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What should I major in?

Throughout this academic year, The Rider will explore the programs of study at UTRGV. This the first in the series. The Rider interviewed Anthropology Program Coordinator Margaret Graham Aug. 17 for information about the Anthropology degree.


Major: Anthropology
School: College of Liberal Arts
Department Chair: Ramon Guerra
Prerequisites: None
Total credit hours needed to graduate: 120
What is anthropology? “It’s the study of people and experience from the past to the present and our evolution–who we are culturally and biologically are part of anthropology. So, I think it’s exciting and expansive. It expands your perspective of what the human experience is. We are interested in the study of human diversity. I think it’s a very intellectually liberating thing to study because it really takes you out of your comfort zone. We try to help students make that connection that they are learning these kinds of methods, and learning these kinds of project skills that they can apply to work settings no matter what, or even for graduate studies such as law or medical.”

Which classes should students expect to take? “If you choose to major in anthropology, you must have a minor in another field of your choice. We have four lower division required courses that also count towards the core requirements. We require an Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Introduction to Archaeology and Human Evolution. Those three are the central areas of anthropology, which is why they are required, and then there is the upper division course, Anthropology Theory and Method.”

What are some possible careers with this degree? “Career possibilities for a bachelor’s degree in anthropology are very broad. You most likely won’t find a job saying that you want to be an anthropologist, but the skills you learn in our field are things you can apply to anything you do in the future.”

Which skills will students learn by the time they graduate? “We deal with a lot of different things such as religion, culture and sexuality, and how you make sense of that. It gives you a framework of how to understand, and not be egocentric. It helps you be interested in human difference and not seeing it as a challenge or a problem. You see it more as an opportunity.”

Who are some possible employers? “Social service agencies, businesses, government offices (federal, state and local), libraries, museums. Again, anything that deals with humans, you can apply these skills.

What salary can a student expect to earn after graduation? “It all depends on the area they go into.”

Student clubs related to the major: “Yes, there is an anthropology club that is open to anyone or any major. They get together pretty much weekly and plan events. The big event is usually a trip after graduation in May, where the club members go to archeological sites or museums. This past May we went to Washington, D.C., and stayed in a hotel close to where the Smithsonian museums are, so we visited those.”

For more information: visit UTRGVAnthropology on Facebook, email Anthropology Program Coordinator Margaret Graham at margaret.graham@utrgv.edu or call 665-7393.

–Compiled by Sarah Carvajal

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