Social Science BA
Anthropology Track, Social Science BA

About this program

Why Anthropology?

The Anthropology Track is an ideal course of study for students interested in gaining a complex, analytical understanding of:

  • The great diversity and equality of human cultures;
  • Culture’s ability to shape people’s beliefs and promote social change;
  • Anthropological approaches to solving social problems.

The discipline of anthropology is dedicated to promoting respect for all cultural groups and social justice within and across societies.

What will I do in the major?

Anthropology is a track within the Social Science Major. Courses in Anthropology cover three main areas of study:

  • The origins and development of human cultures and societies;
  • Social dimensions of difference and inequality;
  • The social impact of cultural diffusion and migratory flows.

Students in the Anthropology track learn fundamental skills in anthropological research, gain experience in applying their skills in an internship, and conduct their own research projects.

What can I do with the degree?

The anthropology track offers graduates valuable training that can be applied to professional work in a number of fields, such as:

  • Development and Aid Organizations
  • Universities and Research Institutions
  • State and Federal Governments
  • Non-Profit and Non-Governmental Organizations

More information on careers in anthropology can be found on the American Anthropological Association website.

Student outcomes

The learning outcomes for this major provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities to enter the 21st-century workplace to:

  • know and understand the essential concepts of social science;
  • comprehend the historical foundations, theoretical paradigms, and research methods of social science;
  • develop higher order thinking skills by analyzing and interpreting social science literature;
  • write analytically in a style that is informed, well-reasoned, and literate;
  • recognize and understand differences of gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, and social class;
  • understand and utilize a global perspective
  • develop civic skills by participating in community-based learning and internships
  • become advocates and leaders in their communities, our nation, and the globe.

Related minors

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Course requirements

Requirements (120 credits)

Core Courses (40 credits)

At least half of the credits required for the major must be completed at Metropolitan State University. Students must earn a grade of C- or above in all major courses. Student should select lower division electives and upper division electives in consultation with an advisor. Transfer courses may be applicable to major requirements. The university's degree audit will specify transfer courses that are directly equivalent to major requirements. Other transfer courses must be approved by a faculty advisor in the department. Sequencing: SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 501 and SSCI 451 or SSCI 452 must be taken in four separate semesters in the order listed. SSCI 300 and SSCI 311 may be taken concurrently with departmental approval. All social science majors must complete the following courses.

SSCI 365 Leadership in Organizations and Public Life

3-4 credits

Students gain experience in applied social science while working as an intern in a non-profit or community-based organization, the public sector, or a social action group. Prior to registering, students meet with the instructor to select their specific internship project. Students supplement their specific field experience with participation in the group internship seminar which meets five times during the semester. Through this combination of extensive community-based experience and guided reading, writing and analysis, students develop their ability to integrate social science theory with community-based experience.

Full course description for Leadership in Organizations and Public Life

SSCI 300 Seeing Like a Social Scientist

4 credits

Most of us are only dimly aware of how politics, culture, and society influence, and often coerce, our daily lives. The calling of a social scientist is to help us make these invisible social structures visible. In this course, students develop the skills and tools to discover, analyze, and interpret these obscure social processes. Ideally, this knowledge will have a liberating effect on their individual lives. Students will also perceive how their civic and ethical participation can change politics, culture, and society, as well as themselves.

Full course description for Seeing Like a Social Scientist

SSCI 311 Research Methods in Social Science

4 credits

This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of social science research. Students learn and implement a variety of research methods, and critically reflect on the relationship of these methods to philosophical traditions within social science. The courses examines two approaches to social science research, quantitative and qualitative, and the unique contribution of each approach for understanding social life. Experiential activities enhance classroom learning.

Full course description for Research Methods in Social Science

SSCI 501 Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science

4 credits

The social sciences have been shaping views of the human condition for more than 150 years. This seminar explores those ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful observers of social life. Students become acquainted with writing by major thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Georg Simmel, Sigmund Freud, Ruth Benedict, Frantz Fanon and Hannah Arendt. The course addresses the social and historical roots of the great ideas as well as the moral aspirations and creative impulses of these social scientists.

Full course description for Great Ideas: Classics of Social Science

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SSCI 451 Empirical Research Capstone

4 credits

Social scientists investigate the patterns of human interactions and then seek to interpret, explain and communicate human behavior. This seminar is designed to provide a final, integrating experience for students with a social science major. Seminar participants complete a senior project that demonstrates an ability to design a study, collect new or existing data, analyze those findings and communicate the results.

Full course description for Empirical Research Capstone

SSCI 452 Conceptual Research Capstone

4 credits

The social sciences have been shaping our understanding of the human condition for 175 years. Students will be comparing and evaluating ideas that continue to engage and perplex thoughtful public intellectuals. The capstone project involves researching an idea that remains disputable. The goal of a student's thesis is an independent interpretation of a specific concept.

Full course description for Conceptual Research Capstone

Lower-division electives (up to 9 credits)

ANTH 101 Human Origins

3 credits

What is evolution and how does it differ from common beliefs about human origins? Students investigate the evolution of humans and other primates, and the cultural and biological adaptations of modern humans to their environments. The course explores a variety of topics including: the origins of language and culture, fossil evidence for primate and hominid evolution, and human biological variation. Students also examine contemporary debates about human origins.

Full course description for Human Origins

Survey (4 credits)

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ANTH 301 Approaches to Cultural Anthropology

4 credits

This course introduces the study of humanity from a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Students learn what anthropologists do, how they do it, and why. Exposure to the range of human possibilities, differences, and similarities will highlight the processes of enculturation in all societies. The course explores topics such as kinship, economics, religion, social control, globalization, culture change, and contemporary cultural issues affecting all humans.

Full course description for Approaches to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 302 Gender and Culture

4 credits

What is gender? How can we understand differences in gender and sexuality? Through the perspective of cultural anthropology, students examine how gender is perceived and realized in a range of human societies. Discussions on the biological/cultural determinants of gender are considered. Ethnographic materials explore how gender varies cross culturally and historically and is related to social power. Students engage with contemporary debates surrounding such themes as marriage, family, human rights, and sexuality.

Full course description for Gender and Culture

Upper division electives

Select 300-level courses in anthropology. Students may also take:

SSCI 401 Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives

4 credits

This course provides students with the opportunity to understand, integrate, and apply the core themes and contending perspectives that underline the social studies disciplines. Through guided readings, research and discussion, seminar participants further develop the capacity to analyze selected issues through multiple lenses. Students apply these multiple perspectives to teaching middle and secondary social studies.

Full course description for Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives