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Why Major in Anthropology?

There is perhaps no single field of study that can better prepare students to cope with the challenges of the 21st century than anthropology. Confronted with increasing global population, rapid technological change, rising tides of nationalism, and economic globalization, many look to the future with uncertainty. Anthropology provides understanding and answers based on a century of exploring the development of human nature, society, and culture. It is the only social science that seeks to understand both human biological and cultural variation in the past and in the present. Encompassing a wide range of subjects spanning cultural and linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology and museum studies, Anthropology is unique among the many fields that study humanity.

The BA, MA, and Honors programs in anthropology have been developed to provide the student with a broad perspective on human biological and cultural development. This is achieved through course work in human biology and evolution, archaeology and prehistory, linguistics, folklore, and contemporary peoples in Western and non-Western cultures. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of practical methodologies and analytical skills unique to the discipline. The Department of Anthropology creates a true learning community where excellent facilities are combined with close personal contact between students and faculty.

If you seek a major that will not only open up significant employment opportunities but also provides a sense of meaning and purpose in your life, consider majoring in anthropology. It leads to a more sophisticated, historically and scientifically grounded understanding of the relationship of human beings to the natural world, past and present. Anthropology majors develop an awareness gained through instruction and practical experiences of how culture shapes and reshapes our understanding of human problems and possibilities. Anthropology students are perhaps most distinguished by the realization that there are many ways of engaging in the human experience, each equally valid.

What Can You Do with an Anthropology Degree?

Anthropology is an eminently practical major for those seeking a liberal education leading to a broad spectrum of career opportunities. Beyond the more traditional teaching and research trajectories, anthropology majors may select a course of study to suit them equally well for either examining the social impacts of a new federal program, or searching on a remote hillside for ancient artifacts. Anthropology majors are finding positions in business, public and private agencies, education, museums, and public health programs. The Department of Anthropology offers four applied anthropology certificate programs.

Certificate Programs

The Certificate in Cultural Resource Management program prepares individuals for careers in the conservation, preservation, and management of heritage resources located on public and private lands. Emphasis is placed upon acquisition of archaeological field skills and knowledge of federal and state requirements. Employment opportunities are plentiful.

The Certificate in Forensic Identification fosters student interest in applying scientific knowledge and skills of the physical anthropologist to legal issues (i.e., in an area of the forensic sciences). This program promotes both the development of important methods such as human skeletal identification and assessment in collaborative involvement with local law enforcement agencies.

The Certificate in Museum Studies prepares individuals for careers in municipal, county, and historical society museums, and state and federal interpretive centers. Emphasis is placed upon curatorial research and the design, preparation, and installation of exhibits.

The Certificate in Applied Cultural Anthropology prepares individuals for careers in private businesses and public agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Emphasis is placed upon identifying culturally related problem areas, research design, collecting and analyzing data, and policy analysis.

Come visit the Department of Anthropology to learn more about the faculty and our facilities. Discover anthropology!

Catalog Cycle:11