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University of California, Merced
Anthropology is dedicated to understanding humankind`s diversity as well as what makes us uniquely human. Through the specific perspectives and methods of socio-cultural, archaeological, and biological anthropology, students learn how the human experience (past and present) is constituted through the interaction of social, cultural, political, material, historical, environmental, and biological factors. Anthropology strives for a holistic understanding of humankind and, depending on the questions asked and the means used to discover answers, anthropological knowledge can straddle the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.
The undergraduate major in Anthropology emphasizes how topics and issues central to the human experience such as migration, gender, power, health, kinship, race and identity are examined and understood through diverse anthropological methodologies. In upper division courses, students explore particular socio-cultural, archaeological and biological perspectives on such issues in greater depth, and these courses may specifically engage perspectives from two or more subfields. Other courses may consider a range of topics within a specific geographical area, while acknowledging certain limitations to the area studies configuration of knowledge.
Undergraduate majors in Anthropology develop critical skills in thought, written and oral expression and the application of knowledge, as well as a valuable understanding of human cultural diversity. In an increasingly globalized world in which interaction with people of diverse cultures is becoming the norm, developing a crosscultural understanding about the complexities of human societies past and present is what makes Anthropology an ideal education for the 21st century. A bachelor`s degree in Anthropology is valuable preparation for a career in law, medicine, education, business, government, museums and various areas of nonprofit, public and international service, including public policy and cultural resource management. The Anthropology program also provides a strong foundation for graduate study in any subfield of anthropology. By offering undergraduate majors opportunities to work with faculty research and apply knowledge and skills to local communities, agencies, and business through service learning and internships, students are further prepared for advanced study and successful careers.
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