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Undergraduate Catalog 2011

Anthropology, Cultural


View Faculty Details


J. Kevin Eckert


Leslie A. Morgan
Fred L. Pincus
William G. Rothstein
Robert L. Rubinstein
Mary E. Stuart

Associate Professors

Marina Adler
Ilsa L. Lottes
Seth Messinger

Assistant Professors

Bambi L. Chapin
Sarah Chard
Brandy Harris-Wallace
Andrea L. Kalfoglou
Christine A. Mair
Gul Seckin
Zeynep Tufekci

Associate Chair

John G. Schumacher


Nicole M. Cousin-Gossett

Professor Emeritus

Christopher J. Hewitt

Courses in this program are listed under ANTH.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UMBC offers majors and minors in sociology and in cultural anthropology. Information on the anthropology major and minor is presented here. For information on the sociology major and minor, refer to sociology in this catalog.

Anthropology is the worldwide comparative study of humankind present and past. The field traditionally divides into four subfields: cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archeology, and linguistics. The Anthropology major at UMBC focuses on cultural anthropology, providing students with an understanding of the diversity of cultural worlds, human social organization and social structure, and social research methods. Anthropology courses help students gain an understanding of the complexity of current events within the U.S. and internationally, and of the diversity of perspectives, values, and ideas across the globe. Course offerings examine topics ranging from anthropological theory and the positioning of knowledge and power, to the application of anthropology in urban social issues, health care, and public policy.

Career and Academic Paths

As anthropology majors, students gain knowledge, skills, and conceptual tools that prepare them for a wide range of careers, professional training programs, and graduate studies.

After graduation our majors have found employment in government, non-profit, and private sector settings. They are especially well-suited for positions that involve human interaction and where an understanding of multicultural issues is beneficial. This includes employment at social welfare, health-related, and program evaluation organizations, private marketing firms, and companies involved in international business.

An anthropology major also provides a strong foundation for those intending to pursue graduate studies and professional training in fields such as medicine, psychology, education, business, international studies, public policy, healthcare, and human services. Students who plan to engage in anthropology professionally generally continue to graduate school, entering M.A. and Ph.D. programs in anthropology around the country.

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Academic Advising

When a student declares a major in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, a copy of the declaration is sent to the department. A staff member then assigns the student an anthropology faculty advisor. Students may change advisors if they wish by notifying the department office. The staff will make the necessary changes. Students may contact advisors at any time during the advisor’s office hours or by telephone or email. Telephone numbers and email addresses are listed in the UMBC directory. Office hours are noted outside of each faculty member’s office door. Staff members usually do not make appointments for faculty members. Majors should plan to meet with their anthropology advisor at least once each semester to discuss progress toward the major, future plans and to obtain electronic permission to register. A meeting to discuss registration must be held prior to a student’s assigned registration time in order to avoid delays in being able to register. We also encourage students to meet with their advisors any time that they have questions or problems or want to discuss career plans. If a student’s advisor cannot help with a problem, a student may be referred to someone who can. When a student applies for graduation, his or her anthropology faculty advisor makes the final evaluation as to whether the student has completed all requirements for the major or minor. If the advisor has permitted the student to modify the major in any way, such as by transferring courses or waiving requirements, the student should get a written and signed copy of the agreements. The advisor will be glad to discuss the general university requirements for graduation, but advisors have no authority to modify these requirements in any way. The Registrar’s Office monitors completion of general education and university requirements.

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Major Program

ANTHROPOLOGY (Total Credits: 31) Students must complete the following requirements with a grade of ”C” or better:

1. Core Requirements (13 credits)

  • ANTH 211 Cultural Anthropology [3]
  • ANTH 303 Anthropological Research Methods [3]
  • SOCY 300 Methodology of Social Research [4]
  • ANTH 400 Anthropological Theory [3]

2. Elective Requirements (18 credits)

A minimum of four of the elective courses (twelve credits) must be Anthropology courses. Students may choose whether the remaining two courses (six credits) are in Anthropology or Sociology. The department’s Anthropology elective courses include

  • ANTH 297 Selected Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 302 Human Evolution: Physical Anthropology and Archaeology
  • ANTH 304 Kin, Community, and Ethnicity
  • ANTH 310 Ethnographic Film
  • ANTH 311 Urban Anthropology
  • ANTH 312 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 313 Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH 316 Anthropology of Religion
  • ANTH 317 Contemporary Problems in Anthropological Perspective
  • ANTH 318 Anthropology of Science and Technology
  • ANTH 320 Witchcraft and Magic
  • ANTH 326 American-Indian Cultures
  • ANTH 397 Selected Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 402 Ethnography of Communication
  • ANTH 416 Cyberspace, Culture and Society
  • ANTH 419 Qualitative Methods in Social Researc
  • ANTH 424 Psychological Anthropology
  • ANTH 429 Aging in Cultural Context
  • ANTH 497 Advanced Selected Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 498 Selected Topics in Anthropology
  • ANTH 499 Advanced Independent Study in Anthropology (or ANTH 399 Independent Study in Anthropology)
    Students may also wish to take courses in other departments that complement a four-field approach to Anthropology. While the Anthropology faculty encourages students to explore additional coursework in archeology, linguistics, and physical anthropology, as well as cultural studies, these courses cannot be used as Anthropology electives.
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Double Major

The sociology and anthropology department offers a double major in sociology and anthropology. Information about this double major can be obtained at the department office in room 252 of the Public Policy Building.
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Minor Program

The minor in anthropology consists of ANTH 211 and 15 credits in elective anthropology courses (a total of 18 credits). At least six of these credits must be at the 300 level or above, and at least nine credits must be taken at UMBC. A grade of “C” or better is required in all courses.
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Honors Program

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a major with honors in anthropology. Information describing the requirements for the major with honors is available in the Student's Guide, which can be found available in the department office in room 252 of the Public Policy Building. Students considering graduate school in anthropology are particularly encouraged to pursue this option.
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M.A. and Accelerated B.A./M.A. Programs in Applied Sociology

The M.A. in Applied Sociology and the Accelerated B.A./M.A. in Applied Sociology focus on the sociology of health, aging and diversity. The two programs are open to students in all majors and to full-time and part-time students. The M.A. program is 30 credits and can be completed in three semesters plus a summer or winter course by full-time students. The Accelerated B.A./M.A. enables UMBC undergraduates to take up to nine credits of graduate courses that count both for the B.A. and M.A. degrees. This reduces the number of credits that must be taken in graduate school. Students can enter the accelerated program no earlier than their junior year and no later than the semester when they graduate. Students can be admitted to either program in the fall and spring semesters. Admission requirements include a GPA of 3.0 or higher and an undergraduate course in statistics in any department. GRE scores are not required for UMBC undergraduates. The graduate school application fee is waived for UMBC undergraduates who apply for the accelerated program. Some research, teaching and other assistantships are available and provide tuition remission, health insurance and a stipend. For details, contact the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

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Evening and Part Time Options

The department offers various advanced courses in the evening every semester but does not offer an evening major. Students who are able to take some courses during the day can complete the degree on a part-time basis.
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Student Organizations

Council of Majors

The Council of Majors sponsors the Anthropology Club, which is open to majors and non-majors. Club activities have included a brown-bag lunch film series and discussion, field trips to local museums and events, colloquium on the graduate school application process and internship opportunities, and potlucks that showcase food traditions from around the world.

Lambda Alpha

(National Collegiate Honor Society for Anthropology)To become a member, an undergraduate student must:

  1. Be an officially declared anthropology major
  2. Be a junior (60-89 total credits) or a senior (90 or more total credits)
  3. Have an overall UMBC GPA of 2.5 or better
  4. Have a GPA in all UMBC (and UMCP) anthropology courses of 3.0 or better
  5. Have completed no less than twelve credits in Sociology and Anthropology

Further details and applications are available from the department office (room 252 of the Public Policy Building). The induction ceremony is held in May each year.

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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The department has external grants and contracts on which undergraduates may work as research assistants. Such arrangements are made individually with the faculty member.
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