Sociology & Anthropology

Programs of Study- Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

About the Major

The mission of the B.A. in Anthropology is to provide a program of study that will produce graduates who possess a greater understanding of human biological and cultural diversity and thus possess the skills necessary to successfully navigate our rapidly changing global environment.

Our program provides coursework in the following areas:

  • ethnoecology, ethnobotany, anthrozoology, ecofeminism, comparative primatology and ethnoprimatology, and traditional environmental knowledge
  • history of human and primate interactions within environmental contexts
  • political ecology, sustainable development, and environmental justice
  • critical environmental studies, and local food systems
  • comparative cultural studies

The anthropology program at WIU places special emphasis on the environment. No other university in the state of Illinois currently offers a concentration in environmental issues in anthropology at the undergraduate level.

Environmental anthropology examines human-environment interactions across the full range of socio-cultural variation and from the earliest human societies to the contemporary global system. Courses and research projects in the anthropology program also investigate the role of environmental change and biological adaptation in the history of primate and human communities. Through an environmental focus, WIU anthropology faculty attempt to understand environmental problems not only from a Western scientific standpoint, but also from the multiple and often conflicting perspectives of members of national, regional, local, or indigenous cultures.


In addition to completion of the University General Education and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Requirements, anthropology majors are required to complete four core courses (ANTH 110, ANTH 111, ANTH 419, & EIS 440), two courses in the directed electives (either ANTH 249 or ANTH 201; and either ANTH 305 or ANTH 326) plus 15 hours (five courses) of anthropology electives. A total of thirty-three semester hours are required for a major in anthropology.

Please see the current Undergraduate Catalog for details, or check STARS for information about available courses.