Minor in Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of the complete human experience- past, present, and future. A minor in Anthropology allows a student to study aspects of Anthropology that interests them and is focused on providing them general information about the field that they can use in their future career.
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The Learning Objectives for Anthropology Minors are the same as those for our majors.
Intellectual Breadth and Lifelong Learning
Anthropology provides students with a scientific framework integrating the basic tenets and principles of the natural and social sciences, humanities, and health and medical sciences. Given the inherent interdisciplinary nature of anthropology it provides students with an understanding of the rich and meaningful contexts necessary to formulate relevant scientific problems focusing on the study of human behavior in its multiple sociocultural aspects. Students in anthropology study human behavior in biological, cultural, and social contexts, both past and present.
- They learn the basic tenets of anthropology and evolution (Encyclopedic knowledge).
- They study the different models of the social sciences to analyze individual and group behavior (Relativistic/pluralistic stance).
- They acquire knowledge about and understanding of the basic components of social and cultural living (Individual/collective reasoning). Thanks to the commitment of our faculty, students are trained in a way that balances practical empirical, and theoretical approaches in anthropology.
Inquiry and Critical Thinking
The anthropology department has faculty in several subfields (archaeology, biological, and cultural). Each subfield investigates sets of overlapping scientific questions using different techniques, tools, models and theories, making our program particularly well suited to help students to grasp the complexity of scientific knowledge. Each of the subfields uses quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as scientific inferences and deductions to gather data and to address research questions. Through carefully developed courses, our faculty transmits knowledge about data gathering, analysis, and the critical review of results to students. Students acquire enhanced skills to logically argue and to critically evaluate explanations of human biological, social, and cultural behavior.
Students in anthropology learn to do research to fulfill course requirements or, in collaboration with our faculty, to develop individual research programs in our in-house laboratories. This hands-on approach allows students to acquire both a general and discipline-specific competence in the comprehension and application of the scientific method. Students also learn how to use campus resources such as the university libraries in their research. The systematic communication of the results of the students' research through essays, term papers, and in-class presentations leads our students to acquire a set of invaluable communication skills for their future careers.
Global/Multicultural Knowledge and Awareness
Students in anthropology learn about the fundamental aspects of human behavior, both past and present. What makes us human? Is there a universal human nature? Human societies are vastly different- why and how so? What is culture? Are there multiple ways to define it? How can we explain and understand cultural multiplicity in our modern world? How can we make sense of humanity's cultural and societal past, and hence enlighten our vision of the present?
The diverse faculty members of the department have research programs that focus on these aspects of the human experience in various places around the world. In our program, students acquire and master three major pillars of the anthropological discipline:
- basic knowledge of human biology, cultural history, and geography (Encyclopedic knowledge
- understanding of the variations in human experience across time and space (Relativistic/pluralistic stance) and
- theories and models about societies' structures, institutions and organizational principles and their impact on individual behavior (Individual/group thinking). Students gain global and cultural awareness while learning skills to allow them to better understand our complex and modern global systems. Students are also encouraged to conduct fieldwork and/or to participate in field schools, providing them with additional skills to be successful in our increasingly interconnected world.
Citizenship and Ethics
The anthropology department provides students with invaluable knowledge about past and extant societies and provides insight into their political, economic and social institutions. This aspect of our curriculum:
- encourages students to appraise contemporary cultures within the U.S. and worldwide in a new light,
- expands their awareness of their personal place in society and the potential effect they can achieve in the world,
- provides them with the tools and skills to analyze complex issues such as identity, race, gender, and ethnicity, and
- provides them with a framework with which to think about cultural diversity in ethical and responsible ways.
An Anthropology minor, like an Anthropology major can prepare students for a large number of careers because of the general background on human behavior gained from this degree.