As an anthropology major, you will study humankind and attempt to establish useful information and generalizations about people, their behavior and their cultural and biological origins to arrive at the fullest possible understanding of human diversity. You will gain global cultural awareness through classroom studies of cultures everywhere.
Anthropology, in common with other sciences, is concerned with the formulation and testing of hypotheses or tentative explanations of observed human phenomena. Anthropology also has an important humanistic tradition.
At BU, you will find anthropology divided into three study areas: cultural anthropology, which studies ways of life in societies across the world; physical anthropology, which traces human origins and biological variability; and prehistoric archaeology, which seeks to explain human behavior by studying material remains from past cultures.
All students take courses in cultural anthropology, prehistoric archaeology, human origins, history of anthropology, research and writing skills and choose from classes in field archaeology, field methods, independent study or an internship.
Working with your advisor, you'll then select six anthropology elective classes and organize the many options in general education requirements and free electives to meet your specific academic goals.
This permits concentration in archaeology, or a minor in Latin American Studies, both offered by the anthropology department, or minors from many other academic areas including such varied possibilities as:
- Art and Art History
- Gender Studies
- Ethnic Studies
- Communication Studies
- Theater ... and many more.
- Mesoamerican and South American archaeology; modern cultures of Mexico and South America; folk art; ritual; visual anthropology.
- Economic anthropology and the effects of deindustrialization on the construction of ethnic identity; industrial and organizational culture, child socialization; dance.
- Forensic Anthropology, forensic anthropology and "race," human origins in West Africa, worldwide postcranial variation, evolution of human diseases.
- Feminist and advocacy anthropology, narrative theory, ethnicity and transnationalism, medical anthropology, refugees, migrant farmworkers, Q'eqchi and K'iche' Maya and Mesoamerica.
- Archaeology, paleoethnobotany, evolution of food production, archaeological method and theory, pseudoscience and North American eastern woodlands.
It all adds up to allowing you to precisely tailor an anthropology program for your personal career goals and interests. This curriculum is designed to prepare students for admission to graduate school in anthropology. Each year, approximately one-third of the seniors majoring in anthropology apply to graduate school, with 90 percent accepted at their first-choice institution.
To help these students be competitive in the discipline, the faculty strongly encourages student research opportunities. Students may conduct research in any of the subdisciplines of anthropology with the goal of presenting their research at a local, regional or national conference.
Academic excellence in anthropology is rewarded through membership in Lambda Alpha, the national honorary society for anthropology. Qualified anthropology majors are also encouraged to participate in BU's honors program. An active Anthropology Club and a monthly newsletter also support students' interest in the field.
Those students who do not choose to attend graduate school receive the same careful attention and preparation as those who do. Students are encouraged to increase their opportunities for employment through internships or, in the case of archaeology, employment while a student at local contract archaeology firms.
These students are also encouraged to develop skills in computing, languages or other areas to help them reach employment goals. Anthropology majors have gone on to productive careers in business and government, with 85 percent of students finding meaningful employment within a year of graduation.
BU's anthropology program is dedicated to providing a quality undergraduate education in anthropology so you can go on to fulfilling professional careers in the discipline. To this end, the department offers an unusually wide variety of courses taught by nationally known faculty. You'll get the personal attention you need for quality advisement and to encourage you to learn outside of class.
Faculty scholarly interests include: