The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Concentrations and Core Courses

The Anthropology Department offers four Concentrations and an Individually Based Designed program for you to focus your exploration and develop knowledge and skills.

Medical Anthropology and Global Health

Courses in this concentration focus on the interrelationship of culture, society, health, and the body in a global context. Students pursuing this course of study will gain skills and expertise of great relevance for healthcare-related careers, including public health, medicine, and psychological services as well as a strong foundation for graduate studies in a variety of fields. This is a good major for pre-med/pre-health students who are interested in developing critical thinking, ethical frameworks, and cultural competencies. The analytic reasoning and community engagement abilities developed in this concentration are increasingly sought after by employers in a wide range of professions.

Core Courses Include:

209 Approaching Death: Case Studies

290A/Lab Anatomy of the Human Body/Lab

292V Violence in American Culture

297M Disease, Famine, & Warfare: Intro to Human Adaptability

297MR Forensics Myth and Reality

297VC Violence and Conflict in Prehispanic America

305 Anthropology of Growth & Development

312 Medical Anthropology

313 Nutritional Anthropology

320 Skeleton Keys: Research Techniques in Physical Anthropology

321H Violence in American Culture

372 Human Variation

394EI Evolutionary Medicine

397BP Biology of Poverty

397GR Gender, Race, & the Body

397DD Bioarchaeology of Violence

397GB Global Health: Biosocial Perspectives

397LA Health in Latin America

397SD Sustainability or Sustaining Development?

494BI Global Bodies

494RI Religion, Evolution, and Human Biology

Evolutionary Anthropology

Courses in this concentration examine how evolutionary processes have shaped both human and non-human primate species. Students focusing on biological anthropology will gain expertise across a range of areas, including Primatology, Bioarchaeology, Biology, Human Evolution, and Modern Human Variation. Students will have the opportunity to do work in the lab and develop independent studies.

Core Courses Include:

290A/Lab Anatomy of the Human Body/Lab

297 Culture, Health & Science

297M Disease, Famine & Warfare

297NF Neanderthals: Fact and Fiction

305 Anthropology of Growth & Development

313 Nutritional Anthropology

317 Primate Behavior

320 Skelton Keys: Research Techniques in Physical Anthropology

372 Human Variation

394EI Evolutionary Medicine

397PR Primate Conservation

397AP Approaching Death: Culture, Medicine, Experience

397GB Global Health: Biosocial Perspectives

416 Primate Evolution

494RI Religion, Evolution, and Human Biology

Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

In this concentration, students learn to examine and interpret the range of human experience through material culture while also exploring ways to protect and care for archaeology sites, cultural landscapes, and both tangible and intangible heritage. Attention is given to community-based approaches with an emphasis on archaeology’s potential for contributing to social justice. Along with practical fieldwork experience – whether locally in Massachusetts or internationally— students can explore diverse and engaging topics like GIS (geographic information system) and community-mapping; public archaeology through comics & community theater; heritage tourism; and material remnants of societal violence and the intersection of race, class, and gender.

Core Courses Include:

220 Intro to Native American Studies

269 Intro: North American Archaeology

292V Violence in American Culture

297GC Gaelic/Celtic Cultural Heritage

297MR Forensics: Myth and Reality

297PP Anthropology of Slavery

297M Disease, Famine, & Warfare

297N Violence & Conflict in Pre-Hispanic Americas

325 Analysis of Material Culture

367 Archaeological Survey Methods and Practices

375 South American Archaeology

396C Archaeological Lab Research

397 Archaeology and Social Complexity

397CC Historical Archaeology

397DD Bioarchaeology of Violence

397TT Race & the American Museum

398 Archaeological Lab Internship (doing)

494AD Archaeology of the African Diaspora

497DG Indigenous Archaeology

497/697 Critical Indigenous Theory & Method

Cultural Anthropology

In this concentration, students learn about the culture concept, explore cultural differences across time and space, investigate the relationship between culture and power, and learn how anthropologists, research, write about and engage with communities in Massachusetts and around the world. Students have the opportunity to be involved with ongoing research projects, community development initiatives, internships, and engaged programs.

Core Courses Include:

220 Intro to Native American Studies

224 Gender and Hip Hop

234 Art in Cross-Cultural Perspective

236 Anthropology of and through Games

270 North American Indians

297DM Dragon Mythology

297M Disease, Famine, & Warfare

297LR Language and Racism

297PP Anthropology of Slavery

292H Violence in American Culture

297EP Other Economies Are Possible

306 Visual Anthropology

344 Italy Fascism to Fashion

360 Language, Culture & Society

370 Contemporary Issues for/of Native Americans

380 Grassroots Community Organizing (UACT)

384 African American Anthropology

394AI Europe after the Wall

394RI Ethnography in Action

397BP Biology of Poverty

386 Critical Pedagogy

397D Public Anthropology

397DD Bioarchaeology of Violence

397CS Case Studies in Global Health

341 Building Solidarity Economies

397JA Archaeology of Social Complexity

397LM Language, Migration and Mobility

397PC Post Colonialism

397RE Anthropology of Race & Education

397SD Sustainability or Sustaining Development

397SS Celtic Diaspora

397TT Race & the American Museum

397LG Language, Gender & Sexuality

397LM Language Migration and Mobility

397GR Gender, Race, & the Body

397VS War & Historical Memory in Spain

497PN Language, Nationalism & Postnationalism

497CR Comics, Cartoons & Communicating Anthropology

494BI Global Bodies

497DG Indigenous Archaeology

497R Political Economy of Race & Racism

499C/D Conquest by Law (2 part)

497/697 Critical Indigenous Theory & Method

Individually Designed Focus

In addition to proposing the formalized concentrations, students may work with their advisor to design a departmentally approved individual focus which must include two foundation courses and four core concentration courses.