Anthropology is the broadest of the social sciences in scope. The discipline includes the study of all aspects of human existence: past and present, physical and mental. Anthropology is divided into four subfields and most anthropologists are experts in one particular field.
Why study anthropology?
Anthropology is one of the best ways to learn about how people around the world are both different and alike in many ways. The study of anthropology can help to answer questions such as:
Aside from satisfying curiosity about people, anthropology has many practical applications. Professional anthropologists work in many fields. Aside from teaching and academic research, anthropologists work such areas as advertising and marketing, product design, management and human relations, cultural resource management, and government.
Non-anthropologists can benefit from anthropology also. In a globalized world, a person in any profession that involves working with people, whether in public service or the private sector, will find anthropological knowledge useful.
Three anthropology course are offered yearly. These courses are not a sequence and can be taken in any order:
Anthropology 101 Introduction to Biological Anthropology - 3 Credits
Students acquire basic knowledge of the processes of human evolution and variation. Primate and hominin evolution are surveyed. Students explore subjects relevant to human evolution such as Mendelian and population genetics, primatology, paleoarcheology, and biological diversity in modern human populations.
Anthropology 102 Introduction to Archeology and Prehistory - 3 Credits
Students demonstrate knowledge of archeological methods and theories including techniques used in gathering and interpreting data on past cultures, preservation of archeological data, and dating techniques. The fundamentals of archeology are taught within the context of a survey of prehistory from the Upper Paleolithic to the earliest state-level societies in Southwestern Asia, Africa, and Europe. Human culture is analyzed as an adaptive system that varies in relation to ecology and human need.
Anthropology 103 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology - 3 Credits
Students develop a basic understanding of the variety of cultures in the world, the sources of information used by cultural anthropologists, and an overview of ecological, functional and symbolic paradigms for understanding culture. Students examine the basic concepts of ethnocentrism, holism and cultural relativism, and learn about culture as a symbolic, dynamic, integrated, adaptive system of complex relationships.