Jul 14, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology Minor

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Dr. Beth A. Eck, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6171                                      
Email: eckba@jmu.edu
Location: Sheldon Hall, Room 123                   
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/socanth

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

Anthropology Program
Dr. Liam Buckley, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-6171                                       
Email: bucklelm@jmu.edu
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

Anthropology Program

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

Anthropology Minor

Students complete a minor in anthropology by completing 18 hours in anthropology including the core courses ANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology ; ANTH 196. Biological Anthropology  and ANTH 197. Archaeology . Students must receive at least a “C-” in a class to have it count toward the minor.

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