Tech to Offer Anthropology Degree

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Michigan Tech will offer a new bachelor's degree in anthropology starting next fall. The Board of Trustees approved the new program Friday, Dec. 9.

Students are already planning to enroll. "We have students in our department right now who are waiting for the degree to start up," said Carol MacLennan, an associate professor of social sciences.

The new program is part of an ongoing effort to expand the number of degrees offered by Michigan Tech, as well as to attract a wider range of students. "Based upon enrollments in anthropology programs on other university campuses, we expect that this will broaden our appeal, particularly among women and underrepresented groups," said Bruce Seely, chair of the Department of Social Sciences.

Students majoring in anthropology will be able to focus in two specialties: environmental anthropology, which examines the relationship between humans and their environment, and archaeology. The two areas take advantage of the department's expertise, particularly in industrial archaeology and environmental policy. "We have anthropology faculty of national stature, and this new degree is an excellent fit, both for them and for our students," Seely said.

Anthropology majors will be able to work closely with faculty and participate in research as undergraduates.

"We emphasize fieldwork, so whether students are studying archaeology or environmental anthropology, they will be doing work off campus," MacLennan said.

"The anthropologists are already excited about the new program," she added. "It ties directly into our research, and, more importantly, it gives us an opportunity to introduce students to a completely different way of looking at the world."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.