Anthropology Department

Programs & Degrees

Programs & Degrees

Department at a Glance   |   GVSU Catalog Description

Anthropology is the study and understanding of humans in all places and throughout time, including the effects of culture on individuals and of individuals on their society. Anthropology offers a perspective for critically analyzing culture and prepares students for multicultural career settings in the United States and abroad. An anthropology major and minor are available.

Requirements for a Major or Minor in Anthropology

 The wide scope and holistic nature of anthropology mean that students should have opportunities to experience three kinds of coursework: (1) courses concerned with the discipline; (2) courses specializing in  a subdiscipline of anthropology; and (3) courses in disciplines related to anthropology.  

Students majoring in anthropology may earn either a B.A. or a B.S. degree. The B.A. degree requires third-semester proficiency in a foreign language; the B.S. degree requires the completion of a one year sequence in one of the following natural sciences (BIO 120 & 121, CHM 115 & 116, GEO 111 & 112, or PHY 220 & 221) and one upper level natural science course from the same discipline.

Majors must complete at least 37-38 hours in the following (37 hours for a B.A. degree or 38 hours for a B.S. degree):

  • Core Courses: ANT 204; 206; 220; 310 or 346; 405; and 495. 

  • Cognate Degrees:
    B.A.: ANT 346; Third-semester proficiency in a foreign language.
    B.S.: ANT 310; One year of science courses (either BIO 120 & 121, CHM 115 & 116, GEO 111 & 112 or PHY 220 and 221),
    and one upper level natural science course.

  • Other Required Courses: ANT 307 or ANT 490, ANT 300, and 3 credits in Sociology.

  • Electives: Choose one course from each of the following categories:

Cultural Anthropology:

ANT 311 Native Peoples of North America
ANT 315 Comparative Religions
ANT 330 Ethnology of Selected World Areas
ANT 345 Perspectives on Globalization
ANT 346 Kinship and Culture (elective for B.S. only)
ANT 355 Migration in the Americas
ANT 360 Ethnology of Mesoamerica
ANT 370 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Gender


ANT 325 Archaeology of North America
ANT 347 Environments and Cultures of the Great Lakes Region
ANT 350 Archaeology of Mid-East


ANT 310 Perspectives in Bioanthropology (elective for B.A. only)
ANT 316 Death, Burial, and Culture
ANT 320 Culture and Disease
ANT 340 Culture and Environment

Note: Some ANT 380s may meet elective categories

 In addition, students are required to take either ANT 307 (Field Techniques and Laboratory Methods in Anthropology) or ANT 490 (Practicum). No more than six hours of ANT 307 and ANT 490 combined may count toward the major, though students are encouraged to acquire as many practical experience credits as possible.

Field experiences can be in archaeology or cultural anthropology, or students can arrange a practicum in a specific field setting of their interest. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisors at an early point to begin discussing their choice of field experience. Majors are strongly encouraged to complete courses in related cognate areas, to complete an internship, and to participate in career planning events.

A major in anthropology can acquire additional experience in applied, ecological, economic, medical, or urban anthropology, ethnohistory, or a regional emphasis (e.g., Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Great Lakes archaeology). This can be arranged through the advising process, independent study courses (399 and 499), a practicum (490) or Honors Research (498). No more than six  hours of 399, 498, and 499 combined may count toward the major.

A student who minors in anthropology is required to complete 21 hours in the department, including ANT 204 and 206 and either ANT 215 or ANT 220. The remaining 12 credit hours must come from 300 and 400 level courses.

Field Schools, Internships, and Research Opportunities

The anthropology program regularly sponsors field schools in archaeology and cultural anthropology.  These programs are locally based and accessible to commuters as well as on campus students.  Local and international internships are available. Occasional opportunities for out-of-country fieldwork are also available.  Post-field independent research opportunities are available through the Anthropology Lab, which houses a collection of over 200,000 artifacts fro over 100 sites.  Students interested in fieldwork should contact the department.

Page last modified September 2, 2009