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Mission Statement

The Anthropology Program educates students to understand and value the cultural, social, and human biological diversity of the world both past and present. By studying archaeology, cultural and biological anthropology, our undergraduate students are offered a holistic approach to knowledge. Active learning experiences in the laboratory, the field, and the community, show reveal both the interconnections between theory and research and how anthropology can be applied to today’s critical human problems. Faculty and student collaboration promotes a community of scholars, both on and off-campus. Thus, four central dimensions define the Anthropology Program:

  • understanding cross-cultural realities both past and present;
  • direct experience of research in the primary fields of anthropology, including the Archaeology Research Lab;
  • commitment to community-based learning that both integrates applied anthropology into the curriculum and engages students with community issues;
  • cooperation with other programs at the university and in the community to foster intercultural and collaborative education for Santa Clara students.

By combining teaching excellence, scholarly research, and service to society, we strive for integrated education in the Jesuit tradition, helping our students to become women and men of professional competence, social conscience, and global compassion.


Student Learning Objectives

  1. Anthropology students should know the current central concerns of the anthropological sub-disciplines of biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural, and how they are applied. They...
    • will demonstrate a proficiency in theory, concepts and methods of the subfields, as well as understanding how to develop a research design.
    • will demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of past and present cultures in which humans have lived. This includes recognition of the varied social, cultural, and biological forces that shape human society and variation.
    • will be able to communicate anthropological issues and concerns effectively.
  2. Anthropology students should practice the basics of field research in the discipline and be aware of the theoretical, methodological and ethical underpinnings of this work. They...
    • will demonstrate a comprehension of research ethics and methods and how anthropological theory is applied.
    • will practice field research in each of the sub-disciplines of anthropology (e.g., archaeology lab/field work, ethnographic research, primate observation, etc.).
  3. Anthropology students should apply their knowledge and research to addressing of significant human issues. They...
    • will learn directly from communities about critical issues (e.g., poverty, health, immigration, aging, sustainability, heritage) through class research projects and community‑based learning (e.g., Arrupe placements).
    • will critically examine and evaluate both the long term development of and the potential responses to these issues.

Service Goals

  1. Anthropology seeks to serve the community outside SCU.
    • Faculty will work with the Anthropology Club to engage students in community service.
    • Anthropology classes will include community service components in their curriculum.
  2. The faculty seek to bring anthropological contributions to the public.
    • Faculty will work with the Anthropology Club in venues (e.g., the Sally Ride Festival) to highlight Anthropology.
    • Faculty will organize and contribute to the Anthropology Seminar Series, inviting both the local community and students from Bay Area schools to attend. Where appropriate, faculty will give seminars/communicate with local groups where ever they are working.
    • Faculty will teach classes which seek to support community welfare and concerns here and/or abroad.
    • Faculty will collaborate with other disciplines and programs  of the university to prepare students and faculty for cross-cultural immersion experiences in the U.S. and abroad