The Anthropology BA Program | Academic Requirements & Concentrations | Student Learning Outcomes | Minor in Anthropology | Courses | Faculty

The Anthropology BA Program: Student Learning Outcomes


LEVEL I. The initial level introduces students to the anthropological perspective. The learning objectives are:

  1. Students will understand the basic anthropological concepts such as culture, social structure, human evolution, and cultural relativism.
  2. Students will be able to apply basic anthropological concepts to a discussion of social and cultural phenomenon.
  3. Students will understand the nature of anthropological and archaeological fieldwork and the problematics involved in trying to understand a culture other than their own.

LEVEL II. The second level goes beyond comprehension of basic anthropological principles and methods to in-depth analyses of specific cultures in different geographic areas, specific institutions and institutional complexes, and theoretical perspectives in different subfields of anthropology, although all the basic concepts continue to be important.
Learning objectives common to all these classes are as follows:

  1. Students will be able to analyze social and cultural patterns found in different cultures in our own and other societies.
  2. Students will develop the ability to organize a coherent discussion of an issue, in writing, using the appropriate vocabulary.
  3. Students will develop an ability (a) to link empirical data to theoretical concepts and (b) to bring concepts of the discipline to bear on the analysis of concrete problems and issues;
  4. Students will begin to develop an ability (a) to critically evaluate opposing viewpoints and (b) to construct empirically-based arguments and interpretations;

In addition there are specific learning objectives at this level that are not necessarily found in all classes offered. These are:

  1. Students will become engaged in the in-depth study of a single culture or culture area.
  2. Students will begin to develop the ability to compare customs and practices in different cultures.
  3. Students will bring to bear a variety of technological skills on their studies (e.g. PowerPoint presentations, web research, online discussion).
  4. Students will participate in limited fieldwork projects.
  5. Students will be introduced to a variety of cross-cultural artistic concepts.
  6. Students will develop skills in the oral presentation of research.

LEVEL III. The third level of the curriculum focuses on methodological issues in anthropology and is intended to advance students’ ability to understand and critically evaluate anthropological methods. Courses at this level require students to explore anthropological methods in detail, to evaluate them through advanced readings, and to apply what they have learned by conducting fieldwork projects individually or in groups.
The learning objectives are:

  1. Students will understand the methodological, political, and ethical issues of participant observation.
  2. Students will begin to learn how to develop research questions in terms of appropriate hypotheses and fit these within an appropriate theoretical framework.
  3. Students will be able to conduct a participant observation field research study and present a preliminary version of the results in the form of an oral and written report; OR
    Students will learn the principles of survey and excavation in archeology by participating in an archeological site and analyzing finds.

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