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    Irvine Valley College
    Dec 04, 2023  
2022-2023 Catalog: September 2022 Edition 
2022-2023 Catalog: September 2022 Edition [ARCHIVED]


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Dean: Traci Fahimi, EdD
Academic Chair: Chris Loeffler
Faculty: Chris Loeffler


Anthropology is the study of the organization, behavior, and development of the human species. Physical anthropology examines the fossil remains of ancestral humans and the behavior of non-human primates in order to construct theories of how and why human beings have evolved. Cultural anthropology is concerned with the basic structures of human cultures, particularly with regard to subsistence strategies, social organization, language, religion, and political and economic systems.


Students majoring in anthropology will focus on the nature and implications of human behavior and interactions through the integration of the four major sub-disciplines of Anthropology. Knowledge and use of the scientific method will allow students to explain evolutionary theory in light of the human fossil record, analyze the relationship between modern humans and non-human primates, and objectively evaluate non-western customs and beliefs. The major is ideal for those who intend a career obliging a high degree of such interaction, particularly of a multicultural form. Students considering careers in social work, international affairs, teaching, politics, public health, and journalism will find the anthropology major appropriate. Students intending to specialize in anthropology on the professional level almost always attend graduate school, since employment in the field usually requires an advanced degree.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the anthropology program, students will be able to

  • Describe how the sub-disciplines of Physical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Archeology, and Linguistics (the four-field approach) are integrated and provide a theoretical basis for understanding human behavior past and present.
  • Explain evolutionary theory, the fossil record of human evolution, and the relationship between non-human and human primates.
  • Apply the concepts of cultural relativism, and a holistic approach, to more accurately understand non-Western customs and beliefs through time and the challenges they currently face.
  • Identify and explain current archeological fieldwork techniques and the importance of the application of the scientific method in anthropology.
  • Describe the relationship between language and culture, human acquisition of language, language change, and the methods by which linguistic fieldwork is conducted.

Potential Careers

Examples of careers in anthropology include the following:

  • Archaeologist
  • Anthropologist
  • Corporate Planner
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Government Agency Administrator
  • High School or College Teacher
  • International Law
  • Linguist
  • Multicultural Specialist
  • Museum Curator
  • Public Health Administration
  • Researcher


    Associate in ArtsAssociate in Arts for Transfer

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