The Washington State University Vancouver Catalog


The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

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Academic Director:Pavithra Narayanan; Colin Grier: Professor, Archaeology; Edward Hagen: Professor, Evolutionary Anthropology; Nicole Hess: Associate Professor, Career Track, Evolutionary Anthropology; Barry Hewlett: Professor, Cultural, Evolutionary Anthropology; Bonnie Hewlett: Associate Professor, Career Track, Cultural Anthropology;Clare Wilkinson: Associate Professor, Cultural Anthropology;Academic Coordinator: Nicole Hess

        Anthropology is the only contemporary discipline that approaches human questions from historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives. You can come to understand the nature of human diversity, and learn to work well with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology focuses on the holistic study of humankind. Anthropologists are interested in understanding the diverse cultures of the world, the history of these cultures, the relationships between biology and culture, and the impact of language on our perceptions of the world. Anthropology has four sub-disciplines–cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and biological anthropology–and students take at least one course in each sub-discipline. Students at WSU Vancouver generally emphasize either cultural anthropology or archaeology and take most of their courses in that sub-discipline.

         Anthropological study provides training particularly well suited to the 21st century. The local and regional economies are increasingly international; work forces and markets are increasingly diverse; participatory management and decision making are increasingly important; and communication skills are increasingly in demand. Anthropology is the only contemporary discipline that approaches human questions from historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives.

        The WSU Vancouver Anthropology Club is an organization dedicated to promoting anthropology and its values. Students and faculty participate in the running of the club, which is active in organizing lectures, social activities, and local field trips. There is an archaeology and bio-anthropology laboratory and students can participate in faculty research projects.

Students can take anthropology at WSU Vancouver as part of a bachelor of arts in anthropology or a bachelor of arts in social sciences. Students can also earn a minor in anthropology.

Anthropology, Minor

        A minor in Anthropology requires a minimum of 18 credits, including three of the following: ANTH 101, 203, 230, and 260. At least 9 credits must be 300-400-level work taken in residence at WSU or through WSU-approved education abroad or educational exchange courses. A minimum grade of C- is required in each course contributing to the minor.

Anthropology, BA

         The B.A. in anthropology emphasizes a foundation in the four fields of anthropology: archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and linguistics.

A student may be admitted to the anthropology major upon making their intention known to the department. To graduate, a minimum of 34 credits in anthropology courses are required. Grades of C- or higher are required for all anthropology courses.

 Human Biology, BA

         Completion of the Human Biology major requires a minimum of 20 credits of coursework in each of Anthropology (ANTH) and Biology (BIOLOGY), which can include required courses.

You will also gain experience in writing and critical analysis, the theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline, and cultural and biological diversity.

Anthropologists at WSU Vancouver are part of the larger anthropology department housed on the WSU Pullman campus. The graduate program involves the faculty of both campuses.

What can you do in our anthropology program?

         Study Abroad: Anthropologists conduct research all over the world. Take classes from anthropologists who work in the field. Study human and non-human primates past and present from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Work in a bio-anthropology lab. Study diseases around the world and work with international organizations and local people. Develop intellectual skills necessary to identify and solve real-world problems.

 What can you do with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology?

           Changes in local and regional economies have increased the demand for anthropologists. With a B.A. in anthropology, you are prepared for entry-level positions in archaeology, and for jobs in a diverse range of public and private institutions.

 Here are a few of the fields that employ anthropologists.…

 Administration and management

Advocacy (human rights/social justice)

Business                                                          Education/Outreach

Ethnography                                                    Training

Forensics                                                          Global health

Historic preservation                                       Market research

Humanitarian efforts                                      Tourism

Information technology                                  Social services

International development

Management consulting

Mass communications

Museum curation

Nike, Kaiser, Hewlett-Packard, BLM, Archaeological Services of Clark County, and globally, World Health Org., and the World Bank are just a few of the organizations that have hired anthropologists.

 What can you do in our archaeology program?

         Participate in an archaeological excavation. Study and replicate ancient technologies. Take classes from archeologists who work in the field. Learn more about local Native American Tribes. Work in an archaeology lab. Take field trips to local archaeological and cultural heritage sites.

 What can you do with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology?

            More than half of the archaeologists in the US work for private companies where they help enforce heritage protection laws. Many archaeologist work for Federal, State & Tribal Government agencies, including:

     National Parks Service.    Army Core of Engineers

     US Forest Service              US Fish & Wildlife

     Tribal Historic Preservation Offices

 … where they help preserve and protect the past. Archaeologists study past human societies, but they also think about the future, by asking: What made ancient societies successful or prone to collapse? How did climate change impact ancient societies? Research on these questions helps us understand where we are headed in the future.


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