Our BA in anthropology takes a holistic approach to the study of human physical and cultural difference across time and space. An interdisciplinary field, anthropology draws on expertise from across the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences at DU.
Through courses centered around social change, human rights, environmental issues, material culture, technology, science and more, you'll gain an understanding of the diversity of human thought and behavior while developing practical research skills. You can garner distinction in the major by specializing in one of its core areas of study: archaeology, cultural anthropology, and museum and heritage studies.
Faculty across the department are committed to hands-on, experiential learning that goes beyond the classroom and into the laboratory, museum, gallery and field settings. DU's own Museum of Anthropology serves as a public-facing, community-engaged space for you to gain real-world experience.
In our labs and museums you can hone professional skills — from interviewing, surveying and photography to conservation, exhibition design and project management.
Graduates go on to pursue careers in research, cultural heritage management, museum work, public health, environmental conservation, education, foreign policy, and human rights and advocacy.
Anthropology at DU Provides:
Commitment to an engaged, community-oriented study of anthropology that prepares students to meet the challenges of cultural work in contemporary society
Access to diverse cultural and natural heritages in one of the oldest programs in the Rocky Mountain West
Hands-on experience in DU's own Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology Lab and Ethnology Lab
Networking and community-building opportunities with faculty field projects and Denver's museums and cultural institutions
- To major in Anthropology, you must complete 44 credits. These include six Anthropology Foundations classes, 12 credits in 3000-level courses, and eight elective credits in the 2000/3000 level.
- For distinction in the major, you must complete an honors thesis.
- For the secondary major, you must complete 44 credit hours.
- For the minor, you must complete 20 credit hours.
See the DU Undergraduate Bulletin for full course requirements.
Artifacts, Texts, Meaning
About this Course
How is it that anthropologists can look at an object in a museum collection and state with confidence what it once was a part of, how it was used, where it came from, how old it is, and even, perhaps, what it meant to the people who made it? What is an anthropological approach to documentation, an important accompaniment to the objects held in museums? In this course, participants learn about the ways anthropologists have approached researching material items and texts (both written and oral), ranging from time-tested techniques to materials science approaches. Students in the class do original research involving museum objects. The class involves hands-on work with artifacts, lecture, discussion, and laboratory analysis. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
About this Course
Because it is the archaeology of periods for which there is also written history, historical archaeology is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field. It also has a distinct set of concerns and methods that builds upon, but does not replicate, those of prehistoric archaeology. This course is designed to engage students in the practice of historical archaeology through readings, discussions and the hands-on analysis of archaeological materials. The first class of each week is a discussion of readings in historical archaeology. The readings introduce students to theoretical and methodological issues in the discipline, as well as important case studies. Many of the readings have a North American focus but also address international practice. The second class of each week has a hands-on focus. Backed by readings on historic materials analysis, we discuss and practice the types of research historical archaeologists perform on actual materials, focusing on different material types each week. Students in the course each process and analyze a set of materials excavated from a historic site.
About this Course
Human beings are natural storytellers. Whether reciting oral traditions or recounting personal experience, people everywhere use narratives as a way to express and to understand themselves. This course approaches cultural narratives from two angles. First, it explores the ways that anthropologists, usually trained in the social sciences, make use of and study narratives, whether through ethnographic observation, conducting an interview, gathering folklore or archaeological interpretation. Second, the class investigates narratives that, although produced by non-anthropologists, engage with anthropological issues such as kinship, gender, work, tradition and identity. The narratives range broadly from fiction, to poetry, to film. These two approaches are framed by theoretically informed readings about narrativity, both from the social sciences and the humanities. The class involves intensive reading and writing, as it makes use of both discussion and workshop formats. Each student in the course completes a research and writing project culminating in his or her own cultural narrative. Must be junior standing or above.