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  • College of Arts & Sciences

    • Social Sciences Division
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 231
    • tel: 610-499-4365
    • fax: 610-499-4603
  • Dr. Bretton Alvare

    • Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology
    • Kapelski Learning Center, Room 335
    • tel: 610-499-4287


Curriculum, Anthropology

Within anthropology, you can tailor your program to fit your individual needs.

Emphasizing cultural courses serves those who want to work in a multicultural environment, go on to graduate study in anthropology, earn a certificate (e.g., education), or pursue a pre-law or related program.

Combining cultural studies with management and economics courses serves those who want to pursue a career in business or international economic development. 

Emphasizing the biological side of anthropology is for those who want to pursue graduate school in anthropology, medicine, physical therapy, anatomy, forensic investigation, or the like.


View a selection of courses students may take as an anthropology major.

ANTH 105 Cultural Anthropology

This course acquaints students with how anthropologists use a cross-cultural approach to understanding shared human perceptions and behaviors, and teaches anthropological research techniques of ethnography and corporate culture analysis. Why are cultures different? How can one use the ethnographic approach to find a suitable job and succeed in it? This course looks at similarities and differences among world cultures in terms of technological levels, social organization, and ideology. Topics include symbolism, language, sex roles, economic systems, kinship, political systems, religion, warfare, and cultural change. Students get to explore local culture through experiential projects outside the classroom.

ANTH 204 Biological/Physical Anthropology

Human beings are culture-bearing animals but also biological ones. What effect does the cultural system have on the biological and vice versa? This course deals with this question for the evolution and adaptations of ancient and modern humans. Students in this course explore the theories of human evolution. Students study evolutionary theory, compare humans with our ancient precursors and our closest non-culture bearing cousins, the Great Apes, investigate the clues to the evolution of us. Students will also come to understand variation in modern humans in various climates and regions, and explain how variation in biological form—skin color, body form, eye shape, variation in growth patterns, menarche, disease, sexual behavior, and “race”—is affected by biological and cultural factors. A two-hour lab permits hands-on examination of the specimens and the tools and techniques physical anthropologists use.

ANTH 216 Digging Culture: Archaeology and Evolution

Archaeology is one of the four fields of anthropology. Its techniques involve the recovery of artifacts from the earth, including buried material from crime scenes. Its subject involves discovering the past and the nature and causes of societal evolution, especially over the longer term. This course looks at the methods, interpretative tools, and insights of archaeology with hands-on work in class, and the results of archaeological work from Old and New World cases. This course emphasizes problem-solving techniques and perspectives.

ANTH 246 Rum, Rasta, and Revolution

The Caribbean region is known for its crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and, most of all, cultural diversity. It is the region that gave birth to Calypso, Reggae, and Santería, where dreadlocked Rastafarians live alongside modern-day witches (brujas) and Voudou priests who claim to have the power to raise the dead. The region’s key place in the history of the African slave trade and European colonialism infused it with a mixture of West African, Native American, European, and East Indian cultural traditions. This course introduces students to the tremendous cultural diversity of the Caribbean region and gives them an opportunity to understand the historical processes that made the region what it is today. 

ANTH 258 Leaders, the Led, and the Evolution of Politics

What makes great leaders and why do people follow them? Leaders are not born; they learn what it takes to lead. Great leaders have certain qualities and skills that will make others want to follow them. However, leadership strategies that are highly effective in one culture may be useless in others. In order to be successful in the modern globalizing world, leaders must appreciate the value of a wide range of leadership methods. This course introduces students to the study of leadership in the cross-cultural perspective. Students investigate how people become leaders and examine the specific ways cultural factors impact people’s reactions to different leadership styles.

For more information about courses and requirements for anthropology, please refer to our course catalog.