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Anthropology Concentration. Pre-Advising PowerPoint. About Anthropology. Welcome to the anthropology concentration at Towson University. Anthropology is a broad, holistic field that seeks to understand human biological and cultural variation through time and space.

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Anthropology Concentration

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anthropology concentration


Pre-Advising PowerPoint

about anthropology
About Anthropology
  • Welcome to the anthropology concentration at Towson University.
  • 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 socio-cultural 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 topics.
anthropology curriculum involves completing courses in two areas
Anthropology Curriculum Involves Completing Courses in Two areas
  • Students studying in the anthropology concentration must complete four courses in the sociology-anthropology 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
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
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 resources.
  • 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
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
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
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 possible.
other study opportunities
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 research.
  • 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
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 advisor.
  • 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.