student taking notes near small animal skeleton student holding rock tool student holding animal bones student taking notes near small animal skeleton student looking through anthropology book


Program Details

Anthropologists are responsible for popularizing the concept of culture by emphasizing a holistic understanding of the connectivity between gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality and economics. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology will be encouraged to see the world as the sum of its biological, linguistic, social and cultural parts. No other university in the state of Illinois currently offers a concentration in environmental issues in anthropology at the undergraduate level.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology is offered through the WIU Department of Sociology and Anthropology. As an anthropology major, students are required to complete two introductory-level anthropology courses, in addition to one of four methodology courses; a course covering trends in anthropological theory; one of several courses focusing on world cultures and one linguistic anthropology course, which investigates the role of language in human communities. In the junior and senior years, students may choose courses to focus on one or more fields of anthropology, including cultural, linguistic, biological anthropology and archaeology. Online class options are available for many courses. Major advisors will assist students in selecting courses to best reach specific career goals.

A minor in anthropology complements a wide variety of professional careers in the U.S. and abroad. Anthropology provides learning opportunities to gain skills needed for careers in museums, international development, forensic anthropology, medicine, cultural resource management, archaeology, human ecology, environmental sciences, national and international corporate management, health and human rights advocacy, public service and academia. WIU graduates are admitted to top-tier PhD programs in anthropology and related fields. A minimum of 18 semester hours in anthropology, including the two introductory courses, is required for the minor. Your minor advisor will help you select courses to best complement your major field of study.

Integrated Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Option

An integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program is available for the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology: Master of Arts in Sociology. An integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program is available for the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology: Master of Arts in Museum Studies. An integrated degree program provides the opportunity for outstanding undergraduates to earn both degrees in five years. View detailed information about the Integrated Baccalaureate and Master of Arts Degree Program in Sociology (PDF).

Student Activities

Our majors and minors are active in WASC, the Western Anthropology and Sociology Club, which sponsors several activities throughout the academic year. In addition to inviting guest speakers for campus programs, WASC organizes events such as career, résumé, and internship workshops; topical events relating to sociology and anthropology; and social events.

Special Opportunities in Anthropology

Anthropology faculty at WIU have extensive field research experience in Central and Latin America, Europe, India, and Southeast Asia. Anthropology faculty regularly lead short-term abroad field schools to India, Germany, and Puerto Rico. Anthropology students have an opportunity to work with mentors who are actively engaged in applied research. We have developed relationships with regional institutions, including the Field Museum of Natural History, the Dickson Mounds Museum, the Henson Robinson Zoo (Springfield, IL), and the Niabi Zoo (Moline, IL). For students interested in biological anthropology, they can also participate in the Functional Morphology and Evolutionary Anatomy minor program.

After College

researcher in southeast asian field

Learning from other Cultures

WIU students are uniquely prepared to apply their understanding of human relationships to a variety of fields, including medicine and health care, law and law enforcement, international relations, ecology, conservation, community planning, politics, marketing and business, social work and human relations. In a time when new employees are expected to have an extensive skill set in many careers, anthropology is an ideal primary or secondary major for WIU students.

Possible Careers

  • Cultural Anthropologist
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Forensic Criminologist

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.


110 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences or Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues) Survey of basic concepts and approaches of Anthropology to the study of human beings. Study of worldwide cultures from prehistoric to the present. IAI: S1 901N.

111 Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) Study of human evolution from the perspectives of both biological and social sciences. Examination of the evolution of culture and the methods of its interpretation. IAI: S1 902.

201 World Culture Regions. (3, repeatable to 9 for different culture regions) Surveys of the cultural adaptations of different regions of the world. Either the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, or the Pacific will be studied each time the course is offered. The region will be announced in the time schedule. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

202 (Cross-listed with AGE/ RPTA/SOC 202) (Formerly AGE 200 and GERO 200) Introduction to Gerontology. (3) An introduction to Gerontology, including a comprehensive and critical review of demographic, physiological, activity, and psychosocial dimensions of aging-related issues and processes. Not open to students with credit in AGE/RPTA/SOC 202.

210 Medical Anthropology. (3) (General Education/ Social Sciences) Introduction to medical anthropology, an area of anthropology concerned with human health and the socio-cultural, political, and economic factors that contribute to illness and suffering.

215 Fantastic Archaeology: Ancient Astronauts, Shape Shifters, and Bigfoot. (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) This course examines alternate interpretations of the human past as a way to explore the nature of knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and learn how anthropological and archaeological theory and methods may be used to distinguish between science and pseudoscience.

249 Native North American Cultures. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) Introduction to aboriginal North American cultures with an examination of the rich diversity of cultural development and its relationship to the natural environment. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

305 Applied Anthropological Methods. (3) (Global Issues) Applies anthropological knowledge and methods to regional, national, and global contemporary problems. Includes current theoretical, ethical, and methodological debates. Social issues may include discrimination, hunger, disease, and underdevelopment. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

310 Methods in Physical Anthropology. (3) This course provides an introduction to physical anthropological methods, including assessing human variation, interpreting the human fossil record, and techniques in forensic anthropology. Students gain an understanding of the tools used in the analysis of primate and human skeletal remains. Prerequisite: ANTH 111 or ZOOL 200 or permission of instructor.

315 (Cross-listed with WS 315) Gender and Anthropology. (3) Exploration of cross-cultural ethnographies of variations in gender roles in economic, religious, and political domains. This course also addresses gender identity and gender diversity issues. Not open to students with credit in WS 315. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

320 New World Archaeology: North America. (3) Survey of North American archaeology. Special emphasis on pre-Columbian culture adaptations of eastern United States and the Mississippi Valley, particularly the Illinois region. Prerequisite: 6 s.h. of Anthropology coursework including ANTH 111, or consent of instructor.

324 (Cross-listed with REL 324) Religion, Magic, and Shamanism. (3) (Global Issues) Survey of cross-cultural perspectives on beliefs and practices dealing with the supernatural, magic, and religion. The functions and social positions of spiritual leaders from different cultures are explored. Not open to students with credit in REL 324. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

325 Laboratory Analysis of Archaeological Material. (1–3, repeatable to 6 for different projects) Instruction in the study of material remains recovered from archaeological sites. Processing techniques and methods of analysis presented to introduce students to research in prehistory. Only 3 s.h. may count toward major. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

326 Archaeological Field Methods. (1–6, repeatable to 12 for different projects) Intensive field training in the theory, problems, methods, and ethics of archaeological research. Usually taught during summer months at a camp located some distance from campus. Only 6 s.h. may count toward major. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

330 (Cross-listed with WS 330) Sex and Gender in Archaeology. (3) The study of sex, gender, and power in archaeological investigations and theory, including cross-cultural comparison of gender and social differentiation in past societies. Changing perspectives on the roles of females in human evolution and prehistory are emphasized. Not open to students with credit in WS 330. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or 111 or WS 190, or consent of instructor.

353 (Cross-listed with PSY 353) Cultural Psychology. (3) (Global Issues) Examines culture as the physical environment, social institutions and practices, language, and the media that influences human behavior and mental processes. Not open to students with credit in PSY 353. Prerequisites: 9 s.h. of Psychology coursework and junior standing or permission of instructor.

380 Language and Culture. (3) Study of language as an aspect of culture. Structural and historical analysis of language. Examination of the relationship of language to social structure. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

381 Old World Archaeology. (3) Study of major developments in the prehistory of Africa, Europe, and Asia. Examination of earliest man and his cultures through the rise of complex societies. Prerequisite: ANTH 111 or consent of instructor. Recommended: ANTH 110.

395 (Cross-listed with WS 395) Gender, Race, and the Environment. (3) (General Education/ Multicultural Studies) Explores research, scholarship, and fictional ecofeminist works. Students will consider the influence of women, feminists, and ecofeminist writings on local and global environmental movements. Not open to students with credit in WS 395. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or WS 190 or permission of instructor.

404 Dynamics of Cultural Change. (3) Examination of cultural change resulting from social forces, intercultural contact, and changes in the natural environment, focusing on the role of “conflict” and peace-building in the past and present societies, globalization, and modern applications. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

405 Forensic Anthropology. (3) Forensic Anthropology deals with the medicolegal problem of identifying human skeletal remains. This course provides an elementary understanding of human skeletal biology, forensic archaeology, and the recovery and identification procedures involved when unknown skeletal remains are discovered. Prerequisite: ANTH 111 or consent of instructor.

410 Anthrozoology. (3) Anthrozoology examines human-animal relationships from the perspective of Anthropology with an emphasis on culture and its influence on attitudes toward animals. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or consent of instructor.

415 Environmental Anthropology. (3) (Global Issues) Study of environmental issues from the perspectives of different cultures; students will study ecological and cultural adaptations of humans, and explore strategies for solving environmental problems involving cross-cultural stakeholders. Topics may include global climate change, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability. Prerequisite: ANTH 110 or permission of instructor.

417 (Cross-listed with ZOOL 417) Primate Ecology, Behavior and Evolution. (3) This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to primatology utilizing principles from Anthropology, Ecology, Paleontology, and animal behavior. Students gain an understanding of the evolutionary history, adaptations, and conservation of primates and their habitats. Not open to students with credit in ZOOL 417. Prerequisite: ANTH 111 or ZOOL 200 (C grade or better) or permission of instructor. Junior standing recommended.

419 Anthropological Theory. (3) Study of the intellectual currents which led to the establishment of Anthropology as a discipline. Writing Instruction in the Discipline WID course. Prerequisites: 12 s.h. of Anthropology coursework including ANTH 110 and 111.

420 Cultural Feast: The Anthropology of Food. (3) Anthropological study of food symbolism, rules, consumption, health, and the gendered dimensions of food, including gathering, preparation and distribution, and commoditization of food. Issues of scarcity and links to environmental sustainability, global social hierarchies, and power relations are also addressed. Prerequisite: ANTH 110.

425 Culture and Catastrophe: The Anthropology of Disaster. (3) Introduces critical theoretical and methodological approaches in the anthropological study of disasters. Examines human preparedness and response to disaster events, issues of social stratification and inequality, and environmental and social forces that influence vulnerability and social policy from an international perspective. Prerequisite: ANTH 110.

463 (Cross-listed with BOT 463) Ethnobotany. (4) (Global Issues) A survey of how indigenous people use and classify plants in comparison to modern, scientific principles of botany and plant chemistry, and the use of traditional knowledge by modern science. May require field work travel at student expense. Not open to students with credit in BOT 463. Prerequisites: BIOL 100, 101; BOT 200 (C grade or better); ZOOL 200 (C grade or better); ANTH 110 or SOC 100; or permission of instructor.

490 Individual Investigation in Anthropology. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Students will pursue a topic of special interest to the individual to be chosen in consultation with an instructor. Prerequisites: permission of instructor and department chairperson.

494 (Cross-listed with SOC 494) Internship. (3) Supervised applied experience in occupationally related area. Seminars and written reports required. Not open to students with credit in SOC 494. Prerequisites: approval of department chairperson and junior or senior status.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Chairperson: Dr. John F. Wozniak
Office: Morgan Hall 404
Telephone: (309) 298-1056
Fax: (309) 298-1857

Sociology and Anthropology Website
Sociology and Anthropology Directory
Sociology and Anthropology Advisors

College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)

Dean: Dr. Susan Martinelli-Fernandez
Associate Dean: Dr. James A. Schmidt
Interim Associate Dean: Dr. Kyle R. Mayborn
Assistant Dean (WIU—QC): Dr. James A. Rabchuk
Office: Morgan Hall 114
Telephone: (309) 298-1828
Fax: (309) 298-2585

CAS Website

Website: Quad Cities Advising
outside of Morgan Hall