Anthropology is a broad discipline because its subject matter is the entirety of human diversity. Anthropologists contribute to an understanding of the human condition through interpretations of human biological and cultural variation. Anthropology is often divided into four sub-fields. Archaeology examines the past using material remains, including artifacts, skeletal material, and architecture. Social and cultural anthropology is concerned with contemporary human societies throughout the world, and their complex inter-and intra-relationships. Linguistic anthropology* examines diversity in language, including historical migrations and relationships between languages. Biological anthropology concerns human biological evolution and biological variation, including skeletal and genetic, and the interaction between human biology and our environments.
KPU Anthropology students work toward leadership-based careers integrated with local and global communities. Students will cultivate and demonstrate skills in inter- and intra-cultural communication, analysis, and both scientific and humanistic methodology.
KPU is a participant of the BCCAT Flexible Pre-major transfer agreement for Anthropology. For detailed information pertaining to the Flexible Pre-Major in Anthropology, please visit the Anthropology Department's website kpu.ca/arts/anthropology
*Note: The Anthropology Department at KPU does not currently offer courses in Linguistic Anthropology. Students are encouraged to take Linguistics courses through the Department of Language and Cultures at KPU.
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Since Anthropology has a four sub-field approach to the study of humankind, our students can specialize in arts and science credits. Anthropology students can excel in both lecture and lab courses. We also believe in teaching about the practical aspects of the world as well as the theoretical.
The student of anthropology has an interest in human cultural and biological diversity. They are inquisitive, tolerant and like studying and learning about the world through multiple perspectives, and know the wisdom of listening to multiple voices. Students in the major degree tend to have a fascination with the human body (inside and out), material remains of past societies, and the unique ways of life of contemporary and historically recent human populations. An anthropology student knows the value of studying the human species from the viewpoints of both the arts and sciences, and believes in applying the methods of anthropology to problems in the real world to help communities both globally and locally. Examples of applied scholarly work include the medico-legal identification of an unknown human body, the documentation and preservation of an indigenous language, or the location and conservation of an ancient archaeological site in an area of recent economic development. Minor students need an understanding of a topic in anthropology, such as the human body, in conjunction with another subject of study, for example a student taking fine arts who want to become a forensic facial recognition artist.
A Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology is directly applicable in employment fields such as market research, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and development studies, business, community liaison, legal careers, criminal investigation, environmental assessment and management, teaching, and health care, among many others. We anticipate our graduates will use skills developed during an anthropology degree throughout the rest of their careers. Our current anthropology field school involves direct interaction at a high level with First Nations communities and Anthropology professionals, and has been endorsed by the British Columbia Association of Professional Archaeologists, the first such endorsement in Canada. Our program is also designed to give students a solid foundation for entry into graduate programs.
Some Skills Learned From an Anthropology Education:
- Planning projects
- Writing grant proposals
- Interviewing, Surveying
- Sampling, gathering and organizing data
- Examining data and artifacts
- Conducting field studies
- Summarizing results
- Communication across cultures/languages
- Recognizing cultural differences/similarities
Archaeology (Examples of Jobs in Archaeology)
- Field Archaeologist
- Excavation Supervisor
- University or College Professor
- Museum Curator
- Archaeological Lab Technician
- Government Historic Preservation Officer
- First Nations Reburial Issues
- Consultant, Emergency Site Recovery
- Cultural Artifact Specialist
- Environmental Impact Assessment Researcher
- Cultural Resource Manager
Biological Anthropology (Examples of Jobs in Biological Anthropology)
- Become a University Professor or Museum Curator. Study the human skeleton and compare the physical appearance of people found all across the world.
- Become someone who studies of mummies.
- Become a Primatologist (someone who studies non-human primates — their conservation, research, and similarities to humans). Become a zoo researcher or conservationist. e.g. The Calgary Zoo
- Become a Paleoanthropologist (someone who studies how humans evolved to their modern form).
- Become a Forensic Anthropologist (specialists in the biological description of humans; descriptions of wounds and trauma to the skeleton; and genocide investigators). They are usually civilian consultants; and often professors with a Ph.D. in biological or forensic anthropology. Forensic anthropologists can get a job as a consultant for International Human Rights Missions and will document war crimes for future generations.
- Become a Policeman with Forensic Training
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police
- Vancouver City Police
- Become a Forensic Artist and assist police agencies with sketches of missing people, suspects, and victim related crimes.
- Become a Probation Officer
Social-Cultural Anthropology (Examples of Jobs in Social-Cultural Anthropology)
Entry (Undergraduate) Level
- Community Development Specialist
- Community Service Administrator
- Curatorial Assistant
- Ecotourism Director
- Employment Recruiter
- Friend of the Court Caseworker
- Immigration Inspector
- Information Officer
- Legislative Aide
- Management Trainee
- Marketing Researcher
- Multicultural Program Leader
- Museum Technician
- National/State Park Interpreter
- Peace Corps Volunteer
- Program Coordinator/Assistant
- Public Relations Specialist
- Research Associate
- Social Worker
- Travel Agent/Guide/Consultant
- Writer, Editor