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Anthropology Major and Minor

Anthropology is the discipline that examines all human behavior, from human origins to the diversity of contemporary cultures. Anthropology also examines the impact of global changes, from the origins of agriculture to current world issues such as third-world inequality and the impact of globalization.

The anthropology program allows students to explore the four principal subfields of anthropology (cultural, physical, archaeology and linguistics) with a dual focus on the academic and applied aspects of the discipline. An anthropology degree is highly sought after by business and other professional fields and has many applications in academia.

By studying anthropology, students will gain a greater awareness of human behavior and the world's cultures — both past and present — as well as the methodological and theoretical tools necessary to understand that behavior. The program is also ideal for students wishing to increase their understanding of cultural diversity and globalization.

Anthropologists are interested in such questions as:

  • What is the essence of being human and how did this originate?
  • In what ways, and why, do different populations vary genetically?
  • How did plant and animal domestication begin and what were the consequences for human societies?
  • How can we explain and understand all the different ways humans have developed in order to solve life's basic problems?
  • How do humans transform sounds into meanings?
  • How did human languages begin and how are they related?
  • Why are ethnic groups today fighting back against larger nations?
  • How can we work to guarantee human rights for all people in the world today?

Anthropology Major

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology.  All majors take an introductory course in anthropology, as well as coursework related to the major subfields of cultural and biological anthropology and archaeology, and an anthropological theory course.  A practicing anthropology requirement allows students to apply their classroom knowledge in the context of a study abroad trip, field school, faculty-guided research project, or similar hands-on experience.  Students also have the opportunity to select from a wide variety of elective courses offered by faculty from Clemson’s programs in anthropology, biology, and modern languages.  The curriculum for BS students includes additional courses in math and science, while BA students complete a four-semester sequence in a modern language and additional courses from the humanities and social sciences.  Regardless of the specific degree path chosen, the anthropology major will challenge students and enhance their understanding of human behavior in a variety of contexts.

Anthropology Minor

As the discipline that bridges the gap between the sciences and the humanities, anthropology supports cross-cultural perspectives in programs like language and international trade, language and international health, communication, history, art and architectural history, languages, secondary education, and any of the social sciences. An anthropology minor also internationalizes many other majors like marketing, management, industrial engineering, agriculture, nursing, health sciences, and PRTM.  All anthropology minors complete the following coursework:

  • ANTH 2010 Introduction to Anthropology
  • Two of the following:
    • ANTH 3010 Cultural Anthropology
    • ANTH 3310 Archaeology
    • ANTH/BIOL 3510 Biological Anthropology
    • ANTH/LANG 3710 Language and Culture
  • Nine additional hours of anthropology coursework, including at least three hours at the 4000-level

For information about the anthropology major or minor, please contact Dr. Mike Coggeshall or visit the Clemson University anthropology majors page.  

Mike Coggeshall
Professor of Anthropology
Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
(864) 656-3822