Mar 24, 2018  
2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog

Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology Concentration, B.S.

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Dr. Beth A. Eck, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6171                                      
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 123                   

Sociology Program
Dr. Benjamin D. Brewer, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-7391
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 212

Anthropology Program
Dr. Liam Buckley, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-6171                                       
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 117                    

L. Buckley, B. Eck, A. Paugh, S. Poulson

Associate Professors
B. Brewer, B. Bryson, C. Colocousis, K. Dobransky, M. Ezzell, R. Lawler, J. Linder, M. Polanco, J. Solometo, J. Spear, K. Tanaka, M. Tracy

Assistant Professors
D. Blanton, R. Howes-Mischel, S. Newman, L. Porter, D. Trouille

Mission Statement

Anthropology is unique among the social sciences in that it celebrates humans as biological organisms and as innovative, creative, culture-bearing beings. Through course work, field schools, study abroad, independent studies and internships, students learn about cultural, linguistic, and biological diversity, human biological characteristics, and the human past as revealed by archaeology. The anthropology program provides globally-oriented courses that stress critical thinking, method and theory, gathering and interpreting data, intensive reading and writing, hands-on learning and the research methods and techniques used by anthropologists to understand contemporary human problems.


The Anthropology program has the following goals:

  • To introduce students to the nature of culture and of diverse cultural systems, their social organization and how anthropologists interpret cultural differences and similarities.
  • To introduce students to the relevance of human biology for understanding contemporary human populations and biological variation and disease and to provide them with the fundamentals of evolutionary theory and the fossil and genetic evidence that supports it.
  • To develop student understanding of cultural origins and the development of human societies through the analysis of material remains (artifacts) left by prehistoric and historic cultures.
  • To encourage an integrative approach to understanding the human condition that incorporates the contributions of all sub-disciplines of anthropology.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

An undergraduate degree in Anthropology provides a solid foundation for a wide range of rewarding careers. Students with a B.A. or B.S. degree in anthropology have gone on to become:

  • Graduate students in archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistics and area studies programs.
  • Professors of anthropology in each of the sub-disciplines
  • Professional students in law, medicine, education, international affairs, public policy and public health
  • Americorps and Peace Corps volunteers
  • Archivists
  • Business executives
  • City planners and government officials
  • College librarians
  • Field archaeologists
  • Cultural affairs directors
  • Historical preservationists
  • Museum and zoo curators and staff
  • International aid workers and development consultants
  • Management trainees
  • Nurses, medical technicians and physicians assistants
  • Forensic analysts
  • Coroners
  • Technical writers
  • Conservation scientists and practitioners

The anthropology major is a liberal arts program that stresses such marketable skills as:

  • Data analysis
  • Computer skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Global knowledge
  • Research skills
  • Rigorous writing and presentation skills

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • Lambda Alpha, Anthropology Honors Society
  • Student Anthropology Club

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement 3 Credit Hours 2
  • Scientific Literacy requirement 3-4 Credit Hours 2
  • University electives 32-33 Credit Hours
  • Major requirements (listed below) and electives 39 Credit Hours

Total: 120 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 MATH 220. Elementary Statistics , is strongly recommended for those students who have not taken that course or an equivalent as part of their General Education.

Major Requirements

To earn a B.A. or B.S. degree in anthropology, students complete 40-41 credit hours in the major. Given the diverse opportunities the discipline provides, the major is designed to allow students the opportunity to work closely with their advisers to develop a curriculum appropriate to their personal and professional interests. Those students wishing to do so may elect to pursue a concentration in one of the three sub-disciplines of cultural, biological or archaeological anthropology.

The concentrations guide students in choosing courses to enhance opportunities for graduate school or allow them to pursue an area of personal interest within the larger discipline of anthropology. Up to two elective courses from a discipline outside of anthropology may be applied to the major. Elective courses from outside of the program must be approved by the student's adviser and must be at the 300- or 400-level. Students must receive at least a "C-" in a class to have it count toward the major.

General Program

The general program provides students with a holistic introduction to the breadth of anthropology highlighting experience in the subdisciplines of cultural, archaeological and biological anthropology, as well as introductory experiences in linguistics. The program is designed to provide students with a well-rounded understanding of the discipline in preparation for advanced graduate training or as an adjunct to their personal and professional aspirations.

Required Courses

Total: 40-41 Credit Hours


1 Students should take two of ANTH 195 , ANTH 196  or ANTH 197  and at least one anthropology elective before taking ANTH 375 .
2 Students may take up to two adviser approved electives at the 300 or 400 level from courses outside of the program.
3 Students should consider including ANTH 305. Language and Culture , as one of their electives.

Cultural Anthropology Concentration

Cultural anthropology is at the core of anthropology. It provides students with in-depth experience in the interpretation and comparison of cultures. It is closely linked to the humanities and to other social sciences. Students learn what culture is, how different cultural systems and forms of social organization work, how language both reflects and constitutes culture, and methodological and theoretical frameworks for interpreting cultural differences and similarities. Students work closely with cultural anthropology faculty to choose a series of electives from both within and outside of the department to refine their own research interests.

Students are encouraged (but not required) to become proficient in a foreign language beyond the level required for the B.A. and to develop a regional area of specialization through course work or a minor (e.g., Latin American studies, Africana studies, Middle Eastern studies, Asian studies). Outside upper-level electives are recommended in history, sociology, economics, religion, modern foreign languages and political science. Students are encouraged to pursue study abroad, ethnographic field school and internship opportunities.

Required Courses

Total: 41 Credit Hours


1 Students should take two of ANTH 195 , ANTH 196  or ANTH 197  and at least one anthropology elective before taking ANTH 375 .
2 Students may take up to two adviser approved electives at the 300 or 400 level from courses outside of the program.
3 Suggested electived include ANTH 305 , additional area studies courses and upper-level topical courses.

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