BA in Anthropology

Catalog Year: 2020-2021

Anthropology is the study of human beings and their cultures. Majors develop an eye for detail and careful observation, critical thinking, sensitivity to the unfamiliar, skills in research and writing, and an ability to describe and understand culture. The programs in archaeology and biological anthropology give hands-on research experience with faculty through fieldwork in bioarchaeology, archaeology, and museum-based data collection. The programs in cultural anthropology connect anthropological research to current social challenges such as health and disease, urbanization, and geopolitics. It is a strong undergraduate major that provides sound interdisciplinary preparation for a variety of careers.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students majoring in anthropology may apply to graduate with honors in the major.

Eligibility

To be eligible, students must have completed at least 60 credits, taken ENGH 302 Advanced Composition (Mason Core)for the social sciences, completed 15 credits of anthropology (including ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core)), and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 and a minimum grade of B+ in anthropology courses.

Requirements

If accepted, students complete two honors courses. The first course is an honors section of one of these courses: ANTH 496 Evolutionary TheoryANTH 450 Qualitative Methods: Nonstatistical Approaches in Culture and Social ResearchANTH 495 Internship or another course chosen in consultation with the honors director. The second course is ANTH 499 Independent Research, in which students complete an honors paper written under the guidance of an anthropology faculty member. All candidates for honors in the major participate in an honors colloquium. To graduate with honors in the major, students must complete the honors coursework with a minimum GPA of 3.50.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students are advised to consult with an advisor to learn how they can fulfill Mason Core requirements in global understanding, information technology, and synthesis, as well as the college-level requirement in non-Western culture.

Core Courses in the Major

Introductory Courses
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 120 Unearthing the Past: Prehistory, Culture and Evolution (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 135 Introduction to Biological Anthropology 3
Total Credits 9
Cultural Anthropology
Select one course from the following: 3
Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core)
Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core)
Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core)
Political Anthropology (Mason Core)
Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core)
Zombies
Global Africa
Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western
Refugees (Mason Core)
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core)
Comparative Perspectives on Immigration
Ritual and Power in Social Life
Environment and Culture
Culture, Power, History
Food and Culture
Medical Anthropology
Urban Anthropology (Mason Core)
Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) (with program approval)
Issues in Anthropology (with program approval)
Engaging the World: Anthropological Perspectives (Mason Core)
Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
Total Credits 3
Biological Anthropology
Select 3-5 credits from the following: 3-5
Human Growth and Development
Human Origins
Bioarchaeology
Humans, Disease, and Death (Mason Core)
Scientific Racism and Human Variation
Food and Human Evolution
ANTH 388& ANTH 389
Human Osteology
and Human Osteology Lab 1
Paleopathology
Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) (with program approval)
Issues in Anthropology (with program approval)
Evolutionary Theory
Total Credits 3-5
Archaeology
Select one course from the following: 3
Civilizations
Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core)
Warfare, Violence, and Sacrifice in Antiquity
Field Techniques in Archaeology
Ritual and Power in Social Life
Bioarchaeology
Mortuary Archaeology
Humans and Animals
Andean Archaeology
Zooarchaeology
Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) (with program approval)
Issues in Anthropology (with program approval)
Total Credits 3
Theory Course
ANTH 390 History of Anthropological Thought 3
Total Credits 3
Methods Course
ANTH 386 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology 3
or ANTH 450 Qualitative Methods: Nonstatistical Approaches in Culture and Social Research
Total Credits 3

Electives in the Major

Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Total Credits 12

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in anthropology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing ANTH 490 Theories, Methods, and Issues II.

Additional Electives

Any remaining credits may be completed with electives to bring the degree total to 120.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree 

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
PHIL 1
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH
CRIM
ECON
GOVT
HIST 2
LING
PSYC
SOCI
Or choose from the following GGS courses:
GGS 101
Major World Regions
GGS 103
Human Geography (Mason Core)
GGS 110
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies
GGS 301
Political Geography
GGS 303
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)
GGS 304
Population Geography (Mason Core)
GGS 305
Economic Geography
GGS 306
Urban Geography
GGS 315
Geography of the United States
GGS 316
Geography of Latin America
GGS 320
Geography of Europe
GGS 325
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East
GGS 330
Geography of the Soviet Succession States
GGS 357
Urban Planning
GGS 380
Geography of Virginia
Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
EDSE 115
American Sign Language (ASL) I
EDSE 116
American Sign Language (ASL) II
EDSE 219
American Sign Language (ASL) III
Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 386 The Silk Road (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 470 Special Topics in Chinese Studies 3
DANC 118 World Dance (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 451 Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 330 Geography of the Soviet Succession States 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 328 Global Political Theory 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 338 Government and Politics of Russia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 367 History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 426 The Russian Revolution 3
HIST 460 Modern Iran (Mason Core) 3
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Religions of the West (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Religions of Asia 3
RELI 240 Death and the Afterlife in World Religions 3
RELI 272 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 337 Mysticism: East and West 3
RELI 365 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 374 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 375 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 379 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 387 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3

Mason Core 

Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
Written Communication (ENGH 101) 3
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology and Computing 3
Exploration Requirements
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Integration Requirements
Written Communications (ENGH 302) 3
Writing-Intensive 1 3
Synthesis/Capstone 2 3
Total Credits 40