The Anthropology Major and Minor

The Anthropology Major

The major in anthropology exposes students to a variety of cultures and to the many different topics, theories, and methods of the field. It requires a minimum of 32 credits in anthropology, with 12 of those taken at the 300 level.

<p >Required courses:

105 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
235 Development of Anthropological Thought (or Sociology 223)
275 Doing Ethnography: Research Methods in Anthropology
350 Issues in Contemporary Anthropological Theory
One cultural area course

Please note - the cultural area requirement can be fulfilled in various ways: 

1. an area course in anthropology
2. studies abroad
3. foreign language through two semesters at the intermediate level
4. an area course in another discipline.

Only option 1 (area course in anthropology) provides academic credit towards the major.  The others satisfy the cultural area requirement and perhaps credit towards graduation but not credit toward the 32 required for the major.

Discuss your options in advance with your advisor to be sure credit will transfer.  A signed permission form will also be required for the Registrar's Office.

The Anthropology Minor

The anthropology minor requires a minimum of 16 credits in anthropology beyond the 100 level, and at least 4 credits at the 300 level.

See the Anthropology chapter of the course catalog for detailed information on requirements for the major and minor.

Independent Study and Honors Work

For information on Independent Study and Honors work please see our guidelines.

Anthropology Learning Goals

  • Understand and have the skills to evaluate human cultural diversity in all its forms
  • How to foster cross-cultural tolerance and understanding
  • Appreciate and understand the history, development, and contemporary significance of theoretical debates in cultural anthropology.  We are the only department in the Valley and among a very few in the country that offer and require both a history of anthropology and a contemporary theory class.  Students should appreciate the importance of knowing about the history of the discipline, be able to read and understand 'old' texts and debates.
  • Develop expertise in a specific cultural (often geographic) region through coursework, study abroad (if possible), and analysis of ethnographic texts
  • Be able to analyze texts (written, visual, and cultural) deeply and critically
  • To write, speak, and present one’s research results effectively and persuasively.  The 300-level courses require students to write papers that show their ability to read and analyze complex theoretical arguments.
  • Be able to conduct ethnographic research and analyze the results (domestically and internationally, including IRB protocols, participant-observation, interviewing skills, taking and analyzing fieldnotes)
  • To apply anthropological insights to contemporary social conflicts around the world
  • Know how to conduct ethnographic research in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the American Anthropological Association and in compliance with pertinent human subjects protection regulations