Anthropology (BA)

After Spring of 2018,  new students will not be accepted into this program.


Anthropology is the study of people and how they interact with each other and their environments. It is concerned with all institutions of all societies and is distinguished from other social science disciplines by its emphasis on differences in and between cultures. For a more detailed description of the program, faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities please go to the Anthropology website.


Students must have a minimum grade of C in all required courses and maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in Anthropology.


All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Double Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a double major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a double major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some double major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a double major, the student must complete the appropriate double major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.  Please note that students will receive only one degree, regardless of the number of majors they complete.

Many students who major in anthropology find it desirable to combine it with a major in another department such as biology, classics, fine arts, history, psychology, political science, modern languages or communication studies. The sequence of courses for dual majors is the same as for regular majors. To provide for maximum flexibility of scheduling, students interested in dual majors should consult with a member of the department to arrange their individual schedules.

Minors in other dISCIPLINES

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.


An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes, they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation.

Major Requirements

Required Courses
ANT 121Biological Anthropology3
ANT 122Sociocultural Anthropology3
Any Linguistics - Select one of the following:3
Gender Issues in Language
Origin and Evolution of Language
ANT 230Introduction to Archaeology3
ANT 351Qualitative Research Methods3
ANT 461Anthropology Capstone1
Major Electives
Select six of the following:18
Anthropology and Film
Anthropology and Evolution
Special Topics in Anthropology
Forensic Anthropology
Business Anthropology
Gender Issues in Language
Origin and Evolution of Language
Field Work
Independent Study
Total Credits34

The following courses count as electives for the anthropology major and minor:

BIO 312Primatology3
RST 221Native American Religions3
RST 222African Religions3
RST 224Islam: Tradition and Revival3
RST 360Magic, Science and Religion3
SOC 234Environment and Society3

Additional Course Considerations

The department encourages anthropology majors to study a foreign language of their choice and to participate in the college study abroad program.


Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements

ANT 121ANT 122
ANT 230Any Linguistics
ANT electiveANT elective
ANT 351ANT elective
ANT electiveANT elective
ANT electiveANT 461

Learning Goals & Objectives


Student Learning Goal 1

Majors will think critically about facts, concepts, and issues in anthropology.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method as applied to the study of anthropology;
  • Objective B: Demonstrate an understanding of the major approaches to conducting research in the four traditional subfields of anthropology.

Student Learning Goal 2

Majors will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for graduate studies or careers.

Students will:
  • Objective A:  Demonstrate a familiarity with the major concepts, theories, and theorists in the four major subfields of anthropology;
  • Objective B:  Articulate the role of global awareness in applying anthropological theories and methods in the real world.

Student Learning Goal 3

Majors will demonstrate the importance of global awareness in anthropology.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Articulate the role of anthropology in the historical development of conceptions of ethics, values and morality within a cross-cultural framework;
  • Objective B:  Demonstrate an understanding of the socio-cultural differences among human groups, including the crucial role of language in human thought and cultural diversity.


The anthropology minor consists of 5 courses:

ANT 121Biological Anthropology3
ANT 122Sociocultural Anthropology3
ANT 230Introduction to Archaeology3
Any Linguistics Course3
ANT elective3
Total Credits15

Students must complete the minor request form.


ANT 121 Biological Anthropology 3 Credits

Our species in nature: evolutionary theory, principles of heredity, population genetics, human variations, fossil hominids, primate classification and behavior studies.

Fulfills College Core: Field 6 (Natural Sciences)

Offered: fall & spring.

ANT 122 Sociocultural Anthropology 3 Credits

Explores importance of culture in explaining diversity in human behavior and beliefs, looking at variety of societies inhabiting the world. Details the development of the field and the methods and theories employed by socio-cultural anthropologists to better understand humanity.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences), Global Awareness

Offered: spring.

ANT 230 Introduction to Archaeology 3 Credits

Introduction to the principles, methods, and theoretical approaches of modern archaeology; overview of history and practice of archaeology; how the past is reconstructed; origin of culture and development of social complexity.

Fulfills College Core: Field 5 (Social Sciences), Global Awareness

Offered: fall.

ANT 240 Anthropology and Film 3 Credits

A critical survey of both documentary and commercial films on themes in anthropology, e.g. human evolution, ape behavior, socio-cultural change, and the significance of symbolic language for adaptation and survival. Stresses the value of both facts and concepts in an anthropological view of our species.

Offered: spring.

ANT 290 Anthropology and Evolution 3 Credits

Concept of evolution in the five major areas of anthropology: biological, archaeology, sociocultural, linguistics, and applied anthropology. This course stresses the value of empirical evidence and critical thinking.

Offered: fall.

ANT 300 Special Topics in Anthropology 3 Credits

Critical examination of a selected topic in anthropology. Subject matter determined by the instructor.

Offered: occasionally.

ANT 310 Codebreaking 3 Credits

The evolution of codes and the relevance of codes to contemporary society. Covers the history of codes and the achievements of code breakers who deciphered ancient texts. Students will acquire and practice skills needed to identify structural components of codes.

ANT 333 Forensic Anthropology 3 Credits

Anthropological methods and information used to survey the origin and history of crime science. Emphasis on the use of well-known case studies in order to understand and appreciate the value of forensic investigation.

Offered: fall.

ANT 341 Environmental Anthropology 3 Credits

This course examines how the concept of culture can contribute to our understanding of environmental issues, in terms of how human beings adapt to their environment and the way in which they understand and give meaning to the world they live in. Examines the reciprocal relationship between humans and their habitat.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Global Awareness

ANT 350 Business Anthropology 3 Credits

Applies anthropological theory and methodology in the context of business. Businesses deal with a diverse and fast changing global market place that impacts their products, services, employees, customers and ideas. Anthropological perspective will provide timely and meaningful information to ensure understanding of a global marketplace from a cultural perspective.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive, Global Awareness

ANT 351 Qualitative Research Methods 3 Credits

Survey of research designs from a qualitative perspective, including field research, participant observation, content analysis, ethnomethodology, and focus groups. Analysis and reporting of qualitative data.

Offered: fall.

ANT 355 Sociolinguistics 3 Credits

Investigates the nature of the relationship between social behavior and language change within linguistic communities.

Fulfills College Core: Advanced Writing-Intensive

ANT 365 Gender Issues in Language 3 Credits

Explores the intersection of language and gender, examining gender-related stylistic variation in conversation and communication between and among women and men as cross-cultural communication.

ANT 370 Origin and Evolution of Language 3 Credits

Surveys theories of the origin and development of language, exploring early perspectives drawn from mythology, religion and philosophy as well as current views emerging from the social and natural sciences.

ANT 399 Field Work 3 Credits

Offers practical experience in a variety of social situations and cultural settings. Observations and research logs are used to provide a basis for analysis.

Prerequisite: permission of department chair.

Offered: fall & spring.

ANT 461 Anthropology Capstone 1 Credit

Integrating experience for majors; focus is on demonstrating proficiency in the discipline and preparation for post-graduate studies or employment.

Offered: spring.

ANT 498 Internship 3 Credits

Internships require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the chair & associate dean.

ANT 499 Independent Study 1-3 Credits

Independent studies allow in-depth study of a specific topic and are most often reserved for seniors who cannot otherwise fulfill a graduation requirement. Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.

Offered: fall & spring.