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Grand Valley State University    
2013-2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Aug 16, 2018
2013-2014 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Anthropology - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  section in this catalog.

Chair: Weibel. Professor: Brashler; Associate Professors: Corr, Madden, Molla, Rhoads, Van Wormer, Weibel; Assistant Professors: Arnold, Wroblewski; Affiliate Professor: Borders; Visiting Professor: Vannier.

Anthropology is the study and understanding of humans in all places and throughout time, including the effects of culture on individuals and of individuals on their society. Anthropology offers a perspective for critically analyzing culture and prepares students for multicultural career settings in the United States and abroad. An anthropology major and minor are available.


Career Opportunities

Professional and career opportunities for students majoring in anthropology include jobs in international development/assistance (nonprofit and government), government, education, museums, international business, zoos, human services, and health care.

Particularly important is the way students coordinate their major with other disciplines. For example, anthropology majors with an interest in business and foreign language proficiency are ideally suited to work for companies with overseas operations. Majors interested in working with people can consider an emphasis in social work, the health sciences, or related fields. Students interested in museum work should combine their anthropology major with coursework in art history, classics, and/or history. It is important for students to identify their interests as early as possible so that they can work with an advisor to develop the best academic program possible.

For many career paths in anthropology, it is important to engage in one or more practicum experiences or actual fieldwork. These opportunities are available with appropriate planning and coordination with your advisor. Internship experiences are available for students interested in museum work and a number of other activities in local communities. Students interested in practicum experiences need to begin planning with their advisor for the experience as early as possible in their college career.

Field Work and Research Opportunities

The anthropology program regularly sponsors field schools in archaeology and cultural anthropology. These programs are locally based and are accessible to commuters as well as on-campus students. Occasional opportunities for fieldwork abroad are also available. Post-field independent research opportunities are available through individual faculty and the anthropology lab, which houses a collection of over 200,000 artifacts from more than 200 archaeological and historic sites. Students interested in fieldwork should contact the department.

Participating Programs

Inter-Departmental Minor in Archaeology (Director: Mark Schwartz): Students with an Anthropology Major might want to pursue a minor in this interdisciplinary program.  More information on the archaeology minor is available here. 


Richard E. Flanders (University Club Scholarship)
This scholarship, in honor of the late Richard E. Flanders, who founded the anthropology program, is available to full-time junior and senior students majoring or minoring in anthropology or a related discipline with a strong background in anthropology. Award amounts vary depending on number of applicants.

Walter Boston Koch Scholarship. This scholarship honors Walt Koch, a long-time member of the anthropology faculty. It is available to part-time and full-time sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are majoring or minoring in anthropology. Award amounts vary depending on number of applicants.

George I. and Helen Z. Quimby Scholarship. Born in Grand Rapids in 1913, George I. Quimby was one of American archaeology’s most distinguished professors. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide a distinguished merit scholarship for full-time students majoring in anthropology entering their junior or senior year, who have an interest in Native Americans. Generally students receiving the award will have demonstrated their commitment to the discipline of anthropology through interest, laboratory, academic and/or field work.

Student Organizations

Anthropology Club
The Anthropology Club is open to all majors and interested students. Its members work with Lambda Alpha Honor Society in sponsoring speakers and fundraising events, and participate in local, regional, and national meetings of anthropology. The club is involved in local and international community service projects.

Honors Organization
Lambda Alpha is the National Scholastic anthropology fraternity. Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Beta Chapter of Lambda Alpha is dedicated to promoting and recognizing scholarly achievement by anthropology majors and minors, or students with a strong interest and background in anthropology. Meetings are informal gatherings aimed at organizing speakers, events, fundraising for service projects, and travel to professional meetings several times a year. Membership is open to any student with 12 or more credits in anthropology holding a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.3 GPA in anthropology.

The following programs are available:

Anthropology Minor 

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Anthropology