Anthropology is the study of past and present human diversity. It explores issues of cultural and biological change, and strives to gain awareness of the conditions that give rise to social differences and inequalities. It helps expand understanding of the global human condition by integrating historical, cultural and biological perspectives.
As a Western Michigan University student with a major in anthropology, you will take courses in four fields of anthropology:
- Archaeology—the study of past human studies through material culture.
- Biological anthropology—examines the place of humans and their nearest relatives, the primates, within the biological world. It includes sub-specialties like human evolution to forensic science, primatology, genetic variation or adaptation.
- Cultural anthropology—the study of human society; how humans organize themselves and in what ways does a society express its ethnicity or change its culture.
- Linguistic anthropology—the study of language as a universal medium of human interaction.
The Anthropology Student's Organization gathers students interested or majoring or minoring in anthropology. It gets students involved in the field, and exposes them to various career and volunteer opportunities. Club members attend special events and conventions on and off campus, and take part in anthropological-based presentations and speeches that serve as resume builders.
Anthropologists are trained to think critically about global and local issues. Employers are increasingly seeking individuals who understand diversity and have the skills to analyze difference and communicate across varied settings. Anthropologists today work in corporations; colleges and universities; nonprofit and non-governmental organizations; and federal, state and local governments.
The anthropology major and minor provide solid preparation for postgraduate training and careers in a number of fields such as:
- Applied anthropology
- Forensic science
- Health care and medicine
- Human services
- International business
- Museum work
- Other fields that require an understanding of cultural diversity and human adaptability