Brigham Young University Homepage

Undergraduate Catalog

2013 - 2014

Anthropology

Charles W. Nuckolls, Chair
800 SWKT, (801) 422-3058

College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences Advisement Center
151 SWKT, (801) 422-3541

Admission to Degree Program

All undergraduate degree programs in the Department of Anthropology are open enrollment.

The Discipline

Anthropology’s central aims are to describe, interpret, and make meaningful human behavior in sociocultural systems. Anthropology also seeks to explain the similarities and differences in human behavior patterns among all peoples and cultures, both in the present and the past. Social and cultural anthropology study human society in the present, using participant-observation, interviewing, and other techniques to understand the full round of life in a single culture, a subculture, or a multicultural system. Archaeology provides methods for learning about the world’s peoples who are no longer living; thus it is an important part of the anthropological family of special skills and interests. Museum Studies integrates the above skills with the management, curation, research, and display of museum quality ethnographic and archaeological collections in professional museum settings.

Career Opportunities

Distinctive contributions are made by both anthropology and archaeology majors, and therefore jobs are available wherever social and cultural differences or social system complexities exist. International development, social services, businesses, schools, development projects, medicine, and law all offer significant careers. Recent concerns with environmental protection has opened up others. University teaching and research positions are limited in growth, but highly qualified students can find positions after obtaining the PhD degree from first-rank schools.

For archaeology majors, both legal and societal interest in understanding and preserving the past have resulted in increased job opportunities in state and national agencies required to observe recent preservation laws and in private corporations serving this end. Archaeologists working in international regions are not only employable in scholastic venues of teaching and research, but also international heritage site development.

For those students interested in combining Museum Studies courses with anthropology, employment opportunities exist in many collections-related venues including museums, libraries, and research institutes that rely on maintaining large collections of specimens for scholarly use.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The university core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (See University Core for details. For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see the current class schedule.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Undergraduate Programs and Degrees

    Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs and Degrees

    MA in Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology
    A Museum Practices Certificate is available in conjunction with acceptance in the MA in Archaeology or a related MA program on campus.

General Information

  1. Each student wishing to major in anthropology should arrange through the college advisement center to counsel with an advisor and prepare a proposed sequence of study. Following this, the student should meet with the assigned faculty advisor for final approval of the program.
  2. Undergraduate students are allowed some, but not excessive, specialization.
  3. All degrees are in the field of anthropology.

Special Opportunities for Field Study

The department offers a number of unique curriculum and field study opportunities. Students interested in Pacific Island studies are encouraged to spend a semester or two at BYU— Hawaii, where this area of study is well represented. Selected courses are regularly counted toward BYU’s major. Consult with the department chair or your faculty advisor about equivalencies.

Archaeology students complete their requirement in the field school typically held in conjunction with an ongoing, local (Utah) research project and occasionally in more exotic settings (Jordan).

Sociocultural faculty rotate leading ethnographic field schools abroad in India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.