Anthropology is the holistic study of humanity – our cultures, biologies, and environments in both past and contemporary contexts. Our discipline can be practiced anywhere people are present, from urban centers to the most remote places on Earth. Professional anthropologists work at universities, crime labs, archaeological field sites, corporate offices, healthcare centers, and more. The Anthropology program at Southeast is founded on a four-field approach that incorporates sociocultural, archaeological, linguistic, and biological perspectives. If you are fascinated by diversity in human life ways, we invite you to explore the learning and career options available to anthropology students.

Archaeology

Archaeology

Archaeology is the study of past human cultures through material remains. Some archaeologists study how our earliest ancestors lived millions of years ago, while others study human culture in the more recent past. Remains of buildings, food, tools, ritual items, art, texts, and other aspects of material culture all contribute to the archaeological reconstruction and interpretation of the human past.

Society for American Archaeology

Anthropology in the News

Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology is the branch of anthropology that specializes in describing, analyzing and understanding the variation among living cultures and the evolutionary processes which result in the vast array of human beliefs and behaviors.  Cultural anthropologists’ methods include extended fieldwork, participant-observation, interviewing, and other qualitative techniques.

Cultural Survival

Cultural Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropology

Linguisitic Anthropology

Linguistic Anthropology is the study of human communication and the ways that it influences and is influenced by culture and society.  The ways that human languages are structured and used reveals much about who we are as a species, and how we identify ourselves and form groups.  Linguistic Anthropology is founded on the idea that language and culture are inextricably connected – one cannot be truly understood without the other.

Society for Linguistic Anthroplogy

Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropologists study humans as biological beings within a sociocultural framework. Some biological anthropologists studied human skeletal remains from archaeological or forensic contexts. Others study health, genetics, and other biological processes in living people. Although the nature of biological data collected and analyzed by biological anthropologists is diverse, it is always interpreted with reference to sociocultural situations.

American Association of Physical Anthropologists

Applied Anthropology

Applied Anthropology

Applied Anthropology is the practice of using the theory, methods, and insights of the various branches of anthropology to identify and address current social issues and problems. Applied anthropologists often work in nonacademic settings (governmental and nongovernmental organizations, advocacy groups and agencies, business, industry, etc.) and make use of the research from all branches of anthropology.

Society for Applied Anthropology

Major in Anthropology

Global Cultures and Languages Core Courses (24)

Required Courses:

  • AN 180 Introduction to Physical Anthropology & Archaeology (3)
  • AN 181 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (3)
  • AN 341 Intro to Linguistic Anthropology (3)
  • AN 317 Ethnographic Field Methods (3)
  • AN 380 Human Evolution and Adaptation (3)
  • AN 382 Archeology: Method and Theory (3)
  • AN 493 Senior Seminar in Anthropological Theory (3)

Choose 6 hours from electives below

  • AN 100 Foundations of Human Behavior
  • AN 313 Archaeology Fieldwork
  • AN 319 Archaeology Lab
  • AN 333 Applied Anthropology
  • AN 355 Special Topics in Anthropology
  • AN 360 Mesoamerican Civilizations
  • AN 375 Anthropology of Religion
  • AN 415 Forensic Anthropology
  • UI 339 North American Indians

Minor in Anthropology

18 Hours Required

Required Courses:

  • AN 181 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • AN 317 Ethnographic Field Methods (3)

Choose 12 hours from below (6 hours must be 300-level or above)

  • AN 100 Foundations of Human Behavior
  • AN 101 Observing Other Cultures
  • AN 180 Intro to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology
  • AN 250 World Archaeology
  • AN 319 Archaeology Lab
  • AN 333 Applied Anthropology
  • AN 341 Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
  • AN 355 Special Topics in Anthropology
  • AN 360 Mesoamerican Civilizations
  • AN 375 Anthropology of Religion
  • AN 415 Forensic Anthropology
  • AN 493 Anthropology Theory Seminar
  • UI 339 North American Indians

Minor in Archeology

18 Hours Required

Required Courses:

  • AN 180 Intro to Physical Anthropology & Archaeology (3)
  • AN 382 Archaeology: Method & Theory (3)

Choose 12 hours from below (6 hours must be 300-level or above)

  • AN 100 Foundations of Human Behavior
  • AN 101 Observing Other Cultures
  • AN 181 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
  • AN 250 World Archaeology
  • AN 313 Archaeology Fieldwork
  • AN 317 Ethnographic Field Methods
  • AN 319 Archaeological Laboratory
  • AN 355 Special Topics in Anthropology
  • AN 360 Mesoamerican Civilizations
  • AN 381 North American Archaeology
  • AN 415 Forensic Anthropology
  • AN 493 Anthropology Theory Seminar
  • AN 551 Historical Archaeology Field School
  • UI 339 North American Indians
View Degree Listings for Anthropology

Careers

Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)

Government entities are constantly faced with new policy and management challenges related to processes like population pressure and globalization. Federal, state, and local governments need anthropologists in order to effectively address the relationship of these issues to human health, culture, and the environment. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are not-for-profit charitable or service oriented organizations that draw attention and offer assistance to communities in need of services and programs beyond those provided by governments. NGOs operate at local, national, and international levels and are concerned with topics including human rights, development, community health, political action, and more. NGO policies, priorities, and programs benefit from the input of trained anthropologists. 

Private Sector

Many anthropologists are employed in the private sector. Some own and operate their own businesses. For example, Cultural Resource Management (CRM) archaeologists do contract work for governments and private firms (such as construction companies) whose activities might impact archaeological resources. Other anthropologist working in the private sector applied to her knowledge of human culture to improve organizational ethos and corporate/customer relations in a way that cannot be accomplished through traditional survey and marketing approaches. 

Academic

Some anthropologists work in institutions of higher education – including major research universities, four-year colleges, and community colleges – and are dedicated to training not only to next generation of professional anthropologists, but also introducing non-anthropology majors to human biocultural diversity. In many cases, the job responsibilities of an academic anthropologists are not limited to teaching. Research and community service can play large roles in the working life of academic anthropologists.

Experiences at Southeast

Internships

A series of credit-bearing internships has been developed over the years to allow successful anthropology students with good GPAs to practice their skills and hone their anthropological perspectives in situations beyond the classroom.  Students have worked with government agencies (Conservation Departments, parks, state historic sites), NPR radio stations, Migrant centers, International Student Programs, community agencies, foreign university exchange programs, university offices, and other entities.

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Study Abroad

Southeast Anthropology students have studied in many countries around the globe – Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, China, Panama, Morocco, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, and others.  The Anthropology faculty make every effort both to encourage students to study abroad and to ensure that the transition from country to country and institution to institution is as seamless as possible.

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Anthropology Club

Each academic year a group of enthusiastic anthropology students reapplies for official recognition from the Office of Student Government to continue the Anthropology Club.  New officers are elected, new activities are organized, and new fund raisers are planned.  Past years have seen the Club engaged in conference trips, brown-bag lunch presentations, intramural sports teams, and field trips.  All students are welcome – majors and non-majors – for social as well as academic activities.

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Mentoring Program

A recently created mentoring program gives new students the opportunity to get advice and guidance from more advanced students in the program – courses to take, study tips, timing of graduate school applications, seeking funding for travel and projects, etc.

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Contact

573.651.2146
jbengtson@semo.edu
Art Building 202
Department of Anthropology
One University Plaza, MS 4150
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701