthropology, biology, chemistry, physics and math, 19-22 depth and elective credits, and 1 completion credit. Biology Phase II status required for admission into 300- and 400- level biology courses for biology majors.

Admission and Declaration Process

The Biology Department has a two-step process for admission into our degree programs. Phase I students are students who have declared their intent to major in biology, and are in the process of completing the introductory biology and general chemistry series. Admission to Phase II is based on academic performance in the introductory courses. Students must achieve an average grade of 2.9 or higher in their introductory biology and general chemistry courses before they can advance to Phase II and begin taking upper-division coursework.

Grade Requirements
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major courses.
Requirements

ANTH 201 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 210 - Introduction to Archaeology (5cr)
ANTH 215 - Introductory Biological Anthropology(5cr)
BIOL 204 - Introduction to Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity (4cr)
BIOL 205 - Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (5cr)
BIOL 206 - Introduction to Organismal Biology (5cr)
BIOL 321 - Genetics (4cr)

One course from:
BIOL 325 - Ecology (3cr)
ANTH 350 - The Ecology of Human Variation (5cr)

One course from:
BIOL 340 - Biometrics (5cr)
ANTH 335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (5cr)

One course from:
BIOL 432 - Evolutionary Biology (5cr)
ANTH 423 - Human Evolution (5cr)

Choose one of the following series:
CHEM 121 - General Chemistry I (5cr)
CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II (5cr)
CHEM 123 - General Chemistry III (4cr)

          or
CHEM 125 - General Chemistry I, Honors (5cr)
CHEM 126 - General Chemistry II, Honors (5cr)
CHEM 225 - General Chemistry III, Honors (5cr)

Choose from:
CHEM 351 - Organic Chemistry (4cr)
CHEM 352 - Organic Chemistry (4cr)

        or
CHEM 251 - Elementary Organic Chemistry (5cr) - only with advisor’s approval

One course from:
MATH 124 - Calculus and Analytic Geometry I (5cr)
MATH 134 - Calculus I Honors (5cr)
MATH 138 - Accelerated Calculus (5cr)

Choose one of the following series:
PHYS 114 - Principles of Physics I (5cr)
PHYS 115 - Principles of Physics II (5cr)

          or
PHYS 161 - Physics with Calculus I (5cr)
PHYS 162 - Physics with Calculus II (5cr)
PHYS 163 - Physics with Calculus III (5cr)

Depth requirements:
BIOL 348 - Human Anatomy and Physiology (5cr)

One course from:
BIOL 349 - Human Physiology (5cr)
BIOL 467 - Comparative Vertebrate Physiology (3cr)

One of the following:
ANTH 308 - Hunter-Gatherer Societies in World Prehistory (4cr)
ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 424 - Medical Anthropology (5cr)
BIOL 410 - Animal Behavior (4cr)

Completion requirement:
ANTH 496 - Portfolio Assembly (1cr)

Electives:
3-12 credits to make 102-105 total.

One course from:
BIOL 322 - Genetics Lab
BIOL 323 - Cell and Molecular Biology (4cr)
BIOL 324 - Methods in Molecular Biology
BIOL 345 - Fundamentals of Microbiology (3cr)
BIOL 410 - Animal Behavior (4cr) 
BIOL 465 - Vertebrate Zoology (5cr)
BIOL 467 - Comparative Vertebrate Physiology (3cr)
ANTH 308 - Hunter-Gatherer Societies in World Prehistory (4cr)
ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 424 - Medical Anthropology (5cr)

Other electives under advisement

Program Advisers: Joann Otto, Biology; and MJ Mosher & Joan Stevenson, Anthropology.