Anthropology Curriculum

Anthropology has been described as the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. Its holistic emphasis provides the breadth needed to discover what makes people human in both physical and cultural terms.

The Anthropology Program curriculum exposes students to:
  • Methodological and theoretical frameworks
  • Case studies
  • History of the discipline
  • The unique interplay between anthropology's four subfields
    • Cultural anthropology
    • Anthropological linguistics
    • Archaeology
    • Biological anthropology

The culmination of the curriculum is a capstone research project designed by the student.

The Anthropology Program curriculum is designed to prepare students to pursue advanced degrees in anthropology or any of its related areas of study, including cultural ecology, primatology, anthropological linguistics, ethnohistory, public policy, legal studies, media studies, health and education, and the like.

The anthropology curriculum is based in Juniata College's liberal arts tradition and is designed to provide students with theoretical, philosophical, and problem-solving capabilities that will be necessary in a career in anthropology or any of its related fields of emphasis.

Many fruitful interdisciplinary associations have been forged between the Anthropology Program and the disciplines of biology, medicine, environmental studies, education, museum studies, history, criminal justice, legal studies, law, peace studies, political and economic sciences, and public policy studies, among others.

Students in Anthropology especially benefit from Juniata College's study abroad and language programs. Many students keep field journals that may later be used as data for an independent study project that delves deeper into a research question that emerged from their experiences abroad.

Faculty incorporate specialized learning experiences into the curriculum including case studies and opportunities for special projects, research, lively lectures, and class and roundtable discussions.

Students learn professionalism by designing, researching, and formally presenting individual and group projects that explore social, cultural, and archaeological topics under the auspices of the faculty. They are encouraged to participate in collaborative research projects, and they are actively encouraged to present their work at regional and national student conferences.


AN-151   Introduction to Anthropology (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Dedicated to the proposition that there are many ways of being human, all of which are adaptations to particular sets of environmental and historical conditions. Trends and highlights of the human experience, both physical and cultural, are studied from a sociocultural perspective. Prerequisites: Freshman or Sophomore standing. Juniors and Seniors require the instructor's permission. No High School students are permitted.

AN-234   Constructing Race & Ethnicity (Fall; Variable; 3.00 Credits; CA,S) A cross-cultural study of social and cultural processes involved in the creation and maintenance of the social categories of race and ethnicity. Examines anthropological, historical, and legal texts as well as material from popular culture. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN254.

AN-254   Archaeology & Human Prehistory (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,I) Through readings, lectures, films, and discussions about a variety of archaeological sites, from Alaska to Zimbabawe, students are introduced to our earliest ancestors, to the diversity of prehistoric cultures, and to the origins of Western civilization.

AN-255   Applied Archaeology (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,H) Applied Archaeology uses method and theory to address real-world issues of historic preservation when the effects of modern construction, erosion, and looting threaten significant archaeological sites and artifacts. This course provides a survey of the practical applications of archaeology in the realms of historic preservation, museums, and cultural resource management. Students work with local artifact collections and conduct independent research.

AN-300   Anthropology of War & Peace (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) A study of the incidence and nature of cooperation, competition, and conflict in human cultures. Evidence will be drawn from archaeological, ethnological and ethological data. Prerequisite: AN151 or PACS110.

AN-310   American Indians (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) An examination of the social, economic and political lives of reservation and non-reservation American Indians set in the historical context of their minority treatment. Prerequisites; SO101 or AN151 or AN254.

AN-311   Topics in Anthropology (Spring; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Occasional offerings in which students and a professor explore an area of specialized interest. Some themes include religion, gender, culture change, cultural ecology, frontiers and insider/outsider. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN254.

AN-316   North American Prehistory (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) A survey of the archaeological evidence in North America before 1492. Students learn about the diversity of groups, ranging in size from small bands of hunter-gatherers to highly complex societies, and how they exploited various ecological niches.

AN-351   Cultures of the World (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) An introduction to the variation in human cultural systems. A cultural perspective is used to examine diversity in band, tribal, chiefdom, and state level societies. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN254 or permission.

AN-353   Archaeological Fieldwork (Summer; Irregular/On Demand; 2.00-4.00 Credits; S) An introduction to the ethics, principles and techniques of archaeological field research in the first half of the course. The second half is devoted to a practicum: actual excavations on both prehistoric and historic sites. Prerequisite: AN151.

AN-399   Special Topics (Spring; Yearly; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

AN-411   History of Anthropological Thought (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,CW) Explores the major theoretical orientations of American and European Anthropology, including: functionalism, structuralism, social evolutionism, symbolic anthropology, as well as a consideration of Marxist, feminist and indigenous critiques. A capstone integrative experience for all upper level anthropology POEs. Prerequisites: AN151 or AN234.

AN-451   Cultural Ecology (Spring; Even Years; 3.00 Credits; S) An examination of the relationships between man and his environment, particularly noting how ecological variables influence such cultural patterns as subsistence, settlement, social relationships and stress behaviors. Some consideration is given to problems of the future. Prerequisite: AN151 or AN254.

AN-452   Archaeology Lab (Either Semester; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) Provides instruction in all of the processes involved in preservation, conservation, cataloging, illustrating and analyzing artifacts and other materials from archaeological excavation. In addition to general experience, students specialize in an analytical technique of their choice. Prerequisites: AN151 and SO353.

AN-453   Archaeology (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S) An advanced introduction to archaeological method and theory. Students use a computer-simulated excavation to develop research problems, design research strategies, and collect, analyze, and interpret data. Prerequisite: AN254 and ND.SS214.

AN-454   Ethnology (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,I) An introduction to cross-cultural research. Using statistical methods and data from ethnographic sources, students examine patterns of cultural continuity and discontinuity, and test hypotheses about human cultural systems. Prerequisites: AN151 & ND.SS214.

AN-490   Internship/Need Paperwork (Variable; Variable; 2.00-9.00 Credits) See catalog.

AN-495   Internship Seminar (Variable; Variable; 2.00-6.00 Credits) See catalog.

AN-499   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows department to offer topics not normally offered. Prerequisites vary by topic.