Anthropology: BS, BA
Anthropology is the study of all cultures across time and space. Through comparative studies, anthropologists determine how people of the world are similar and different. They engage in issues relating to modern society, such as health care, human rights, law, urban development, and global population. The program focuses on the subdiscipline areas of cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology.
Students studying anthropology at Utah State University are prepared for careers in numerous fields through the skills and knowledge they gain in both the liberal arts and natural sciences. Graduates of USU’s anthropology program are in-depth thinkers with effective reading and writing skills and the ability to solve problems across the humanities and natural sciences.
The program is cross-disciplinary and gives students the chance to participate in state-of-art research and hands-on learning through high-tech labs and real-world fieldwork experience. Class sizes are generally small, which enables students to receive extensive individualized attention. Designed to give students a full range of experience, this unique program helps undergraduates gain skills and expertise usually available to graduate students.
A museum studies certificate is also available and is a popular choice for anthropology majors who are interested in developing the skills needed for various careers in museums.
Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.
Students who graduate with a degree in anthropology typically go on to attend graduate programs in a variety of areas, such as anthropology, archaeology, other social sciences, law school, medical school, and more, or pursue careers in the following fields:
- Archaeology (preservation, cultural resource management, research)
- Behavioral science (teaching, human services, administration, community relations, program development, research, human resources, case management, counselor, etc.)
- Bilingual education (teaching, program and community development, advocacy, politics, planning, etc.)
- Business (Management, marketing, personnel (human resources), diversity training, cultural brokerage, international business, etc.)
- Community organization (program and community development, advocacy, politics, education, planning, etc.)
- Consulting (counseling, case management, developmental programming and education, public policy, etc.)
- Data Analyst (statistical, geographic data or laboratory analyst, etc.)
- Environmental impact assessment (advocacy/intervention, counseling, case management, programming, education, public policy, etc.)
- Ethnic, cultural, environmental, women’s and various nonprofit organizations (administration and planning, evaluation, policy, advocacy, etc.)
- Government (federal/state/local/tribal in the cultural or environmental resource management, policy, research or working in parks or historic sites, etc.)
- Fund-raising (administration and planning, writer, education, assistant, accounting, etc.)
- Journalism and publishing (communications specialization, scientific and creative writing, news casting, freelance work, etc.)
- Law (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, politics, education, planning, etc.)
- Linguistics, translation and interpretation (federal/state/local/tribal administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, politics, education, planning, etc.)
- Media (marketing, film making (documentary, photography, freelance work, etc.))
- Medical and health-related jobs (international/federal/state/local/tribal medical work, such as the world health organization (WHO), doctor, nurse, laboratory technician, genetics counselor, disease outbreak control, therapy,etc.)
- Museums, libraries, archives and art galleries (administration and planning, restoration, critic, curator, education, assistant, accountant, etc.)
- Peace Corps and humanitarian aid (counseling, education, wellness promotion, employee assistance, organizational development, human resources, labor unions, health maintenance organizations, etc.)
- International diplomacy (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, politics, education, planning, etc.)
- Police work and forensics (Criminal Investigative Services (CIS), medical examining, artist, etc.)
- Public relations and administration (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, etc.)
- Refugee and immigrant services or foreign service and aid agency (counseling, education, wellness promotion, employee assistance, organizational development, human resources, labor unions, health maintenance organizations, etc.)
- Rural, urban, national and international development agencies (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, etc.)
- Scholarship and research (social and environmental science research, etc.)
- Social impact assessment (case management, programming, public policy, advocacy/intervention, education, etc.)
- Social Service agencies (administration and planning, case management, program evaluation, policy setting, public interest/advocacy groups, adoption, politics, education, planning, therapy, probation, parole, etc.)
- Teaching (K-12, college, adult education, etc.)
- Travel (guide, ethnographic work, etc.)
- Zoos (primatology, education, advocacy, programming, zoology, etc.)
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the anthropology program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer Students: Students transferring from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 to be accepted into the major.
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
In addition to the organizations listed, students are also encouraged to become members of local anthropological or archaeological organizations depending on where they live and work once they have graduated.
American Anthropological Association: This is the world's largest organization of individuals interested in anthropology. AAA seeks to promote the science of anthropology, to stimulate and coordinate the efforts of American anthropologists, to foster groups devoted to anthropology, to serve as a bond among American anthropologists and anthropologic organizations, and to publish and encourage the publication of matters pertaining to anthropology.
American Association of Museums: This is the world's largest organization of individuals interested in museums representing more than 18,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, almost 3,000 institutions, and 250 corporate members. AAM seeks to strengthen museums through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and service.
Utah Museums Association: This is a professional organization of individuals interested in museums. UMA promotes the professional development and networking opportunities of Utah's museums. It connects museums to professional resources and best practice and serves as an advocate for Utah museums.
Anthropology Club: This club promotes interest and raises awareness in the field of anthropology. This organization gives members the opportunity to listen to professional speakers, attend field trips, and participate in hands-on learning experiences and social activities. The club aims to generate members that have an increased appreciation for other cultures and people, as well as foster successful employees in anthropology.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Archaeological Laboratory: This laboratory provides a professional context for university students to acquire experience with archaeological documentation, testing, and evaluation of cultural resources. The archaeology research program teaches students how to interpret research and preserve artifacts of all kinds for the public and create an enduring record of cultural heritage from around the world.
Museum of Anthropology: USU houses the Museum of Anthropology, which provides a professional context for university students to acquire experience in museum operation and management. The museum collects artifacts of all kinds, from prehistoric stone tools to Roman coins to Middle Eastern Rugs, to preserve for the public an enduring record of cultural heritage from around the world.
Osteology Laboratory: This laboratory provides a learning environment for university students to study human bones. In the lab, students learn to identify human bones from animal bones, conduct quantitative, statistical research, and learn about the laws and ethics pertaining to human remains.
Spatial Analysis and Visualization Laboratory: This lab provides cutting-edge spatial data acquisition and analysis tools for archaeologists. These include state-of-the-art GPS, GIS, remote sensing, scanning, photographic and microscopy hardware, and the software necessary for performing quantitative, statistical, and geospatial interpretation of collected data.
USU Archeological Services: USUAS is a private company that was launched by USU archaeologists. It specializes in the documentation, testing, and evaluation of cultural resources. The organization works with a number of agencies to provide consultation and deliverables in the cultural resource field. Undergrads and graduate students often work in paid positions at USUAS.