Rooted in the Past, Solving Today’s Problems
Open doors to exciting careers in areas from archaeology to genetic counseling. In UNC’s Anthropology bachelor’s degree program, you’ll explore diverse cultures and examine how, when and where human life arose. At the same time, you’ll gain critical thinking skills that will be an asset in every area of your career and life.
Courses blend hands-on laboratories, original research in the community and field experience to provide excellent preparation for whatever direction you choose to take your Anthropology studies. Studying in small classes, you’ll also be mentored by professors who are both caring educators and highly regarded researchers and experts in their respective fields.
Sean Field, Anthropology graduate
Sean Field’s interest in Anthropology grew out of his love of history when UNC Anthropology professor Sally McBeth, Ph.D., presented the field as a more human exploration of history. A highlight of his years at UNC was the 2014 group trip to Greece with Britney Kyle McIlvane, Ph.D. In Karystos, Greece, the UNC group joined researchers excavating a site, and analyzed the remains of 107 bodies unearthed in the dig. Sean was largely involved in studying the oral health and dental pathologies of the exhumed bodies. The group also did a comparative study between Karystos and six colonies located throughout Albania and the Greek Islands. During the trip, Sean gained valuable knowledge on how to apply for grants, write for scholarly publications and present at conferences. Upon the group’s return to the United States, he was able to use his presentation skills to speak at a national conference.
Now that Sean has graduated from UNC, he is enrolled in a master’s in Professional Archeology at the University of Nebraska, where his research interests have taken him to New Mexico to study complex road systems and how they correlate with the built environment of the area. His long-term plans include either working for the National Forest Service or earning a Ph.D. and teaching at the university level.
B.A. in Anthropology
UNC’s Anthropology department offers an Anthropology major and two minors. Students can customize their academic programs through their elective course choices.
As an Anthropology major at UNC, you’ll learn about the four main fields of Anthropology:
- Archaeology, exploring the behavior of ancient cultures
- Cultural Anthropology, considering modern culture and attempting to understand cross cultural differences and similarities
- Biological Anthropology, delving into the ways humans have biologically adapted to their environment
- Linguistic Anthropology, learning about the evolution of languages and how languages shape our world view.
The degree program is hands-on and active, taking you beyond textbook learning and into the world where you can put your knowledge to work. Along the way, you’ll make exciting discoveries and set a career path that is all your own.
An excellent complement to a major in the social sciences, humanities and many of the natural sciences, the 21-credit hour Anthropology minor enhances your skills of anthropological inquiry and analyzing complex issues relating to human development. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of modern cultural relationships.
Multicultural Anthropology Minor
The 18-credit hour Multicultural Anthropology minor explores cultural diversity in the United States and abroad, focusing on group dynamics in contemporary society. The minor delves into ethnic group experiences, social classes and gender and sexuality issues. Your program could include such diverse classes as The Black Family; Gender, Race, Class and Sexuality; and Mexican American Politics and Leadership.
The Tools of Discovery at Your Fingertips
One of the advantages of attending a renowned research university such as UNC is that you have the opportunity to collaborate with leaders in your discipline on groundbreaking research.
You also have access to incredible resources: Our biological, anthropological, archaeological and archaeogeophysics labs include valuable collections of artifacts and human skeletal remains, as well as state-of-the-art computing systems that support ArcGIS, SPSS and other analytic software.
In addition, Associate Professor Andy Creekmore, Ph.D., recently received a National Science Foundation grant that resulted in the acquisition of $157,000 in scientific instrumentation—including ground-penetrating radar and other instruments to enable geophysical exploration of archaeological sites.
“The great thing about UNC’s Anthropology program is its professors, a small group of top-notch scholars who,through close interaction, lectures, discussions and applied research, encourage students to be both scientists and humanists – which is the essence of our field."
- Ryan Lambert, UNC Anthropology student
Great care is taken to ensure that our Anthropology students explore the career and research possibilities of the field and make choices that reflect their interests. The options are exceptionally broad and have included such paths as working to improve the lives of disadvantaged populations, excavating ancient civilizations, curating in a museum and going on to graduate school.
Consider UNC's Anthropology B.A. if you are:
- Curious about the world around you
- Interested in travel and research
- Someone who loves to learn about other cultures
- Critical thinking skills that will develop your abilities to analyze situations and data
- To gain insight into complex situations, diverse cultures and scientific phenomena
- World Archaeology
- Forensic Anthropology
- Quantitative Methods for Anthropology
- North American Indians
- Medical Anthropology
- Public Archaeology
- Modern Human Variation
- Human Evolutionary Anatomy
Andy Creekmore, Ph.D.
Andy Creekmore, Ph.D., joined the Anthropology department in Fall 2011. Like everyone on our Anthropology faculty, he is passionate about research and engaging students in the process of discovery, adding layers of educational value to their college experience.
In recent years, Creekmore led archaeogeophysics research trips to Kurd Qaburstan near Erbil, Iraq, Kirbet al-Mafjar in Jericho, Palestinian Territories, and locations throughout Colorado.
Creekmore emphasizes critical thinking in his teaching philosophy: “I am convinced that the most important skill that I can convey to my students is the ability to think anthropologically. It is imperative that we teach students to observe, engage and attempt to understand cultures that are not their own, both today and in the past.”
Creekmore is a prolific writer and presenter at professional conferences. Since 1999, he has won five fellowships including a Fullbright Fellowship for Turkey and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. He completed his doctorate at Northwestern University in 2008. In addition to great enthusiasm for his science, Andy is an avid mountain biker and hiker and he also performs with the Larimer Chorale.
The field experiences shared by Anthropology majors are some of the most fascinating and engaging available to students anywhere. Recently, students have:
Surveyed clients at the Salud Family Health Clinic (which strives to provide services for migrants, refugees and members of other vulnerable populations) in Greeley to discover if the community’s needs were being met and how services could be improved.
Visited Iraq to create a map of an ancient city to better understand how cities were organized and shed light on the rise of urban civilization.
Used ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry to locate unmarked graves and survey a cemetery in Brighton, Colorado.
Designed lesson plans and activities on nutrition for children K-12 and presented these lessons in Greeley, Colorado K-12 classrooms.
Traveled to Greece and Albania to collect data from skeletal materials to better understand what happens during periods of major social transitions. They then presented their findings at national scientific conferences.
As an Anthropology student you might intern at a Greeley museum, the Museo de las Americas in Denver, Northern Colorado AIDS project, the Weld County Coroner’s Office, Poudre Learning Center, in refugee communities through local aid agencies and in dozens of other locations throughout the Northern Colorado region and beyond.
The career and graduate school opportunities open to you when you hold a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from UNC are many and varied. These are some of the many places our graduates may find employment:
- Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firms
- Consultant firms
- State, federal or local government agencies
- Non-governmental organization (NGOs)
- Non-profit organization
- Public health institutions
- Graduate school
- Coroner’s or medical examiner’s offices
- The Peace Corps
- Genetic counseling organizations
Research and field study are at the heart of the UNC Anthropology program. You will study with faculty who are both excellent classroom educators and gifted student mentors who will work side-by-side with you on research that uncovers exciting new information across the broad field of Anthropology. The Roots Project is just one example of research currently underway in the UNC Anthropology department:
Michael Kimball, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Anthropology)
Michael Kimball’s "Roots Project" focuses on exploring common ground between the life experience of recent immigrants, or newcomers, to Weld County and the agricultural heritage of those who came earlier. From its earliest beginnings, this research has included Anthropology majors from Kimball’s classes, giving valuable field experience that will be an asset in graduate school and beyond.
"Greeley's history is a remarkable story of immigration that stretches back more than two centuries and includes newcomers from both Europe and the Americas," Michael Kimball said. "Recently, this story has been enriched with more newcomers – immigrants and refugees from Latin American countries like Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador; African countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea; and Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Burma (Myanmar)."
Students in Kimball's Applied Anthropology class have partnered with Greeley Central and West high school students and their families to discover connections between their past and Greeley's history. Through photos taken by the high school students during a tour of the Centennial Village Museum and interviews with them and their families about their experience, UNC students are learning anthropological perspectives and methods, building cross-cultural bridges and helping the City of Greeley Museums continue to improve their outreach and programming. Find out more about the "Roots Project".