Mar 31, 2023  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cultural Anthropology, B.A.

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About the B.A. in Cultural Anthropology

  • Preparation for graduate school
  • Preparation for careers in government, international organizations, international business, law, and non-profit agencies
  • Ability to design an individualized ethnographic concentration
  • Senior research project
  • Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities in the world

Cultural anthropology is the study of the different cultural groups, identities and practices found within the contemporary world. As the contemporary world becomes one more marked by flows of people, ideas, money and images, cultural anthropology has rigorously attempted to research how the local becomes globalized, and the global becomes localized. The detailed lens of ethnographic thick description of peoples’ local life-worlds is a mainstay for cultural anthropology, but this ethnographic sensitivity to context and detail is nuanced by a sophisticated and theoretically informed vision of how both are affected by structural issues, especially political and economic at a global level.

The major in Cultural Anthropology provides students with an opportunity for study and experience away, either domestically or abroad, and is designed to leverage these experiences by providing a theoretically and methodologically sophisticated standing ground from which to explore, reflect upon, and share those various experiences during a two-semester capstone sequence during the senior year.

For those students who are unable to study away, the goal of the on-campus major is to provide rigorous training in ethnographic methods and anthropological theory so that graduate level training can take place. While the goal of the undergraduate program in cultural anthropology is to provide an excellent foundation for advanced study, the goal is not to be paraprofessional.

An undergraduate education in Cultural Anthropology provides a series of skills in qualitative data analysis and research design, quantitative reasoning, a stress on critical inquiry, experiential education regarding ethnocentrism, and cultural relativity. This training assists in application to other forms of graduate study such as law, economics, political science, peace and conflict resolution, social work, and public health. Students majoring in Cultural Anthropology also have found this course of study helpful in pursuing occupations in government services,  nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations and international business.

Requirements for the B.A. in Cultural Anthropology

(52 credits as listed below, plus University-wide requirements and electives to total 128)

Common Curriculum

(32 credits as listed below). Either AN 120  or AN 150  serve as the entering required course for the major. All other courses listed, or approved substitutes from study abroad, are required for the major.

One course in Mathematics

Additional Requirements (20 credits)

In addition to the common curriculum, students select three electives from courses in Cultural Anthropology, one elective from courses in development and human rights, and one elective in a history or culture of a specific area. Approved substitutes from study abroad can fill these requirements.

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