The Bachelor of Arts Program in Anthropology provides students with the opportunity to choose from four tracks:
The Anthropology major provides a broad base of information about what makes humans unique: Culture. Culture is the totality of what we learn, and it is the basis for how we define the world. Anthropologists study all kinds of individual cultures, both living and dead, simple and complex, to gain an understanding of it as a human phenomenon. The very nature of Anthropology is multicultural and historical. Throughout the classroom and methods courses, students are exposed and educated in many different cultures that have and do exist.
The Archaeology Program at UWF prepares students for graduate study in Anthropology-Archaeology and employment in cultural resource management in both the private sector and government agencies. We currently have about 80 undergraduate majors in the program and we are growing! The program includes both terrestrial and shipwreck archaeology.
There are 11 archaeologists in the department, Archaeology Institute, and Florida Public Archaeology Network, seven of whom teach and they all do research with students. Summer field schools are our specialty and we always have at least one shipwreck and one terrestrial field school each and every summer. We are currently expanding our archaeology research program into Mexico.
There are continuous faculty-directed archaeology research and grant projects in which students get hands-on experiences in the Pensacola area and surrounding region. Senior internships with regional and national employers and research institutes provide valuable and practical on-the-job-training.
Biological anthropology is concerned with the origins, evolution, and modern variability of the human species. It encompasses such diverse fields of study as primatology (the study of the evolution, biology and behavior of our closest living relatives, the monkeys and apes); paleoanthropology (the fossil record of human evolution); human osteology (the specialized study of the human skeleton in archaeological contexts); dental anthropology; forensic anthropology (the application of bioanthropological methods to legal investigations); paleopathology (the effects of disease on past human cultures); population genetics (small-scale microevolutionary changes in modern human populations); and human adaptation to environmental stressors.
The anthropology department at UWF offers an undergraduate program in biological anthropology, which complements the other undergraduate programs in cultural anthropology and archaeology. This program allows undergraduates to acquire a solid background in general anthropology along with the opportunity to pursue more specialized interests. Courses currently offered include Introduction to Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, Primatology and Human Osteology.
Cultural Anthropology is the sub-discipline of anthropology which studies contemporary societies and cultures. The work of cultural anthropologists complements the work of researchers in the other sub-disciplines of anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.
Society is the organization of life in groups. As such, cultural anthropologists' research on human societies includes examinations of the political organization, subsistence and settlement patterns, religious institutions, and patterns of behavior in contemporary human groups.
Culture is the learned and shared traditions, value orientations and worldviews of a people. Culture is uniquely human. So far as we know, no other animal systematically uses symbols in nature. Second, the transmission of culture is dependent on language and other contexts where symbols are regularly deployed, such as ritual. Finally, though the value orientations and worldviews of culture strongly influence social institutions and behaviors, and thus have material and bodily consequences and leave material traces, culture as symbolic and intangible is distinct from the tangible materiality of society and social process.