Anthropology is the study of human beings over time and space. It seeks to understand humans by exploring the differences and similarities between humans and the human experience in all parts of the world and throughout humanity’s existence.
The mission of the anthropology major and minor degrees is twofold: (1) the promotion of cross-cultural and international understanding and (2) the advancement of knowledge about the human condition. Across subdisciplines and geographical areas, we take a cultural approach to understanding human variation past, present and future. Our mission goals are met by way of teaching, research and service to the university, state, region and profession of anthropology.
The anthropology program has three faculty members with varying research interests and areas of specialization. The anthropology faculty provide expertise in gender, race, indigeneity, postcolonial studies, the African Diaspora, household and landscape archaeology, medical anthropology, and psychological anthropology across cultures. They employ GIS, ethnohistoric, and ethnographic methods. They cover regional studies in North America, the Caribbean, and East Asia.
The research efforts of the anthropology faculty are constantly integrated with the teaching process to bring new information and approaches to the classroom. This integration makes the classroom experience of majors and graduate students vibrant and dynamic. Faculty research activities also can provide students with valuable pre-professional experience as research assistants.
Students can pursue opportunities to work in the Archaeology Materials Lab as part of their course work, or in some cases, as paid research assistants. Materials from archaeological field studies are processed and analyzed in the lab. Students may also work with GIS data as part of Archaeological research projects.
The department encourages students to pursue field school opportunities where they can gain hands-on experience in archaeology or cultural anthropology while also earning course credit. Faculty periodically offer archaeological field schools in North America and the Caribbean. In addition, faculty advise students on selecting other field experiences abroad and nationally. In recent years students have completed field experiences in Wisconsin, Jamaica, Ireland, Greece, Mexico, and Poland. Faculty work with students on internship opportunities as pre-professional experience and have placed students in internships with numerous businesses, heritage organizations, and museums.
As with other fields of study that form the core of a solid liberal arts education, anthropology prepares students for many life and career challenges. An undergraduate degree in anthropology prepares students to think critically and analytically. It fosters a deep appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity and cross-cultural relations. Common areas of employment include advertising and public relations, community development, contract archaeology, corporate business and industry, cultural resource management, government agencies, non-profit organizations, policy research, and social services. For more information on anthropology employment, refer to the North Dakota State University Anthropology website or visit the American Anthropological Association website at www.aaanet.org.
The course requirements in anthropology are designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the discipline as a whole and training in research and analysis methods. The curriculum covers the multiple subdisciplines in anthropology. Anthropology faculty advisors work very closely with students on the specific plan of study that best suits their needs and interests.
The Anthropology Club is a student directed organization with sponsorship and advising provided by the anthropology faculty. The club provides a forum for learning more about anthropology and related careers, for engaging in community service, and for interacting with students with different interests, levels of experience and education in anthropology.