North Central College - Naperville, IL


"What the United States does best is to understand itself. What it does worst is understand others."
Carlos Fuentes

One of the primary purposes of our anthropology program is to equip you to better understand the world beyond the shores and borders of the United States. But being knowledgeable about other peoples is only part of the goal. Departing from Fuentes, we believe that being familiar with human life in other villages makes us more capable of understanding ourselves and where we're from. Accordingly, anthropologists study virtually everything human.

If people say it, do it, make it, think it, believe it, we find it interesting. We don’t limit ourselves to the present. We believe that human history, pre-history, and even the lifeways and evolution of our primate ancestors tell us important things about ourselves. We use every method available, from digging up the things folks used in the past, to surveys of large numbers of people, to informal socializing within a small community.

So come join us on journeys of social and cultural exploration. Along the way you’ll enhance your critical thinking, reading, writing, and skills. As a graduate you’ll have the tools and knowledge necessary to meet the challenges of working within any human organization.

There are three ways to study anthropology at North Central College, as a major, as a minor or as a combined sociology and anthropology major.

Anthropology Major (30 credit hours)
As a major, you'll take 12 credit hours of core (required) courses. Additionally you will have courses in general anthropological theory. Rounding out your program of studies, courses offered by professors from a wide range of disciplines allow you to consider particular peoples, belief systems, nation-states and regions in detail.

  • Core Courses (12 credit hours): SOA 105 Intro to Cultural Anthropology, SOA 155 Native Americans, SOA 202 Qualitative Research Methods, SOA 399 Independent Study in Theory
  • Sub-disciplinary Courses: Take six hours from SOA 165 Introduction to Archaeology, SOA 205 Introduction to Physical Anthropology, ENG 370 Language and Linguistics
  • Interdisciplinary Course: Take three hours from SOA 345 Religion, Ritual & Symbol, SOA 363 Mexico and its Neighbors, SOA 421 Indigenous Peoples & the State, SOA 310 Cultural Psychology
  • Cultural Area Courses: Select at least one course from three different culture areas (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East)

Anthropology Minor (18 credit hours)

SOA 105, 155, 165 or 205, 202, and six additional credit hours of anthropology electives of which at least three must be at the 300-level or above.

The minor emphasizes core courses and general anthropological theory. You will find the anthropology minor an excellent complement to any major. Courses in your major field of study become fuller and more interesting as you take them with a uniquely anthropological perspective.

Anthropology and Sociology Major (27 credit hours)

SOA 100 Intro to Sociology, SOA 105 Intro to Cultural Anthropology, SOA 155 Native Americans, SOA 165 Intro to Archaeology--or--SOA 205 Intro to Physical Anthropology, SOA 190 Urban Problems, SOA 200 Quantitative Research Methods, SOA 202 Qualitative Research Methods, SOA 201 Social Theory, SOA 345 Religion Ritual and Symbol

Anthropology and sociology students learn a great deal about the social organization and culture of both Western and non Western societies. Choosing the sociology and anthropology major will equip you to better understand your own society and the lives people live around the world.

For more detailed information, consult our catalog.

Tecun Umam

Maya (K'iche') Ritual-Drama