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Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice

Business Anthropology & Human Behavior Certificate

  • About the Certificate

    Successful businesses don’t just rely on big data—they seek out human insights in areas such as consumer behavior, user experience and organizational culture. This three course Business Anthropology & Human Behavior Certificate Program expands the opportunities available to students by offering cross-disciplinary training in business and social science research methods. The program combines cross-cultural anthropological knowledge and qualitative methods with foundational business concepts to produce globally informed business leaders and cultural researchers.

  • Relationship Between Business and Anthropology

    What is anthropology?
    Anthropology is the study of humanity over time and around the world. Anthropologists use a broad set of tools to study human societies including participant observation, ethnography and in-depth interviewing. Anthropologists approach problems using a holistic mindset and often employ interdisciplinary tools. There are four main subfields of anthropology including cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

    How do business and anthropology overlap?
    Business Anthropology is the application of anthropological knowledge, methods, and theories to solving practical business problems. In today’s globalized world, it is increasingly important to understand people, and gather human insights to increase the quality of goods and services that businesses provide to consumers. Considerations for cultural differences can be pivotal when creating marketing campaigns, designing a product or application, or understanding an organization’s culture. Additionally, anthropological tools such as holism, cultural relativism, and qualitative methodologies are extremely valuable in a wide range of business settings to navigate the creation of a new product or service, understand a new customer base, or reveal constraints to organizational growth.

  • How this Program Can Benefit You

    This program uses project-based learning to give participants valuable experiences that are easily transferable to real world positions. Tech companies like Intel, Microsoft, Xerox and Google already hire social scientists, and many other industries are realizing the value of this expertise to give them a competitive advantage. The skills you will learn in this program are relevant for many different career paths. For example, market researchers, designers, and even human resources professionals would benefit from an opportunity to gain a global perspective and an understanding of how social science research techniques can greatly enhance strategic decision-making. Additionally, consumer insights and user experience researchers can benefit from greater knowledge of business concepts and how to operationalize their skills for today’s global job market. This program brings together the best of both domains (business and anthropology) in a manner that facilitates success in the real world of global business.

  • Hear More About The Program

    To learn more, listen to our founding program director and emerita professor, Dr. Melissa Vogel’s interview with the South Carolina Business Review below.

  • Contact

    For more information about the Business Anthropology & Human Behavior Certificate, please contact:

    Katherine Weisensee, Director
    Department of Sociology,
    Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Program Information

Students looking at laptops

This program is offered in person and is open to all Clemson students looking to expand their knowledge. Completion of the program requires completion of two required courses combined with one additional selected elective for a total of three courses. All participants must pass all three courses to receive the certificate.

  • Certificate Program Requirements


    • Business Anthropology (3 credits): ANTH 4800/6800
      • This seminar provides an overview of business anthropology and a cross-cultural perspective on three main areas: consumer research, organizational culture, and design anthropology.
    • Qualitative Methods for the Social Sciences (3 credits): SOC 4060/6060 
      • This course teaches qualitative research methods and analysis in the social sciences and their application in both business and academic settings.

    Electives: Choose one (1) of the following courses.

    • MGT/ANTH 3810/8810 (3 credits): Applied Managerial Skills (Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership)
      • The purpose of this course is to inquire into the meaning and being of leader and leadership in order to empower each of us to be leaders in our lives, communities, and societies. It is not a traditional academic inquiry into theories, models, and case studies about leadership, but it does draw on interdisciplinary scholarship.
    • MKT 3020 or 8630 (3 credits): Consumer Behavior/ Buyer Behavior
      • This course is an examination of selected individual and group behavioral science concepts and their application to the understanding of consumer decision making. Preq: MKT 3010
    • MKT 4270 or 8660 (3 credits): International Marketing
      • This course studies marketing from the international point of view. Emphasis is placed on the necessary modification of marketing thinking and practice for foreign markets due to individual environmental differences. Preq: MKT 3010.
    • PSYC 3680 or 8620 (3 credits): Organizational Psychology
      • This class involves an analysis of individual behavior for the purpose of investigating problems in organizations and increasing organization effectiveness. Topics include psychological factors affecting communication, decision-making, conflict, leadership, work stress, power, and organizational change. Preq: PSYC 2010.
    • PYSC 3570 or 8790 (3 credits): Psychology & Culture/Cross-Cultural Issues in I/O Psychology
      • This class involves the study of cultural values and their influence on cognition and behavior. Major emphasis is on the ways culture influences perception, emotions, development, interpersonal relations, and health. Preq: PSYC 2010.
  • Application & Completion Forms

    Certificate Application Form

    Certificate Completion Form

  • Deadlines

    Applications accepted on a rolling basis, but must be approved before the beginning of the semester in which you plan to graduate.

    The following form must be completed and signed by Dr. Katherine Weisensee for your application to be complete: Clemson Undergraduate Certificate Plan of Study

  • FAQs

    Q: What are the two required classes about? What can I expect to learn?

    A: Business Anthropology- This seminar provides an overview of business anthropology and a cross-cultural perspective on three main areas: consumer research, organizational culture, and design, through the lens of project-based learning. Qualitative Methods- This course teaches social science approaches to qualitative research methods and analysis, as applied in business through project-based learning.

    Qualitative Methods- This course teaches social science approaches to qualitative research methods and analysis, as applied in business through project-based learning.

    Q: I noticed that some of the courses on the approved electives list have pre-requisites. If I have not taken the pre-requisite for an elective, does this mean that this elective is not an option for me?

    A: If this is the case, please contact the professor of the course you are interested in taking and tell them you are taking the course for the Business Anthropology Certificate. An exception may or may not be given, which is based on that professor’s discretion.

    Q: I have already taken a course that I think could count as my required elective. Can I get this approved or do I have to take a class from the approved electives list?

    A: If this is the case, please contact the program director (Dr. Weisensee, to request consideration for approval.

  • Important Notes

    Please be aware that all Marketing courses listed have a pre-req of MKT 3010 and all Psychology courses have a pre-req of PSYC 2010. Upon completion, participants will receive an electronic badge as well as a paper copy of the certificate (upon request).

    For more information on program cost and approval of electives not listed here, please contact the program director, Katherine Weisensee (

  • Program Faculty

    M. Carlos Barrios Kleiss: Associate Professor, Architecture -

    Gail DePriest: Director Leadership Development & Corporate Relations -

    Nathan McNeese: Assistant Professor, Human Centered Computing -

    Aleda Roth: Burlington Industries Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management -

    Katie Shakour: Research Associate -

    Marissa Shuffler: Assistant Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology -

    Anastasia Thryroff: Assistant Professor Marketing -

    Suzanna Tremblay: Lecturer -

Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice | 132 Brackett Hall