Anthropology Department Courses and Requirements

Upon completing the Anthropology major, Pomona students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of complex research problems, and apply appropriate methods and theories to the study of these problems.
  • Design and carry out an anthropology research project, understand both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and identify the underlying assumptions in theoretical orientations and methodological approaches.
  • Critically evaluate humans as social, cultural, and biological beings; how people and groups vary across time and place; and the effects of such variation.
  • Think holistically and comparatively in describing human ways of life, and recognize how ethnographic, archaeological, and biological knowledge contribute to that understanding.
  • Demonstrate anthropological skills applicable to solutions to present day concerns, both locally and globally.
  • Effectively communicate anthropological knowledge through writing and oral presentation in various formats for diverse audiences.

Current curriculum

The required courses for the anthropology major encompass the majority of these goals, especially Sociocultural Anthropology, Theory in Anthropology, and the methods courses. Five electives chosen from among the anthropology courses offered at The Claremont Colleges offer additional breadth in the discipline. Among our goals are to expose students to the diversity of theories, methods, and data encompassed within the umbrella of anthropology, and, as a result, for students to become proficient in the practice of anthropology and its application to a variety of contemporary issues.

The remainder of the major and minor requirements, including electives, reflects the attempt to provide both curricular breadth and depth, particularly with respect to cross-cultural comparison, diachronic perspectives, and holism (Appendix A). North and South America, East Asia, and the Middle East are among the geographic regions are expertise of the faculty and are addressed in relevant coursework. Courses are also organized major themes of human behavior including language, sexuality, politics, globalization, and traditional lifeways.

Conducting and presenting original research is also an integral component to anthropology curriculum, emphasized in formal coursework and the senior thesis.