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Anthropology BS Program Learning Outcomes

1. Graduates will be able to identify and explain core concepts in anthropology, particularly regarding the evolution and ecology of human behavior. These concepts should include:

  • Four forces of evolution (natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow, mutation)
  • Principles of genetic inheritance
  • Tinbergen’s four explanatory levels (ultimate, proximate, phylogenetic, ontogenetic)
  • Comparative primate and hominid physiological and behavioral traits
  • Life history tradeoffs, reproductive and somatic resource competition
  • Optimal foraging theory (e.g., marginal value theorem, diet-breadth model, and patch-choice model)
  • Evolutionary models for cooperation and conflict (e.g., inclusive fitness, reciprocity, costly signaling)
  • Game theoretic approaches to analysis of, and solutions to, environmental dilemmas (e.g., collective action problems, common pool resources, time discounting)
  • Evolutionary models for social transitions and complexity (e.g., modern sapiens sapiens, resource intensification, subsistence transitions, organizational complexity)

2.  Graduates will be able to describe and assess the scientific methods and research techniques employed in anthropology. Capabilities include:

  • Evaluating primary literature relative to the history of scientific thought
  • Identifying and explaining hypotheses and how they relate to theory
  • Identifying and explaining data collection methodology
  • Interpreting and assessing quantitative and qualitative data including basic statistical methods and concepts
  • Identifying best practices and ethical issues in anthropological research
  • Building foreign language foundations to attain further competency in communicating with diverse populations.

3.  Graduates will be able to apply anthropological concepts and use critical thinking to effectively communicate and evaluate scientific concepts and research. Capabilities include:

  • Evaluation of the scientific literature, including theoretical relevance, description and assessment of methods, and reasoned evaluation of conclusions.
  • Written summaries of alternative approaches to an anthropological question considering the evidence for and against
  • Oral presentations accompanied by visual displays.

4.  Graduates will prepare to apply anthropological knowledge, skills, and values to professional pursuits. Capabilities include:

  • Drafting a CV/resume
  • Writing a letter of introduction to a graduate school or a cover letter for an employment application
  • Providing constructive peer review
  • Identify and explaining to others the value and limits of a relativistic perspective on the human experience.

Contact the Department of Anthropology for a matrix of Anthropology Course Learning Outcomes.