Anthropology is the study of the human species from its origins and evolution to the development and varied nature of its past and present cultures. Students in the Ithaca College anthropology program receive a thorough grounding in the subdisciplines of cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology before moving on to more specific and regional coursework on societies of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. Upper-level courses help students develop their skills as researchers and build their understanding of how anthropology illuminates contemporary global issues such as cultural preservation, archaeological site analysis and preservation, musical traditions, environmental degradation, sustainability, economic development, and the cross-cultural understanding of medicine and gender roles. The capstone class provides a comprehensive review of student learning in the major and prepares them for graduate school and a variety of careers.
The department’s emphasis on applied and engaged learning makes anthropology a unique discipline in which majors conduct their own fieldwork and research and are encouraged to take advantage of the many available experiential learning opportunities. Laboratory facilities are available for each of the specialized subdisciplines, and students can participate in small group field classes that focus on anthropology in Puerto Rico and Hawaii during the winter and archaeology and service learning with Native American communities during the summer.
Anthropology graduates have gone on to diverse, rewarding careers in the fields of archaeology, cultural resource management, education, medicine, music, social work, international relations, law, nonprofit management, and business.