The Anthropology major introduces students to insights into human behavior from a comparative, cross-cultural perspective. As an intrinsically cross-cultural form of inquiry, anthropology offers its own, inherent benefits that students acquire as they encounter ways of thinking and behaving that may be unfamiliar to them. Opportunities for cross-cultural ministry, for careers in business and as consultants, and for Christian citizenship in the world of the twenty-first century can be enhanced greatly for students completing an anthropology major.

In the event that required major courses are unavailable due to faculty or curricular changes, the anthropology department will work with students on a case-by-case basis to find substitutionary courses.

Along with specific requirements for any major, all students in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs must meet all general education and graduation requirements under a single catalog.

Requirements for a major in Anthropology are at least 36 hours including:

The Anthropology Core20
ANTH 116Cultural Anthropology4
ANTH 376Culture Theory4
ANTH 482Ethnographic Theory and Method4
SOC 383Statistics4
ANTH 494Senior Capstone4
Anthropology Electives
Select 16 credits of the following: 116
Culture, Travel & Tourism
Colonialism and Redemption: Native American Culture and Theology from 1492 to Wounded Knee
Anthropology of Global Christianity
Consumption and Material Culture
Food, Farms, and Culture
Culture and Difference
Culture in the Contemporary World
Medical Anthropology
Linguistic Anthropology
Politics of Veiling in the Modern Middle East
Cities in the Global South
Field Research Methods
Placemaking in Urban Contexts
Culture, Economy, and Morality
Power and Gender in Southeast Asia
Anthropology Through Film
Anthropological Writing: Writing in History and the Social Sciences
Independent Study
Internship in Anthropology
Palestinian Society and Politics
Total Credits36

Select 16 credits in Anthropology, at least 4 of which must be at the 400 level. Students may take up to four (4) credits of SOC, at the 300 level or higher towards their Anthropology elective total. In addition to the courses listed above, the Anthropology department frequently offers experimental courses, which are listed in the course schedule.

In addition to the 36 credits in the department, students completing an anthropology major must include:


As one of the traditional four subfields of anthropology, majors should have some exposure to archaeological theory or method. To meet this requirement students may take 4 credits from the following ARCH courses at Wheaton College:

ARCH 211Old Testament Archaeology4
ARCH 213New Testament Archaeology4
ARCH 317Studies in Biblical Lands4
ARCH 325Archaeological Field Work4
ARCH 326Archaeological Field Work: Tel Shimron, Israel4
ARCH 345Archaeology of the Classical World2
ARCH 366Archaeology of Biblical Lands4
ARCH 411Advanced Archaeological Study4
ARCH 412Advanced Archaeological Study2
GPS 306Physical Settings of the Bible4

This requirement may also be satisfied by transfer credit upon departmental approval.

Human Origins/Evolutionary Theory

Human origins is a significant area of physical anthropology and a topic with which a Wheaton anthropology major should have some exposure/familiarity. Toward that end anthropology majors need to take one course covering some aspect of origins and/or evolutionary theory to complete the major. Students may take one of the following courses to fulfill that requirement:

SCI 311Theories of Origins4
SCI 301Natural Science: Foundations, Methods, Challenges4
SCI 302Origins of Scientific Thought4
SCI 303Making Modern Science4
BIOL 243Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution4

Students seeking to satisfy this requirement through other courses or transfer credit should seek departmental approval. (2 or 4 credits)

Study Abroad/Cultural Immersion Experience

As part of the anthropology major requirements, students will be required to satisfy a field experience requirement involving immersion in an unfamiliar cultural context and/or significant use of anthropological methods and knowledge in a new social/cultural context. Students may use Wheaton (e.g., HNGR, Wheaton-in-Chicago) or non-Wheaton programs to satisfy the requirement, but all programs must be pre-approved by the department to be considered as meeting the requirement. A maximum of 8 credits earned through such an experience may be applied towards the major elective requirements. Core requirements (with the exception of ANTH 116) may not be satisfied through the study abroad credit. Summer study travel programs typically will not satisfy this requirement for cultural immersion.