Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Anthropology Major, B.A.
Passionate about learning all aspects of what it means to be human, anthropologists study the cultural and biological diversity in people as well as the interactions between human culture and biology.
As an Anthropology major at MSU Denver, you will experience a holistic education that encompasses Anthropology’s four traditional subfields: Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology and Archaeology. You can specialize in one or more of these four primary areas with your upper-division coursework. Plus you will learn conceptual and methodological tools for observing and studying the culture and biology of ancient and modern humans.
Your MSU Denver Anthropology education will also transcend the boundaries of the classroom. MSU Denver students have the opportunity to participate in local field-based experiences, study abroad in countries such as Japan and Italy and conduct research in partnership with professors. Numerous Anthropology students present their work at MSU Denver’s Undergraduate Research Conference and other local and national professional meetings.
Your Anthropology degree program will give you the chance to acquire real-world work experience. MSU Denver students have the opportunity to participate in work-study programs in the Anthropology program’s three laboratories: The Laboratory of Anthropology, which houses the MSU Denver’s archaeological and skeletal collections, the Ethnography Laboratory and the Human Identification Laboratory. You can also earn course credit for internships at outside agencies such as the Douglas County History Repository and F.C. Vogt Company and independent studies that you design in conjunction with our faculty.
Anthropology Bachelor Degree Program Options
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
What can you do with a B.A. in Anthropology from MSU Denver?
Cultural resource management, museum curation, archiving, conservation and education for a start! The four main career paths for anthropologists and archaeologists are academics, corporate/ business, government and nonprofit/community-based.
An archaeologist, Professor Jonathan Kent has an ongoing field project in Colorado and is analyzing data obtained while conducting field research in Peru. He curates the MSU Denver Seed Collection, the Comparative Osteology Collection and the Ashton Ethnographic Collection. He is the founder and co-director of the Laboratory of Anthropology and also founded ALPACA, the student anthropology club. He is a three-time awardee of the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship and has been named Outstanding Faculty Researcher by Golden Key Honor Society.
Assistant Professor Sanaa Riaz is a cultural anthropologist who studies the negotiation of tradition, modernity, secularism and class ideologies in Islamic praxis, particularly in the domain of religious education. Rather than focusing on radical groups, she highlights the importance of the responses of mainstream middle- and upper-class urbanites to fluctuating state policies and Western involvement, their class aspirations and professional concerns, in examining Islamic practice and education.
Associate Professor Todd Yokley is a biological anthropologist whose research involves analyzing how climate and other selective pressures have shaped human evolution. To date, his research has concentrated primarily on variation in the nose and nasal passages, revealing a pattern of variation that appears to reflect selection for more efficient heat and moisture exchange under certain environmental conditions. He is also interested in broader issues such as bioenergetics of past human populations, the emergence of modern humans, climatic adaptation among non-human mammals and primate paleontology.
Alumni at Work
Many MSU Denver graduates earn master’s and doctoral degrees before going onto careers teaching at the collegiate level, running their own archaeological projects, managing research facilities and more.
MSU Denver offers over 40 Anthropology courses on a regular basis and additional special topics and omnibus courses as the need arises. As a whole, these courses give Anthropology students the opportunity to explore human cultural and biological diversity, the archaeological evidence of past human cultures and the relationship between language and culture. Examples of MSU Denver's Anthropology courses include:
Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology:
- Ethnography of North American Indians
- Anthropology of Japan
- Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness
- Archaeology of North America
- South American Archaeology
- Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
- Human Variation
- The Neanderthal Enigma
Facilities and Resources
Our Ethnography Lab has state-of-the-art field equipment and technologies used by professional ethnographers to support courses in cultural and linguistic anthropology, providing undergraduate students with hands-on training in ethnographic data-gathering and qualitative data analysis.
Specializing in field location and recovery as well as laboratory analysis of human skeletal remains, our Human Identification Lab provides high-quality forensic anthropology field and laboratory services, including forensic osteological analysis, historic/archaeological osteological analysis, search and recovery and excavation.
The Laboratory of Anthropology houses our archaeological and skeletal collections as well as an extensive collection of teaching casts that includes living and fossil primates, fossil hominins and pathological specimens.
MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus adjacent to downtown Denver, Colo., and near the city’s many museum’s and cultural institutions including History Colorado, the Colorado Historical Foundation and the Black American West Museum. Vibrant and multicultural, the campus is shared by MSU Denver, University of Colorado Denver and Community College of Denver.