The Bachelor of Arts Program in Anthropology 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 culture as a human phenomenon. The very nature of anthropology is multicultural and historical. Students are exposed to and educated in many different cultures that have existed and continue to exist.
Anthropology majors at UWF have the opportunity to choose from four specialist tracks to deepen their understanding of the field:
The archaeology specialization prepares students for employment in cultural resource management in both the private sector and government agencies and for graduate study in anthropology. The program includes both terrestrial and underwater archaeology.
There are a dozen practicing archaeologists in the department, Archaeology Institute, and Florida Public Archaeology Network; most of them teach, and all of them do research with students.
Summer field schools are our specialty and we always have at least one underwater and one terrestrial field school every summer.
There are continuous faculty-directed archaeology research and grant projects in which students get hands-on experience 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, paleoanthropology, human osteology, forensic anthropology, population genetics, and human adaptation to environmental stressors.
The anthropology department at UWF offers an undergraduate specialization in biological anthropology, which allows undergraduates to acquire a solid background in general anthropology along with the opportunity to pursue more specialized interests.
Cultural anthropology deals with contemporary societies and cultures. 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. More importantly, culture is uniquely human.
The department currently has one practicing cultural anthropologist who teaches courses and does research. Many summers, a Cultural Anthropology Methods field school is offered for students to learn and practice the techniques necessary for social science research, including survey and ethnography.
Undergraduates who specialize in cultural anthropology receive a well-rounded education in contemporary and past cultures.