Missouri State University
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Department of Sociology and Anthropology 

For More Information

Anthropology Program Coordinator
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-5640
Fax: 417-836-6416
Email: billwedenoja@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

Anthropology includes virtually everything having to do with humanity, therefore it offers a broad undergraduate education that is applicable to a wide range of career opportunities. Some students find jobs in archaeology with state and federal government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, as well as with private construction and archaeological research firms. Others begin a career in international development with service in the Peace Corps. According to an article in USA Today, the globalization of business and an increasingly diverse work force have also made anthropology "a hot new degree…for aspiring executives" in corporate America.

A professional career in Anthropology generally requires graduate study leading to a masters or Ph.D. Traditionally, graduate schools trained students to conduct research and become professors, but this has changed. A rapidly increasing number of anthropologists are developing careers in business, industry, social services and government. Now more than half of all new Anthropology Ph.D.s (and probably most M.A.s) go into "applied" or "practicing" anthropology rather than university employment.

The department offers an M.S. in Applied Anthropology, which is designed to prepare students with skills in project design, research methods, and report writing that are required for professional careers as researchers, managers and planners in the public and private sectors. Under the Accelerated Option, seniors are admitted to the master's program and can take courses that count towards their bachelor's and master's degrees.

Missouri State Anthropology graduates have gone to work for the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, several branches of the military, the Missouri Department of Transportation,  public health departments, museums, zoos, hospitals, libraries, social service agencies, community organizations, private businesses, AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, to name a few. They have also gone on to graduate study at many different universities, including Chicago, Utah, Brandeis, Purdue, South Florida, East Carolina, Texas, Edinburgh, USC, Arizona State, Harvard, Tulsa, Oregon State, Northern Arizona, UCLA, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois and Indiana, studying technical writing, international affairs, nursing, communication disorders, folklore, public history, religious studies, public health, library science, counseling, international relations, business, law, education, communications, and social work as well as anthropology and archaeology.

Academic Program

Anthropology includes four major subdisciplines. Biological (a.k.a. Physical) Anthropology is the study of humans from an evolutionary perspective, including the study of monkeys and apes, human ancestors, and the biological diversity of humans. Cultural Anthropology is the comparative study of human life as it exists throughout the world today. A major component of cultural anthropology is Ethnography, the description and analysis of cultures. Linguistic Anthropology is the study of language as the most important component of culture. Archaeology is the reconstruction of societies from the past through the recovery and analysis of their material remains. All fields of Anthropology have practical applications to the problems and needs of society today; this is often regarded as the fifth field of Anthropology—Applied Anthropology.

The Anthropology major at Missouri State offers a well-rounded background in all four fields of anthropology, with the B.S. allowing some opportunity for specialization in a subdiscipline too. The total number of hours required for the  Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Anthropology is 30 and for the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) is 39.

Required Core Courses

(15 hours for the B.A. and 18 for the B.S.)

ANT 226 (cultural), 227 (biological), 240 (archaeology), 280 (linguistic), and 595 (theory)

SOC 302 (Statistics for Social Research) or equivalent is required for the B.S. only.

Additional Electives for the Major

(15 hours for the B.A. and 21 for the B.S.)

Four of the following five courses:

  1. One upper-division course in archaeology
  2. One upper-division course in biological anthropology
  3. One upper-division course in cultural anthropology
  4. One upper-division course in linguistics or linguistic anthropology
  5. One upper-division course in "peoples and cultures" of the world (Japan, the Caribbean, Africa, etc.)
Three hours of upper-division electives in ANT for the BA, and nine hours of upper-division electives in ANT for the BS.

Sample Elective Courses

Anthropology of Religion
Psychological Anthropology
North American Indian Cultures
Peoples and Cultures of Africa
Peoples and Cultures of Japan
Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
North American Archaeology
Historical Archaeology
Forensic Anthropology
Human Variation
The Living Primates
Human Evolution
Language, Thought and Culture
Writing, Literacy and Orality
Field Archaeology
Field Experience in Anthropology
Ethnographic Field Methods
Cultural Resource Management
Advanced Methods in Archaeology

Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/registrar/catalog/ for specific course descriptions.


There are currently six full-time anthropologists in the department:

Margaret Buckner (PhD Paris) Linguistic, cultural and medical anthropology, ethnomusicology, Africa

Darrell Lynch (PhD Tennessee) Cultural and medical anthropology, Brazil

William Meadows (PhD Oklahoma) Cultural anthropology, ethnohistory, Midwest archaeology, Native North America, Japan

Elizabeth Sobel (PhD Michigan) Public archaeology, Native North America

Suzanne Walker-Pacheco (PhD CUNY) Biological and forensic anthropology, primatology, Hispanic health, Latin America

William Wedenoja (PhD UC San Diego) Cultural, psychological and applied anthropology, religion, the Caribbean

Faculty members have conducted research projects in Missouri, Oklahoma, Washington, Jamaica, Japan, Brazil, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Guinea-Bissau.

Anthropology faculty have received university awards for excellence in teaching, research and service, as well as fellowships and research grants from the National Geographic Society, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, the Explorer’s Club, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the U.S. Forest Service.


The department is located on the fourth floor of Strong Hall, which has excellent computer facilities, seminar rooms, classrooms with built-in multimedia, and an anthropology teaching laboratory.


The department sponsors an Anthropology Club, which arranges speakers, films, field trips, social events and fund-raising activities, and an anthropology honor society, the Delta of Missouri chapter of Lambda Alpha.

A field school in archaeology is offered in the summer. Advanced training and experience in archaeology and cultural anthropology often are available through faculty projects in Africa, Jamaica,  Mexico, Missouri, and Washington. Opportunities also exist for internships, service-learning, and independent study projects as well as study abroad trips to Jamaica, Ghana, and Guatemala.

The Center for Archaeological Research conducts extensive contract research throughout the state. Currently, three professional archaeologists are employed by the Center, which has offices and research facilities on campus. The Center offers opportunities for volunteer experience and employment, particularly through work-study.

The department offers several scholarships for majors in Sociology and Anthropology. Selection is competitive and based on academic accomplishment, financial need and public service. See the Department web site at http://soc-ant.missouristate.edu for more information.