Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology


With an anthropology degree, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your exposure to peoples and cultures of the world, both now and in the past. Our four-field approach considers the biological, cultural, prehistoric and linguistic aspects of human diversity. Students usually choose to specialize in one of the four subfields.

Curriculum & Requirements Curriculum Map

Anthropological Specializations

Biological anthropology is the study of the biological origin and physical variation among human populations and stresses an evolutionary and forensic perspective on humans. Students study the adaptation, variability, and evolution of homo sapiens and their living and fossil relatives.

Faculty members have worked with the Spokane Police Department and our students are prepared for careers in a variety of biomedical areas ranging from nutrition, public health, forensic studies, and other allied fields.

The Anthropology program at EWU has a unique human osteology laboratory that includes almost 1000 skeletal remains and casts.  These include remains with pathologies such as dental caries, osteophytic growths, periostitis, and fractures. In addition, there are also numerous contemporary primate and early hominid fossil casts. 

If you are interested in Biological Anthropology, there are opportunities to mentor with the lab coordinator, and students have presented their lab-based research at various anthropological conferences.  A key course is ANTR202 Human Evolution, and we strongly recommend a biology minor for specialized students.

Supporting Electives

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Biology & Society
  • Other courses offered by the Biology Department

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • International Red Cross
  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Associated Organization: 

American Association of Biological Anthropologists (AABA).

Cultural anthropology is the study of culture or learned behavior. Students are prepared for a variety of careers in institutions and organizations that require an understanding of cultural diversity. 

Faculty members have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Africa, Central Eurasia, East Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East on topics such as the cultural aspects of health care delivery in post-war settings, human dynamics of environmental conservation in ethnic minority communities, the politics of heritage preservation in regions with ethnic conflict, and the economics of fair trade among marginalized agricultural communities.

The EWU program specializes in North and Latin American as well as Asian culture. Human cultural development and change in contemporary societies like the United States, Costa Rica, and China are general themes of courses in this subdiscipline.  ANTR330 Environmental Anthropology, ANTR340 Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, and ANTR342 Medical Anthropology and are important courses.

Supporting Electives

  • American Indian Studies
  • Courses offered by the History Department

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Spokane Regional Health District
  • Centro Cultural Hispano Americano
  • U.S. Agency for International Development

Associated Organization: 

Society for Cultural Anthropology

Linguistic anthropology is the multilingual study of the ways in which human languages shape social life. 

The EWU Anthropology program has expertise in dominant languages like Spanish, lesser-taught Turkic languages like Kazakh, and endangered Native American languages like Salish.  EWU offers face-to-face languages like Spanish, and language classes can be used to replace other elective courses in the degree. Students with an interest in lesser-taught languages often study at intensive summer language programs or choose to study abroad.  Those students with an interest in Salish can arrange a service-learning opportunity for credit with the Spokane Salish School.

Key courses here are Linguistic Anthropology and Sociolinguistics,  and we strongly recommend the Linguistics minor for specialized students.

Supporting Electives

  • American Indian Studies
  • Africana Studies
  • Chicana/o/x Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies
  • Courses offered by the International Affairs Program
  • Courses offered by the Sociology Program

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Academy for Educational Development
  • Northwest Museum for Arts and Culture
  • Spokane Salish School

Associated Organization: 

Society for Linguistic Anthropology

Archaeology is the study of the ancient and recent human past through material remains. Archaeology analyzes physical remains, both biological and cultural,  in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of the human past.

An essential course to take is ANTR350 World Archaeology, a review of global archaeology beginning with the appearance of the first human-like species and through to the beginnings of human agriculture and culturally complex civilizations. This is a fascinating inquiry into the human past at a global level.

Students with an interest in the subdiscipline go further by enrolling in a field school to develop essential archaeological experience and skills. Right now, EWU is partnering with Washington State University’s field school at Fort Vancouver National Historical Site.

Students have many other opportunities for local, regional, and national internships including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institute, the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management,  Northwest Museum for Arts & Culture, and Spokane Tribe of Indians Tribal Historic Preservation Office.

Supporting Electives

  • American Indian Studies
  • Modern Languages & Literatures
  • Communication Disorders
  • Education
  • English
  • Communication Studies
  • Courses offered by the Film Department

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • EWU’s Archaeological and Historical Services
  • National Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

Associated Organization: 

Society for American Archaeology

Anthropology is a robust field that includes Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology.

Students should check out the website of the American Anthropological Association and their Louise Lamphere Internship Program.  With a number of opportunities including working at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage, this is a great way to learn more and develop professional experience as an anthropologist.

Curriculum & Requirements

Anthropology Major, Bachelor of Arts (BA)


  • two years of a single high school foreign language or one year of a single college-level foreign language is required for this major;
  •  the Anthropology major does not require a minor.
Required Disciplinary Foundation Courses
Methods Course
Theory Course
Electives–choose a minimum of 25 upper-division ANTR credits.25
Capstone Series
Total Credits60

Catalog Listing

General Education

University Competencies and Proficiencies

Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning
Placement and Clearance 
Prior Learning/Sources of Credit AP, CLEP, IB

General Education Requirements (GER)

  • Minimum Credits—180 cumulative credit hours 
    • 60 upper-division credits (300 level or above)
    • 45 credits in residence (attendance) at Eastern, with at least 15 upper-division credits in major in residence at Eastern
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA ≥2.0

Breadth Area Core Requirements (BACR)

Humanities and Arts 
Natural Sciences 
Social Sciences

University Graduation Requirements (UGR)

Diversity Course List
Foreign Language (for Bachelor of Arts)
Global Studies Course List
Minor or Certificate
Senior Capstone Course List

Application for Graduation (use EagleNET) must be made at least two terms in advance of the term you expect to graduate (undergraduate and post-baccalaureate).

Use the Catalog Archives to determine two important catalog years.

Degree Works calculates based on these two catalog years.

  1. The catalog in effect at the student's first term of current matriculation is used to determine BACR (Breadth Area Credit Requirements) and UGR (Undergraduate Graduation Requirements).
  2. The catalog in effect at the time the student declares a major or minor is used to determine the program requirements.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully earn a BA in Anthropology from EWU should be able to do the following:

  • demonstrate basic knowledge in and integration of each of the four anthropological subfields: biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology;
  • connect knowledge of anthropological theories and methods to trends within the discipline;
  • address human problems using anthropological knowledge, methods, and theories;
  • demonstrate anthropologically informed ethical reasoning that draws upon a social justice framework. 

Sample Courses


Pre-requisites: ENGL 201.
This course examines major concepts, theories and methods in cultural anthropology. Students explore how anthropologists analyze and interpret different cultural practices that manifest in an individual’s everyday life. By using ethnographic case studies of communities from throughout the world, the course addresses issues of identity, family, kinship, gender, race, class, ritual, belief and expression.

Catalog Listing


Cross-listed: GWSS 332.
Pre-requisites: ENGL 201 or equivalent.
Satisfies: a university graduation requirement–diversity.
This course examines notions of sex and gender from a cross-cultural perspective. Material covered includes understandings of gender, third genders, human sexuality and the gendered nature of activities in both non-Western and Western societies.

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Pre-requisites: ANTR 201 or ANTR 301.
This class explores the Fair Trade movement, using coffee as a lens. Topics include how the Fair Trade system has worked, debate over the Fair Trade system as a social movement and an alternative market.

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Pre-requisites: junior standing.
Satisfies: a university graduation requirement–global studies.
This course analyzes and contrasts the relationship between different human populations, their cultural practices, and the natural environment. The course discusses how both political and economic forces shape cultural practices, the relationship of capitalism and state formation to the natural environment, maladaptation and environmental problems, such as global climate change.

Catalog Listing