What are the research opportunities for anthropology majors at The College of Wooster?

Faculty members in anthropology at The College of Wooster have ongoing research projects in North and Latin America, Africa, East Asia and the Mediterranean and focus areas that include medical anthropology, gender and sexuality, witchcraft and religion, linguistic anthropology, educational anthropology and evolutionary theory. Because all students at The College of Wooster complete a senior Independent Study project, undergraduates work directly with faculty mentors to complete original research of their choosing.

Anthropology at The College of Wooster

The Anthropology and Sociology programs at Wooster are closely affiliated. The programs emphasize the value of learning how to deal with contemporary social and cultural issues and how to develop problem-solving and research skills. Students have abundant opportunities to learn and conduct research outside the classroom, including a course taught once a year in a juvenile prison and semester programs abroad. Students can opt to be part of a 3-2 program with Case Western Reserve University, allowing them to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work in five years. Wooster graduates in anthropology often go on to graduate school or pursue careers in education, law, public administration, public health, business, and medicine.

Learn about Sociology at Wooster

Faculty & Staff

Christa Craven

Christa Craven

Professor of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies; Sociology and Anthropology (on leave 2022-23 academic year)


Elizabeth Derderian

Beth Derderian

Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Museum Studies


Heather Fitz Gibbon

Heather Fitz Gibbon

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology; Department Chair of Urban Studies


Pam Frese

Pam Frese

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Setsuko Matsuzawa

Setsuko Matsuzawa

Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology and Sociology; East Asian Studies


David McConnell

David McConnell

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Michael Miyawaki

Michael Miyawaki

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology (On Leave Spring 2023)


Olivia C. Navarro-Farr portrait

Olivia Navarro-Farr

Associate Professor of Archaeology; Sociology and Anthropology; Program Chair for Archaeology


Anne Nurse

Anne Nurse

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Siavash Samei

Siavash Samei

Visiting Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology, Middle Eastern & North African Studies


gray silhouette outline of a person

Santha Schuch

Administrative Coordinator - Africana Studies, Archaeology, East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern & North African Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, South Asian Studies, Urban Studies, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Zareen Thomas

Zareen Thomas

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology; Latin American Studies; Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies


Tom Tierney

Thomas Tierney

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Latest Anthropology News

Kayla Stevens '23

Anthropology major’s internship experience featured in illustrated article in Anthropology News

Kayla Stevens ’23, a senior anthropology major at The College of Wooster, recently shared her experience as a Louise Lamphere Intern in Washington, D.C. […]

Wooster professor speaks with History Channel about holiday traditions during World War II

As the holiday season approaches, an article published by the History Channel discussing holiday traditions during World War II highlighted the work of Pam […]

Maud Bulman headshot

APEX Fellowship | Maud Bulman

Major: Anthropology Class Year: 2023 Organization: Trinity United Church of Christ As an intern at Trinity United Church of Christ I will be analyzing […]

Brianna Lyman Headshot

APEX Fellowship | Brianna Lyman

Majors: Anthropology and Biology Pathway: Digital & Visual Storytelling Class Year: 2023 Organization: Trinity United Church of Christ Interning at Trinity Church of Christ […]

More Anthropology Articles


Anthropology explores the variety of human groups and cultures that have developed across the globe and throughout time. Anthropologists hope that by seeing ourselves in the mirror of alternative cultural and historical possibilities, we can come to a better understanding of our own assumptions, values and patterns of behavior.

Students who major in anthropology take 12 major-specific courses in addition to foundational courses in the liberal arts and electives. After taking Introduction to Anthropology, majors delve into courses including Ethnographic Research, People & Cultures, Physical Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology. Archeology and sociology courses are popular related areas of study.

View Courses


To earn a minor in Anthropology, students complete six courses, including:

  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • People and Cultures
  • Physical Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology or Intro to Archaeology (choose one of the three)
  • Enthnographic Research or Social Statistics (choose one)
  • And two additional elective Anthropology courses
View Courses

Independent Study

In the senior year, each student works with a faculty mentor to conduct an intensive investigation of a subject of the student’s choosing, which results in the senior Independent Study thesis.  Recent students have investigated folklore and oral traditions in rural Ohio, the place of dreams in the Sioux culture, and tuberculosis as a symptom of poverty in Ecuadorian society.

View the IS Handbook for Sociology and Anthropology


Search the I.S. Database

Student Year I.S. Title Major 1 Major 2 Advisor
Please search to view results

Related Articles

Megan Tuennerman '22

Wrong-way Icelandic puffins lead student researcher to follow the right path

“I met a grandfather who climbed over a 6-foot-tall fence to rescue a puffin. It’s not that they devote their lives to these birds, […]

head shot of Shelby Jones

PaleoliTHICC: Understanding the Woman of Willendorf using contemporary fat studies

Name: Shelby Jones Major: Anthropology Minor: History Advisor: Dr. Siavash Samei; Dr. Beth Derderian (second reader) My research focused on the Woman (“Venus”) of Willendorf figurine, one of […]

Kate Read

Forming National Identity through Commemoration: Representation within Postage Stamps at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

Name: Kate Read Major: Anthropology Minor: Art History Advisors: Dr. Elizabeth Derderian & Dr. Zareen Thomas This independent study focuses on the idea of forming a national identity […]

Audrey Holder

Meat Your Vegetables: An Exploration into Food Sustainability on a Small Liberal Arts Campus

Name: Audrey Holder Major: Anthropology Minor: Environmental Studies Advisors: Seiko Matsuzawa, Heather Fitz Gibbon (second reader) There have been several studies that link food […]


Many anthropology majors from The College of Wooster go on to complete graduate study in anthropology, but many others pursue careers in education, international development, law, social work, public administration, business, English as a Second Language (ESL), counseling, medicine, or museum studies.

Related Articles

Sara Artes '03

Anthropology alumna expands public knowledge of underrepresented stories

Sara Artes ’03 oversees the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling cultural and historical exhibitions


Stieglitz Memorial Fund

Established in 1989 in memory of Martin Stieglitz, a sociology major at The College of Wooster who died in an off-campus apartment fire in the spring semester of 1989, this fund supports an on-campus lecture by a prominent sociologist or anthropologist. Stieglitz Lecturers are selected by department faculty members and invited to speak at an event for students and members of the Wooster community.

Stieglitz Lecturers in past years have included:

2019: Patrick J. Carr, Billy Clubs and Terry Stops: Minority Youth Experiences of Police

2018: Matthew W. Hughey, White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race

2017: Lieth Mullings, Engaged Anthropology: Race, Racism, and Social Movements in the Americas

Faculty Emeriti

gray silhouette outline of a person

Robert Blair

Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology

gray silhouette outline of a person

Charles Hurst

Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology