Department of Anthropology


The major

Anthropology is the holistic study of humankind. Anthropologists are interested in understanding the diverse cultures of the world, the prehistory of these cultures, the relationships between biology and culture, and the impact of language on our perceptions of the world.

Anthropology has four subdisciplines:

  • Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Cultural and Social Anthropology
  • Linguistic Anthropology

Students are encouraged to take at least one course in each subdiscipline.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology emphasizes "public" anthropology, meaning that anthropology students will be encouraged to share anthropological perspectives and insights with the general public and use anthropological theories, methods, and concepts to help solve contemporary problems and issues.

Anthropology is multidisciplinary by nature. It is the only contemporary discipline that approaches human questions from historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives. Anthropological study provides training particularly well suited to the increasingly international nature of local and regional economies, and the diversity of our work forces and markets. It also provides students the means to master participatory management and decision making skills that are always in demand.

Anthropologists at WSU Vancouver are part of the larger anthropology department housed on the WSU Pullman campus. Students can take anthropology at WSU Vancouver as part of a B.A. in Anthropology or a B.A. in Social Sciences. Students seeking to complete either a MA or Ph.D. degree in Anthropology should speak to one of the Anthropology faculty.