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Pre-Advising PowerPoint
About Anthropology
Welcome to the anthropology concentration at Towson
Anthropology is a broad, holistic field that seeks to
understand human biological and cultural variation through
time and space.
The discipline combines humanistic and scientific approaches
to studying humans from their origins to the present.
The sub-disciplines of the field include archaeological,
biological, linguistic and socio-cultural anthropology.
Reflecting our program’s greatest strengths, we offer a
major concentration with four focus areas, but in particular
focused on the sub-disciplines of archaeological and sociocultural anthropology.
Once you have completed the core requirements, you can
focus your studies on archaeology or globalization or take
classes covering a range of theoretical and geographic
Anthropology Curriculum Involves
Completing Courses in Two areas
Students studying in the anthropology concentration
must complete four courses in the sociologyanthropology common core. This includes
introductory courses in anthropology and sociology,
a diversity course, and a statistics course.
Then students select one of four focus areas in
anthropology to complete the concentration, either
Option A, B, C, or D. In each of the four focus areas
students receive a broad foundation in the field of
anthropology by taking courses in human evolution
and prehistory, cultural anthropology, ethnographic
and/or archaeological methods, and anthropological
theory. Each option is also designed so that
students can select different mixes of courses.
Four Focus Area Options
Option A is the combined anthropology and
sociology focus area. This option allows students to
select more courses in sociology along with their
study of anthropology.
Option B is the general anthropology focus area.
This is the most common option among
anthropology students. Here students pursue a
broad approach to anthropology including
opportunities for study in all areas of the
anthropology curriculum.
Option C is the archaeology focus area and Option D
is globalization and development. Students in
Options C and D have the opportunity to pursue
more specialized coursework in archaeology or
globalization and thus have more structured and
preset course offerings.
How do you decide which focus
area to pursue?
There is some overlap in the courses required for the different
focus areas. This means that whichever option you select, you
will receive solid foundational training in anthropology and a
valuable set of skills for a variety of jobs dealing with cultural
variation in health, business, education, and government or for
further study at the graduate level in anthropology or other
fields including law, business, social work, and human
The focus area you choose depends more on whether you are
interested in archaeology, that is, studying the past through
the excavation of material remains or socio-cultural
anthropology, that is, studying the present. Some students
enter the major knowing that they want to pursue archaeology.
Others select globalization because they are interested
particularly in change in the contemporary globalizing world
and plan to go to work (either before or after further graduate
study) for organizations focusing on global issues such as
human rights or the environment.
What to do if you are unsure
about a focus area?
• However, if you are unsure about your focus
in anthropology, all students begin by
completing the lower level courses in the
common core. Then you should select an
upper level geographical area course such as
North American Indians, Latinas in the
Americas, Anthropology of African Media, or
Korea and Globalization, because at least
one “area” course is required in all four
anthropology options.
Planning Your Courses Carefully
• Regardless of which focus area you choose, there is other
important information we would like you to be aware of as you
complete your studies in anthropology.
• First, most of our upper level (300 level or higher)
anthropology courses are NOT offered every semester.
Required upper-level courses including ANTH 401
Anthropological Theory, ANTH 380 Ethnographic Field Methods,
and ANTH 381 Archaeological Methods and Theory are usually
offered only every third semester. Other upper-level courses
are offered once a year or every two years.
• In addition, most anthropology courses are currently offered
during the day, and course availability in the evening is limited.
You should meet with your department advisor to learn when
particular courses will be offered and plan accordingly.
Field School and Study Abroad
• Second, although not required, we recommend that students
participate in a field school, usually during the summer, and/or
a study abroad program. Currently we offer an archaeological
excavation field school class in western Maryland every
summer. The American Anthropological Association lists other
possibilities for archeological and ethnographic field schools on
their website (, under “Student Resources.”
• The Study Abroad office in the Administration Building has a
wealth of information as well about many study abroad
programs. Since many study abroad programs involve a
semester of study away, and may offer only a very limited
selection of anthropology courses, you should talk to your
major advisor well in advance of any travel about when you
should study abroad and what courses you should take so that
you can complete your studies in the most timely manner
Other Study Opportunities
Finally, our undergraduate students who study in anthropology
have two elective advanced learning opportunities available.
One such opportunity is the completion of an Honors Thesis.
An Honors Thesis allows students to do independent research
of a high quality on a topic of their choice. The Honors Thesis
in anthropology may be based on either fieldwork or library
However, students interested in this option should begin early,
as the thesis process requires a full year of study, with a
directed readings course the first semester, followed by the
thesis writing itself a second semester.
Or, students in anthropology can complete an internship in an
organization or business in the Baltimore region. Up to 6 units
of internship study are possible towards completion of the
anthropology major. An Internship Coordinator will assist you
with the internship process if you are interested.
And finally…
In concluding your visit to this website today, we
would like you to complete a short survey about
your interests related to anthropology.
This survey should be answered, printed, and
brought along with a copy of your unofficial
transcript to your first meeting with your major
If you are transferring credits to Towson, please
bring your transfer evaluation form.
If there are courses that you believe will satisfy
our requirements to complete the concentration,
it would be helpful if you have a syllabus and/or
course description for the course.