Mar 28, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog


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Program Description

Anthropology is the study of humankind. The discipline examines the interplay of cultural, social, economic, political, natural and environmental factors in the development of humans and human communities. One of the strengths of anthropology as a discipline is its “holistic” or integrative approach; it links the life sciences, social sciences and the humanities and has strong ties with a multitude of disciplines ranging from biology to the fine arts.

Students of anthropology learn about human societies and cultures throughout the world, including when they developed and how they change. This broad perspective is applied to understanding ourselves and comparing ourselves with others. By using the knowledge and perspectives gained from many cultures, anthropology is in a position to offer great insight into understanding present human societies and offering solutions for the future. Anthropology is a key discipline contributing to multiculturalism, environmental studies, and globalization.

Students of anthropology learn a variety of skills focused on collecting and organizing data on human behavior, formulating theoretical and practical questions regarding human life, and interpreting data using well thought out procedures. This training in critical thinking and observation can be applied to any endeavor that deals with humans, as well as culture and society.


A Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology prepares student for work in a variety of settings, as well as graduate study. Potential employment and professions that an undergraduate degree in Anthropology would aid include, but are not limited to, law, medicine, education, business, community development, social services, and human resources.  Graduate study can also lead to careers within the academy, museums, as well as applied work in public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the requirements for the major in Anthropology shall be able to demonstrate critical thinking using the holistic and integrated anthropological approach and will be able to:

  1. Summarize the major theories, concepts, terminologies, and approaches to anthropology;
  2. Explain the role of evolution by natural selection and adaptation to the natural environment in the development of humans
  3. Demonstrate a knowledge of human diversity and cultural interactions and a commitment to honoring that diversity;
  4. Assess how the anthropological perspective can be applied in a variety of contemporary settings.
  5. Apply the concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism to modern problems;
  6. Describe and discuss in an informed manner the ethical issues specific to anthropology;
  7. Demonstrate knowledge within the several sub-fields of anthropology, emphasizing cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology, having had elective opportunities to pursue specific interests; and
  8. Apply techniques and methods used in collecting and analyzing anthropological information.


Dennis Downey, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology,
Chair, Sociology and Anthropology
Bell Tower East, Room 2842
(805) 437-3315
Fax: (805) 437-8864

Colleen Delaney, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
Coordinator of Anthropology
Sierra Hall, Room 3313
(805) 437-3312
Fax: (805) 437-8864

Jennifer E. Perry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Sierra Hall, Room 3321
(805) 437-3694
Fax: (805) 437-8864

Jaime Matera, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Sierra Hall
(805) 437-3940
Fax: (805) 437-8864

Contact Information


    Major(s)Major(s) - AA/AS-T (Transfer Model Curriculum) Degrees OnlyMinor(s)

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