Bachelor of Arts


The primary goal of the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology will be to offer students a structured and coherent course of study in human cultural, ecological, and historical diversity. The degree emphasizes a foundation in the four fields of anthropology: archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and linguistics. Anthropology's strengths historically derive from a synergy between these four fields. A rigorous program of anthropological study also reinforces transferable skills such as writing and critical analysis. Training in the theoretical and methodological aspects of the discipline gives students the intellectual skills necessary to identify and solve real-world problems -- an especially important consideration given the increasing use of cultural anthropology's central method, ethnography, in the business environment. Most important, a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology introduces students to specific instances of cultural and biological diversity that prepare them for an ever more differentiated and culturally complex workplace.

Major requirements

A minimum of 33 credits is required, with a minimum grade of C- in all anthropology coursework. No course can be taken pass/fail.

Required Courses (16 units)

All anthropology majors must have completed the following courses, or their equivalent with a C- or better:

  • Anth 203 - Peoples of the World
  • Anth 230 - Intro. to Archaeology
  • Anth 260 - Intro. to Physical Anthropology with lab (4 units)
  • Anth 390 - History of Anthropological Thought
  • Anth 490 - Integrative Themes

Upper-division subdiscipline classes (12 units)

Students must also complete one 300 or 400 level course in each of the four subdisciplines:

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Biological/Physical Anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Archaeology

Electives (6 units)

In addition to these course, students must take 6 additional credits of elective anthropology courses selected from the subdisciplines that interest them the most.

Other Requirements

Students must take two "M" (Writing in the Major) courses. Two anthropology writing in the major courses are currently being taught in Vancouver:

  • Anth 390 - History of Anthropological Thought
  • Anth 490 - Integrative Themes

Click here for the Unofficial Anthropology BA checklist

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts Anthropology must fulfill UCORE and College of Arts and Sciences requirements as described in the University catalog. Students entering with a transferable AA degree must complete outstanding College requirements, as well as any other University requirements over and above the UCORE and CAS Requirements automatically fulfilled by the transfer AA degree.


Admission requirements follow policies and criteria of Washington State University.

Job Opportunities

Anthropological study provides training particularly well suited to changes in local and regional economies. Hewlett-Packard in Vancouver, Nike in Beaverton, and Kaiser Permanente in Portland all have at least one full-time anthropologist to help increase productivity. At a global level, the World Bank is restructuring, and plans to hire fewer economists and more anthropologists in future. Anthropologists, it is felt, will best be able to understand the cultural contexts of a global economy, including the financial needs of businesses in other countries. It is assumed that anthropologists will make the projects more relevant and cost-effective.

Anthropology is also the only contemporary discipline that approaches human questions from historical, biological, linguistic, and cultural perspectives. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology enables students to apply for entry-level positions in archaeology, and for jobs in a diverse range of public and private institutions seeking individuals with the skills obtained in anthropology -- for example, an employee who understands the nature of human diversity, and who can work well with people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Students with a degree in Anthropology could apply for entry-level archaeology positions at the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and over 12 private contract archaeology firms (Archaeological Services of Clark County, Heritage Research Associates Inc, Archaeological Investigations Northwest Inc) in the Vancouver-Portland Metropolitan area. Anthropologists with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology are also eligible to apply for positions in museums with ethnographic materials (city, county, state museums), numerous state social service agencies and national and international agencies.

Community Service

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology will enhance service to the community in the following ways

  1. provide place-bound students with access to an anthropology degree.
  2. provide a course of study particularly well suited to changes in local and regional economies described above.
  3. offer multicultural events and speakers.
  4. develop greater collaboration and coordination with local community college anthropology instructors and students,
  5. offer talks, workshops and forums on global issues and perspectives to local elementary and secondary school teachers and students.
  6. collect oral accounts and documentation on local archaeological and historic sites.