University News

Online Anthropology Degree Offers Options for Study

August 3, 2018

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MACOMB, IL -- An online bachelor's degree in anthropology at Western Illinois University is offering a flexible and convenient academic option to meet a growing demand for online courses for students who want to understand the world in which we live. Students who have a passion for anthropology and archaeology can now hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills online.  

The online major is ideal for students who need to balance their work and family life commitments.  Whether they are working full-time, staying home to care for family members, are disabled or do not live near the University's Macomb or Quad Cities campuses, the anthropology major is an option. The programming platform was created by WIU's Anthropology faculty to meet the need for online courses.

"I am proud of our Anthropology faculty and their many contributions to quality educational opportunities," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sue Martinelli-Fernandez. "Looking to the ever-changing needs of various student populations, they have brought their wonderful program to a much wider audience via online delivery."

The WIU program offers an opportunity to gain a better understanding of human biological and cultural diversity and addresses social and cultural consequences from a global perspective. A degree in anthropology prepares students for excellent jobs and opens doors to various career paths: The course of study provides global information and thinking skills critical to succeeding in the 21st century in business, research, teaching, advocacy and public service. Coursework can be focused on one of four areas: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology or linguistics.

The online anthropology program provides both live and recorded lectures using Zoom technology, which allows faculty to interact with students during the lecture or at a later time.

WIU junior anthropology major David Rash, of Bettendorf, IA, said he appreciates having the opportunity to continue learning.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity at this stage of my life, after a career and raising a
family, to actually study and learn," he said. "Anthropology has always interested me, combining my love of history, archaeology, geography and critical thinking. I tell my wife, my biggest fan in my current studies, this is doing what I truly enjoy. I can take these classes and still travel and enjoy the world. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found this
opportunity through Western Illinois University."

When the online program began in Fall 2017, it was the first anthropology program in the state, and one of only a few in the nation, to offer the major online.

During the Fall 2018 semester, the following courses will be offered online (the first two are two of the four core courses needed to obtain the degree):

• ANTH 110 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
• ANTH 111 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology
• ANTH 249 - Native North American Cultures
• ANTH 353 - Cultural Psychology 

For more information about enrolling in the online Anthropology major, contact Academic Advisor Sharon Hunter at

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