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Social & cultural anthropology

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/02/2015 - 3:47pm

What is social and cultural anthropology?

Social and cultural anthropologists study different societies and cultures around the world and examine such fundamental challenges as indigeneity, racism, migration, gender, development, globalization, nationalism, war, and terrorism. The ethnographic approach allows critical insights into how people actually live, how they negotiate the challenges they face, and how global issues have implications for their local, every day lives. Students seek to understand and explain particular human social and cultural phenomena by being placed within a wider comparative context. The program adopts a cross-cultural perspective on human behaviour and social organization and emphasizes links with sociology, political science, history and economics.

A unique place to study

Our department offers a rigorous and comprehensive training and research program for undergraduates and graduates alike. Through field schools and faculty-driven or independent projects, students are encouraged to engage in research and gain valuable experiences outside of the classroom setting. We practice a methodology that includes long-term field research to enhance understanding of our own culture and of cultures and worldviews different from our own. Our faculty members have strengths in issues related to resource extraction, military, medical, economic, urban, business and political anthropology.

Learn more about enhancing your degree with an honours or cooperative education program.

At the University of Calgary, there are many ways to get involved and enjoy student life during your degree.

Field schools

Field schools are a great way to gain hands-on experience and see your degree in action. Students considering this option must consult with the undergraduate advisor before enrolling. Field schools offered by other institutions can sometimes be credited towards a program in anthropology > Learn more

Put your degree to work

Graduates from the Bachelor of Arts program have worked as community development officers, cultural artifacts specialists, museum education directors, and government policy analysts, among other careers.
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Degrees offered:

Degree requirements:

  • BA in Anthropology 
  • BA Honours in Anthropology
  • Minor in Anthropology
  • High school students: There are no high school courses required for admission to the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology other than those required for admission to the Faculty of Arts. Prospective students should direct their high school coursework towards the sciences or arts depending on which direction they would like to see their archaeology degree proceed. Talk to our program advisor for more detailed information about recommended high school courses.

First-year courses


Dr. Chris Holdsworth
Undergraduate Program Director 

Monika Davidson 
Program Advising