Department of Anthropology

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Physical Anthropology

General Information

The undergraduate major in physical anthropology deals with the biological nature of humans past and present, looking beyond purely biological phenomena to understand the interactions between biology, behavior, and environment.

The subdiscipline of paleoanthropology documents the biological history of humans and analyzes those relationships for past humans in conjunction with archaeology. The subdiscipline of human biology studies physiology, genetics, nutrition, and epidemiology in modern human populations throughout the world in order to understand the relationships between biology, behavior, and environment.

This concentration provides students with the background and skills for further graduate study in anthropology and for professional study in the medical sciences. It also provides students with many other transferable skills including a biocultural perspective on human biology and culture, and the ability to analyze data, interpret findings, and communicate them effectively. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to conduct independent projects at other institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.



 ANTH 102  Being Human: Intro to Social and Cultural Anthropology
 ANTH 103  Introduction to Human Evolution
 ANTH 319  Intro to Statistical Analysis in the Social Sciences/ or equivalent


At least one course dealing with a geographic area, such as

 ANTH 312  Ethnography of Southeast Asia
 ANTH 314  Cultures of the United States
 ANTH 331  The Most Ancient Near East
 ANTH 333  Roots of Ancient India: Archaeology of South Asia
 ANTH 349  Cultures of Latin America
 ANTH 353  Chinese Culture and Society


At least three courses dealing with physical anthropology, such as

 ANTH 302  Darwinian Medicine
 ANTH 323  AIDS: Epidemiology, Biology, and Culture
 ANTH 367  Topics in Evolutionary Biology
 ANTH 370  Field Seminar in Paleoanthropology
 ANTH/ANAT 375  Human Evolution: The Fossil Evidence
 ANTH/ANAT 377  Human Osteology
 ANTH 378  Reproductive Health: An Evolutionary Perspective
 ANTH 394  Seminar in Evolutionary Biology
 ANTH 396  Undergraduate Research in Evolutionary Biology
  Approved anthropology electives: 9 semester hours



 ANTH 102  Being Human: Intro to Social and Cultural Anthropology
 ANTH 103  Introduction to Human Evolution
 At least one geographic area course
 At least two approved physical anthropology electives


Click here for a PDF version of Physical Anthropology course requirements.

Page last modified: February 9, 2017