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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 new millennium than anthropology. Confronted with increasing global population, rapid technological change, rising tides of nationalism, and economic globalization, many look to the future as an unknown frontier. Anthropology provides understanding and answers predicated on a century of exploring the development of human nature, society and culture. It is the only social science which has sought 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 a unique department among the many 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 coursework in human biology and evolution, archaeology and prehistory, linguistics, folklore, and contemporary peoples in Western and non-Western cultures. Considerable emphasis is placed as well on the acquisition of practical methodologies and analytical skills unique to the discipline.

If you seek a major that will not only open up significant employment opportunities but also provide a sense of meaning and purpose in your life, you are advised to 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 a multiplicity of 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 examining the social impacts of a new federal program, or another, placing them on a remote hillside searching 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 Cultural/Heritage Resource Management Certificate 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 Cultural Anthropology Certificate program prepares individuals for careers in public and private businesses such as multinational corporations or federal agencies. Emphasis is placed upon identifying culturally related problem areas, preparing research designs, collecting and analyzing data, and recommending policy.

Come visit the Department of Anthropology to learn more about the faculty and our facilities. You have an invitation to discover anthropology.