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College of Arts & Sciences

Anthropology Undergraduate Programs


William Cameron and John Gayner sort through debris using a wire mesh screen at Archaeology Field School.

[Dig Up the Past, Give Meaning to the Present]

Imagine unearthing the oldest known Native American home site in Southeast Ohio. Or spending the summer researching street artists rethinking urban identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland—or museum curators representing human rights and international justice in post-genocide Cambodia. Imagine mapping cemeteries in Southeast Ohio to reconstruct the history and culture of mining towns—and reconstructing evolution and human behavior by measuring bones in the laboratory. Imagine empowering local communities through social justice campaigns at the intersections of global economies and local markets.

Students who choose to major in Anthropology receive training in the core subfields of the discipline and choose from a variety of topics that allow for greater specialization. Members of the faculty have conducted extended research in Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the United States. They are dedicated to bringing their real-world experiences into the classroom. Faculty members devote much attention to students, and Anthropology majors have an opportunity to work closely with their professors.

Three Subfields

Because of its wide range of subject matter, anthropology at Ohio University is organized into three subfields that share a common focus on humankind and form a unified academic discipline. Students develop a general knowledge of anthropology and have the option to gain more specific in-depth knowledge in the subfield of their choice. Linguistics courses are offered through the Department of Linguistics.

The subfield options are:

Archaeological anthropology, involving the excavation, description, analysis, and interpretation of extinct cultures.

Sociocultural anthropology, which focuses on the description, analysis, and interpretation of existing cultures, and is interested in both particular and universal features of these cultures.

Biological anthropology, which is concerned with human beings as biological organisms from the past to the present.

By virtue of their common focus on humankind, these subfields form a unified academic discipline. Undergraduate students are expected to acquaint themselves with a general knowledge of anthropology while they gain a more in-depth knowledge in the subfield of their choice.

Undergraduate Study

To earn a B.A. in Anthropology, students take 11 courses in Anthropology, including introductory courses in cultural, biological, and archaeological anthropology. Students work with an adviser from the Anthropology program to select from a flexible range of courses that best suit their interests and Ohio University's requirements for graduation.

Because Anthropology has applications to and connections with so many other disciplines, students are encouraged to plan their program of study to include courses from Biological Sciences, Geological Sciences, Geography, History, Sociology, and Psychology. They are also encouraged to take courses from other academic programs in which Anthropology faculty members participate, such as International Studies, Classics, and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Ohio University's Field School of Archaeology gives students the chance to receive hands-on experience in current archaeological techniques and laboratory analysis of archaeological material in a field school taught by Ohio University Anthropology faculty.

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