CEDAR CITY — The State Board of Regents approved a new bachelor’s degree in anthropology for Southern Utah University. The university will begin to offer the new major beginning Fall 2015.
Jim McDonald, professor of anthropology and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said the major will bring new breadth and depth to the college.
“Anthropology is different than any other social science because of the comprehensiveness of the way we think about humans,” McDonald said. “Anthropologists have this intense curiosity about what makes people tick.”
The anthropology major will focus on immersing students in the four subfields of the discipline: archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and anthropological linguistics. The program will allow students the opportunity to craft experiences in one the discipline’s subfields.
Anthropology at SUU first started as a minor in Fall 2010. Since its inaugural start, students minoring in the field increased and anthropology classes reached capacity. This demand for the major has been seen throughout the nation, and SUU is listening.
The U.S. Department of Labor confirms that anthropology is one of the most in demand academic disciplines nationwide, saying it is projected to have a 19 percent increase in job market from 2012-2022.
Emily Dean, associate professor of anthropology, said of the demand for anthropologists, “I’ve gotten several calls from professionals asking if we have students to plug into internships and paid jobs in the summer, and we’ve been in a situation where sometimes we can, but we have more demand than students so we would like to change that equation.”
Dean said students who graduate with an anthropology degree can work for archaeological contract firms, local historical societies or even for state and federal institutions like the National Park Service, Utah Department of Transportation, Bureau of Land Management or the US Forest Service.
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