Anthropology integrates perspectives from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences to better understand human diversity across time and space. Students learn to embrace connections among human history, culture, and biology in order to tackle social problems, empower communities, and confront challenges to our environment.
Our program provides students with strong foundations in cultural anthropology (the study of contemporary cultures and social organization), archaeology (the study of cultures and social organization from material remains), and biological anthropology (human biological and evolutionary diversity). Advanced courses, independent research, and field experiences allow majors and minors to focus their studies in preparation for a wide range of careers, including education, technology design, law, medicine, social work, public health, urban planning, market research, forensics, and cultural resource management.
Ten and one-half departmental units (at least 6 of which must be Beloit College units):
The three foundational introductory courses (100, 110, and 120), which should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
A specific intermediate course: Anthropology 201.
Three additional courses from the essentials category (200-250). One intermediate-level non-English language course (Chinese 115, French 210, Japanese 115, Russian 115A, Spanish 210), or higher-level courses taught in those languages may be applied to an essentials requirement.
Anthropology 380 (.5) (Senior Capstone).
The remaining 3 units may be satisfied by elective anthropology courses chosen in consultation with the advisor, 1 of which must be from the 300 level.
Supporting courses: No single set of courses is relevant to every anthropology major; however, students with specialized interests in certain areas within anthropology may be advised to complete relevant courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and/or other social sciences. Courses in statistics, competence in a field relevant language, and proficiency in computer-based data analysis are urged. Interdisciplinary minors in museum studies and area studies are especially relevant to a major in anthropology. Students interested in graduate work in anthropology should pay special attention to these recommendations as well as complete an honors thesis in their senior year.
Writing/communication requirement: Communication within the discipline of anthropology occurs through writing, photography and filmmaking, oral reports, multimedia productions, and the creation of posters that convey information.
Anthropological writing includes a wide variety of styles and genres, including expository essays, laboratory reports, research results, ethnographic note-taking, cultural description, and creative fiction. A certain amount of reflexivity is expected in all anthropological writing; that is, the writer must communicate to the reader an awareness of the ways in which writing itself constructs and conveys the message or information. Writing of various sorts is built into the anthropology major. Foundational courses (100, 110, 120) introduce students to the diversity among anthropological subfields and the writing styles that accompany each. Anthropology 100 requires essay writing, and students learn the style of laboratory reports in 120. Each component of the intermediate and foundational courses requires students to write in a style appropriate to the discipline and incorporate theoretical analysis. The elective courses require students to think, analyze, synthesize, and present their results in writing. A number of courses also require that students present the results of their work orally. Students who intend to go to graduate school are strongly encouraged to complete an honors thesis.
Six departmental units (at least 4 of which must be Beloit College units):
Two foundational courses chosen from Anthropology 100, 110, or 120.
One course from the essentials category (200-250).
Three elective anthropology courses, chosen in consultation with the advisor, 1 of which must be at the 300-level (only one special project may count here).
Foundational (100, 110, 120)
Intermediate Electives (251-299)
Advanced Electives (300-399)
Participation in fieldwork courses, overseas experience, and foreign language is strongly recommended.
Students who have earned (post matriculation) at least 1 unit of language credit at the required level in a course or language not listed, including ancient languages, may petition the department to have that course counted.