Overview of the Program

Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and humanity.  Because the field is about what makes all humans the same - and what makes us diverse, the classes are centered around experiences that will teach.  Students will enjoy opportunities for hands-on learning in small class settings including anthropology labs, active archeological digs, and study abroad trips. 

At Radford, students can take classes in all four of the classical fields: Physical Anthropology, Archeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology.  In addition to the regular coursework, students have the opportunity to do individual studies to work in small groups or one-on-one with a professor on a topic of their choosing for credit. 

Live the Highlander Experience

The faculty of Anthropological Sciences place a high priority on providing students with direct, hands-on experience in the field and lab, including involvement in ongoing faculty research projects.  These include archaeological investigations in historic and prehistoric Virginia.  Internationally, the faculty also have active archaeological, bioarchaeological, and forensic investigations in Bolivia and the Solomon Islands.  Students may also work with a faculty member to develop a research topic that they are interested in pursuing. 

A famous anthropologist once wrote that “Anthropology is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities”, this is because anthropology is the scientific study of people. We look at every aspect of people from their bones to their behavior in all points in time and in all places. 

Why does anthropology matter? We live in an increasingly global and intercultural world, with connections to people of different cultures.  Anthropology gives understanding of the differences in human experiences and norms while acknowledging the fundamental things that make us all human. 

This is an excellent program for those who are interested in working overseas or traveling, but it has become increasingly helpful in the local job market as well.  Now anthropologists are considered high level consumer researchers in the field of marketing and hold diversity posts in a variety of institutions.  These are options in addition to academic research, forensic anthropology, archeology, museum work, and as cultural attache's.   

The program at Radford includes:

  • studying the origins of our species and ancient primate fossil records
  • learning the skills of archaeology and the study of the ancient world
  • how people around the world are united by their cultures
  • the forensic analysis of human skeletons and how they reveal human behavior.
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Majors and Minors

Students take a break at the "Bonnie" student union

MAJOR is a dedicated area of study undertaken by students in a four-year institution.  It is listed on the graduating diploma.  As part of the Anthropology Major, we encourage students to experience courses and hands-on activities related to all four fields of anthropology.  Students have courses in biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and anthropological linguistics.  With these courses, our students are well-rounded scientists who can use anthropology to enlighten interactions in an intercultural world.

CONCENTRATION is a specific area of study within the major.  As our students grow and learn about the field, they may choose to declare a concentration and take courses geared toward biological anthropology, archaeology, bioarchaeology, or cultural anthropology.  Concentrations are useful if a student wants to show mastery of a particular arm of anthropology.

MINOR is an option for students who are studying other majors but want to demonstrate a commitment to a deeper understanding of a secondary program.  In Anthropology, students with other majors may minor in Archaeology and Prehistory and, Anthropological Sciences, or Culture Studies by taking the required number of allowable courses.

With the REAL curriculum, students can meet all of their general education requirements while completing two minors.  The letters needed for the minors will depend on the chosen major.

A minor is an excellent addition to a variety of majors.  For example, Marketing and Business majors will find a Culture Studies Minor to be helpful in the marketplace.  Chemistry and Biology majors may wish to add an Anthropological Sciences Minor, especially if they are interested in Pre-Med or Forensic Science.  History and Geology majors have combined their studies with a minor in Archaeology and Prehistory to better understand artifacts and where to find them. 

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Anthropological Sciences students are encouraged to take courses in allied disciplines depending upon their academic and career interests, such as Geospatial Science, Geology, Chemistry, Biology, History, Physics, Sociology, and Criminal Justice. We maintain a close relationship with the Radford University Forensic Science Institute and its affiliated programs.