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Social Science BA
Anthropology Track, Social Science BA

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 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

Are you interested in a Social Science degree? Sign up to learn more at our information session on October 12 at 5 p.m.

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

Summary (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.

Lower Division Electives (up to 9 credits)

Students may select lower division courses in anthropology. Students may also select SSCI 100: Introduction to Social Science

Survey Course (4 credits)

Choose one:

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

Core Courses (17 credits)

All social science majors must complete all four core courses (SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 501, and SSCI 451/452). Students should take core courses after earning the following number of credits: SSCI 300 (60 credits), SSCI 311 (75), SSCI 501 (90), SSCI 451/452 (105). Sequencing: SSCI 300, SSCI 311, SSCI 501 and SSCI 451 or SSCI 452, taken in four separate semesters. SSCI 300 and SSCI 311 may be taken concurrently if a student intends to graduate in three semesters (not including summer) and with departmental approval.


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


SSCI 451 Empirical Research Capstone

5 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

5 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

Upper division electives (to reach 40 credits)

Students may select any 300-level courses in anthropology. Students may also take SSCI 401 (Social Science Seminar: Contending Perspectives), which is offered only in the summer.