Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts

Nature of Program

Anthropology is a deeply comparative and participatory discipline that prepares students for meaningful life and work in our diverse and ever more interconnected world.  The curriculum fosters an awareness of the structure and diversity of human societies, past and present, and offers a broad range of perspectives on the experiences and meanings of being human.  Students are exposed to the methods of inquiry and to the special knowledge and insights of anthropology.  Courses in the department also are intended to facilitate the application of anthropological principles to a wide range of contemporary social problems.

Anthropology graduates may pursue careers in nonprofit, public, or private sector fields.  Majors are well-equipped for graduate training in the social sciences in pursuit of academic or applied research careers.  For more information about this program, please go to:

Students who earn a degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences must complete the University requirements, the College requirements for their specific degree program, and their major requirements.


All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; view a list of all available minors and their requirements here. Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.

Certificate of Global Engagement

Students in the Eberly College, regardless of their major, can earn a Certificate of Global Engagement. Completion of the Certificate demonstrates the student’s knowledge of diverse cultures, as well as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds.  Students will be required to apply their knowledge of contemporary issues and global social contexts to their course work and their broader citizenship.  For details regarding Certificate requirements, please visit the Eberly College page.

Admission Requirements

Some entering freshmen can be admitted directly into the major, based on their high school GPA and results of standardized tests. Others will be advised in the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success until they complete SOCA 105 with a grade of C- or higher and an overall GPA of 2.0. 

Benchmark Expectations

Students who start as freshmen are expected to complete 100-level coursework (SOCA 101 and SOCA 105 with grades of C- or higher) by the end of freshman year; SOCA 259 and two additional 200-level anthropology courses by the end of their sophomore year; and SOCA 359, one 300 or 400-level anthropology course and either STAT 111STAT 201STAT 211ENGL 221LING 101, or LING 311 by the end of their junior year.  Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 overall and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all SOCA courses counting toward major requirements. All majors must meet with their adviser every semester. Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Departmental Requirements for the B.A. in Anthropology

All Anthropology majors must complete a common set of required courses and choose major electives based on their scholarly and career interests.

  • Capstone Requirement: The General Education Foundation requires the successful completion of a Capstone courseAnthropology majors must complete SOCA 488 for 3 credits.
  • Writing Requirement: Anthropology Bachelor of Arts students fulfill the Writing and Communication Skills requirement by completing ENGL 101 and  ENGL 102 (or ENGL 103), and two SpeakWrite Certified Courses TM:  SOCA 488, and either SOCA 259 or SOCA 359.
  • Calculation of GPA: A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required across all SOCA courses counted toward meeting major requirements.  If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat.
  • Experiential Learning: Students interested in archaeological careers or graduate studies are encouraged to take Archaeological Field School (SOCA 357) through WVU or a transfer equivalent.  Students interested in applied cultural anthropology careers or graduate studies are encouraged to consult with faculty about transient opportunities for Ethnographic Research Methods (SOCA 356).  In addition, students are encouraged to do Independent Study (SOCA 495), additional fieldwork, or an internship (SOCA 491) in their junior or senior year, combining experiential work with previously acquired skills in a project appropriate to their career goals.  SOCA 490, SOCA 491, and SOCA 495 can be taken for variable credit and will count as general elective credits towards graduation, but they cannot be applied to major requirements.

Curriculum Requirements

First Year Seminar
GEF Requirements: may vary depending on overlap
Fine Arts Requirement
Foreign Language
Global Studies and Diversity Requirement
Common Core Requirements12
Introduction to Sociology (Min Grade of C-)
Introduction to Anthropology (Min Grade of C-)
The Craft of Anthropology (Min Grade of C-)
Anthropological Thought (Min Grade of C-)
Subfield Requirements6
Select two of the following:
Physical Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Archaeology
Subfield Enrichment Requirement3
Select one of the following:
Understanding Statistics
Applied Statistical Modeling
Elementary Statistical Inference
The English Language
Introduction to Language
Introduction to Structural Linguistics
Upper-level Anthropology Requirements9
Select three of the following:
Latin American Culture
Traditional and Changing Africa
Historical Archaeology
Anthropology of Religion
Mesoamerican Archaeology
Cultural Resource Management
Ethnographic Field Methods
Archaeological Field School
Anthropology of Health and Illness
Archaeology of Ancient States
Social Movements
Environmental Anthropology
Anthropology Elective *3
One additional anthropology course, 200-level or above
Capstone Experience3
The Capstone Experience
General Electives41
Number of electives may vary depending on overlap and AP credits
Total Hours120

 Excluding SOCA 490, 491, 495.

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3
GEF 53GEF 23
Foreign Language 1013ECAS Fine Arts Requirement (GEF 6)3
SOCA 105 (ECAS Glob. Stu. & Div. Req.; GEF 7)3Foreign Language 1023
STAT Requirement (GEF 3)3SOCA 101 (GEF 4)3
General Elective2 
 15 15
Second Year
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 8*3
GEF 23Foreign Language 2043
GEF 8*3SOCA 2593
Foreign Language 2033Subfield Requirement Course 23
Subfield Requirement Course 13General Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
GEF 8*3SOCA 3593
Subfield Enrichment Course3Upper-level Anthropology Course 23
Upper-level Anthropology Course 13General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Upper-level Anthropology Course 33SOCA 4883
General Elective3Anthropology Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

 Students completing a minor, a double major or a dual degree already fulfill F 8.

Major Learning Goals


Students graduating with a BA in Anthropology will be able to:

  1. Describe anthropology’s core theoretical perspectives, its distinctive history, and its unique breadth and range as a discipline.
  2. Interpret past and present human life-ways holistically and comparatively.
  3. Discuss the importance of knowledge and understanding of a culturally and biologically diverse world.
  4. Differentiate between the multiple methods employed by anthropologists across its subfields.
  5. Apply ethical principles to the conduct of anthropological research and the applications of its findings.
  6. Critically analyze anthropological questions and issues by retrieving and synthesizing appropriate information and evidence and identifying implications for research and practice/policy.
  7. Demonstrate effective, clear and persuasive communication skills according to disciplinary conventions.



  • Jeralynn S. Cossman - Ph.D. (Florida State University) Sociology
    Demography, Health, Inequalities


  • Walter S. DeKeseredy - Ph.D. (York University) Sociology
    Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences. Violence against women, Critical criminology, Masculinities and crime, Criminology theory
  • S. Melissa Latimer - Ph.D. (University of Kentucky) Sociology
    Gender/race/ethnicity, Inequality/labor markets/welfare systems
  • Lawrence T. Nichols - Ph.D. (Boston College) Sociology
    Criminology, Theory, Business
  • James Nolan, III - Ph.D. (Temple University) Sociology
    Criminal justice, Group and social processes

Associate professors

  • Corey Colyer - Ph.D. (Syracuse University) Sociology
    People processing systems, Agencies of social control
  • Amy Hirshman - Ph.D. (Michigan State University) Anthropology
    Mesoamerican archaeology, Social complexity, Ceramics
  • Daniel Renfrew - Ph.D. (Binghamton University) Anthropology
    Environmental and political anthropology, Social movements, Latin American cultures
  • Rachel Stein - Ph.D. (University of Akron) Sociology
    Criminology, Victimization, Media and crime
  • Karen Weiss - Ph.D. (SUNY-Stony Brook) Sociology
    Criminology, Victimization, Gender/sexuality/culture
  • Rachael A. Woldoff - Ph.D. (Ohio State University) Sociology
    Community, Crime, Inequality/race/class
  • Joshua Woods - Ph.D. (Michigan State University) Sociology
    Social psychology, Media, Complex organizations, Sociology of risk

Clinical associate professor

  • Jennifer Steele - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University) Rural Sociology
    Natural resource sociology, Rural and community development

Assistant professors

  • Katie E. Corcoran - Ph.D. (University of Washington) Sociology
    Theory, Organizations, Culture, Criminology, Religion, Social networks
  • Lisa M. Dilks - Ph.D. (University of South Carolina) Sociology
    Social psychology, Group processes, Law and society, Quantitative methods
  • Jason Manning - Ph.D. (University of Virginia) Sociology
    Conflict and social control, Violence, Sociology of knowledge
  • Christopher P. Scheitle - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University) Sociology
    Religion, Science in society, Crime, Organizations
  • Heather M. Washington - Ph.D. (Ohio State University) Sociology
    Community, Crime, Family, Inequality
  • Jesse Wozniak - Ph.D. (University of Minnesota) Sociology
    Policing, Criminology, Deviance, State power

Teaching assistant professors

  • Adam Dasari - Ph.D. (Oklahoma State University)
    Social stratification, Globalization, Environmental sociology, Theory
  • Susanna Donaldson - Ph.D. (University of Iowa) Anthropology
    Anthropology of work, Identity, Appalachian cultures
  • Cheryl Johnson-Lyons - J.D. (West Virginia University)
    Law and society, Inequalities, Political sociology

Teaching instructors

  • Daniel Brewster - M.A. (West Virginia University) Communication Studies
  • Nancy Feather - M.S.W. (West Virginia University)
  • Douglas Sahady - M.A. (California University of Pennsylvania) Social Science
  • Genesis Snyder - M.A. (Western Michigan University) Anthropology

Professor emeritus

  • Ronald C. Althouse - Ph.D. (University of Minnesota) Sociology
    Theory, Work, Occupational safety and health

Associate professors emeriti

  • Ann L. Paterson - Ph.D. (Michigan State University) Sociology
  • Patricia C. Rice - M.A. (Ohio State University) Anthropology
  • Joseph J. Simoni - Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame) Sociology
  • William I. Torry - Ph.D. (Columbia University) Anthropology