Aug 07, 2020  
Course Catalog 2018-2019 
Course Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department Chair
Crystal Biruk, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Jennifer Fraser, Associate Professor of Musicology and Anthropology
Jason Haugen, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Amy Margaris,  Associate Professor of Anthropology
Baron Pineda, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Anthropology represents a broad field of study encompassing four subdivisions: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archeology, and biological anthropology. Courses listed below offer comprehensive approaches to anthropology’s diverse subject matter and provide an important component of a liberal arts education for both majors and non-majors. A major will gain excellent preparation for graduate study in anthropology or as part of a pre-professional education. Additionally, anthropology majors can gain preparation for a wide variety of careers. Students majoring in anthropology are strongly urged to pursue work beyond the introductory level (101, 102, 103) in each of the subfields.


A major in anthropology consists of the following:

  1. a. A minimum of 9 courses in the department, including Anthropology 101, 102, 203 and 204.
    b. Anthropology 353.
    c. At least one seminar in Anthropology.

    At least 5 of the 9 courses required for the major must be from courses above the 100 level.

  2. Courses in several other disciplines, including those in the social and natural sciences and the humanities, complement a major in Anthropology. The particular pattern of courses chosen will vary, depending on the plans and interests of the students. The particular pattern should be worked out in close consultation with the major advisor.

Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.


A minor in anthropology consists of 5 courses in which at least 3 courses are at the 200 level or above, and 2 of the 4 introductory courses are completed. No more than one transfer course can be counted towards the requirements of the minor.

Off-Campus Programs for Credit

Summer fieldwork in projects sponsored by Oberlin College or by other institutions is encouraged. Such projects may be undertaken in archeology, ethnography, or linguistics. By approval of the department, students may count a maximum of two courses toward the major. Students interested in archeological projects should contact Professor Margaris. Those interested in ethnographic projects should contact a department staff person.  Students interested in anthropology credit for programs sponsored by the Great Lakes Colleges Association should also speak with the chair.


The department invites a small number of qualified majors to participate in the Honors Program. Honors work may begin as early as the sixth semester or may commence at the beginning of the senior year. Students may receive one or two courses of credit per semester of Honors. Honors work requires a thesis based on original research and an oral examination on the thesis.

Gallaudet Exchange Program

The department sponsors an exchange program with Gallaudet University, the nation’s only liberal education college for the deaf, located in Washington, DC. In a school of about 1,600 students, the program offers a unique opportunity for students interested in communication opportunities, deaf education, and related issues. The program is open to both majors and non-majors. Sophomores and juniors with good academic standing are eligible to apply. The exchange is for one semester and students receive transfer credit toward their degree at Oberlin College. Tuition is normally billed by Oberlin College; room and board by Gallaudet. Some students find Exco classes offered in sign language to be good preparation for a semester at Gallaudet.

Students interested in this program should speak with Professor Hoffmann-Dilloway or contact the Study Away office. Catalogs and applications should be requested directly from Gallaudet University at The mailing address is 800 Florida Avenue, N.E.,Washington, DC 20001-3695. When contacting Gallaudet, request an application which states “Oberlin Exchange Program.” Each student works their own way through the application process and can do so in consultation with a department staff person.

Transfer of Credit

Students transferring credits in anthropology from courses taken at other institutions and/or from off-campus programs such as summer field work may apply a maximum of two courses toward the major with the approval of the department chair.

Private Reading

Students may schedule a reading course during their junior or senior year in accord with college rules on private readings. No more than one reading course may be taken in any one semester.

Cross-Referenced Courses

The following courses not in the Anthropology Department will be accepted for credit toward the Anthropology major. See the department/program in which the courses are listed for full description.

Upper-Level Seminars and Honors Courses

Upper-level seminars are open to juniors and seniors who have completed four courses in anthropology. In some instances this requirement will be reduced for non-majors otherwise qualified. Please note also specific course prerequisites for some seminars. Anthropology 415, 490, 491, and 995 do not fulfill the seminar requirement.  Enrollment Limit: 10 per seminar. 

First-Year Seminars

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