Anthropology (Human Evolution and Social Change)

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Academic Unit: 
Human Evolution and Social Change

Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand what makes humans unique, the nature of our shared experiences, and the importance of our differences, anthropology draws on insights from diverse fields, including the social and biological sciences and the humanities. The anthropology degree programs give students an opportunity to learn how and why humans evolved, the current and long-term dynamics of social-environmental interaction, and how our evolutionary biological, social and cultural trajectories help us understand the meaning of being human in the past, present and future. Anthropology at ASU provides many exciting hands-on learning opportunities through laboratories and field-based courses, such as ethnographic field schools, paleoanthropology field schools in Africa, bioarchaeology and archaeology training in the field and laboratory, environmental and health studies in diverse communities and cultural and linguistic studies of peoples from hunter-gatherer camps to large urban areas. Areal foci include such diverse places as Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Mexico, Latin America the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the US Southwest.

Learn more about the Anthropology degree program, including curriculum requirements, course maps and career opportunities for Anthropology majors.

Download Guidelines: PDF icon the_honors_program_in_anthropology.pdf

Faculty Honors Advisors

Ian Gilby

Thesis/Creative Projects: 

The Honors thesis is an excellent opportunity to gain experience conducting original anthropological research with the help and mentorship of an ASU faculty member. The thesis provides individualized training in the research process, and allows you to explore a research question of your own choosing in great depth. It also ideally gives you mastery of the theories and methods in a research field and the ability to talk about this knowledgeably when interviewing for graduate school or future jobs.

The thesis also requires commitment and planning (see Recommended Timeline document attached above). To take full advantage of this opportunity, we strongly encourage honors students to begin planning their project by the Fall of their junior year. This would ideally involve meeting with the Faculty Honors Advisor to discuss your topical interests, identifying an appropriate thesis advisor and committee, and formulating a brief project proposal and plan in collaboration with your advisor. Starting early is especially important for students who would like to conduct research during the summer before their senior year. 

Academic Preparation: 
Before embarking on the thesis, we strongly recommend gaining a foundation in relevant research methods and theories from a relevant research course (e.g., ASB 452, practicum-based topics in ASB 494, ASM 414) as well as research apprenticeships with SHESC faculty.
Other Honors Opportunities: 

Honors Sections and Enrichment Contracts
For undergraduate courses in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, the course instructor may choose to set up a formal honors section or work with students on enrichment contracts. Courses which have recently provided formal honors sections include, ASB 100, ASB 102 and ASB 222. Enrichment contracts are created on a case-by-case basis. Some courses, such as ASB 462, frequently offer enrichment contract opportunities where a group of students work on a common project designed by the students and the professor. View more information about honors enrichment contracts online. Instructors of graduate courses at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change may permit a small number of honors students to enroll in their course. If there is a graduate course which you feel would be important for your educational trajectory, please contact the instructor of the course about the possibility of enrolling.

Research Opportunities

The School of Human Evolution and Social Change offers a number of opportunities for undergraduates to get involved with faculty research, including Undergraduate Research Apprenticeships as well as Research Assistantship Awards.