Anthropology Major

Anthropology Major

Program Emphasis in Prehistoric Archaeology

Bloomsburg University’s anthropology program features a special program emphasis in prehistoric archaeology. You can enroll in multiple archaeology courses to gain a professional understanding of academic archaeology and archaeological method and theory.

You can join professional summer field schools where methods and techniques in archaeological analysis are refined. During summers and upon graduation, you'll have many opportunities to find temporary or permanent employment in the field of archaeology both in the United States and abroad. The program has provided fieldwork and study in North America, Mesoamerica, Africa and South America.

Undergraduate Anthropology Conference

Each year in the spring, PASSHE sponsors a conference for undergraduate anthropology students. At the conference, students present their research in a professional setting. BU's anthropology department has been a participating member of this conference, and has in fact, sponsored the conference on campus several times since the conference's inception in 1989.

Each year, several BU students present their research at the conference. Students present papers based on their participation in the summer field school in archaeology, internships, the Field Methods in Cultural Anthropology class (46.475), or other classes. Several other PASSHE schools regularly participate, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Millersville, Shippensburg, Edinboro, Mansfield, and California University of Pennsylvania. Presentations at the conference are excellent preparation for graduate school.

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 and receive hands on field and research experiences.

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 Bloomsburg University, 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.

We emphasize a strong foundation in the major subfields of anthropology; cultural anthropology, biological (physical) anthropology, and archaeology. Our program is structured to both introduce students to the anthropology field, as well as allow students to focus on their specific interest within anthropology. Thus we have developed a set of core courses and electives reflected in three tracks of studies:

  • General
  • Students not yet specialized

  • Applied
  • Practical training and application for careers in all three sub fields

  • Research

Appropriate for students who plan to attend a graduate program

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.

Exceptional Faculty

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:

  • 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, and North American eastern woodlands.