College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Biocultural Concentration

Biocultural Advisor:

Dr. M.J. Mosher

The BA in Anthropology with a Biocultural concentration is a program housed solely in the Anthropology Department and designed for students that are interested in Biological Anthropology and may require more flexibility in scheduling in order to create a curriculum that fits their specific needs. The emphasis of this degree is on the interaction of biological and cultural forces on the human species.

This major is excellent preparation for applied health careers that integrate behavioral sciences and biology. The overall credit requirement is relatively high and thus, ANTH 303 and ANTH 490 are optional.

The Biocultural BA degree has most of the same curricular expectations as the other anthropology degrees. One does not need to take upper division biology, in general, beyond anatomy and physiology and perhaps microbiology, but this degree provides more training in cultural anthropology. Students can receive post baccalaureate training in anthropology or related behavioral science graduate and health-related programs, but for some career tracks additional coursework will be required. Students with this major will be well-situated for further training in any aspect of biosocial anthropology particularly medical or aging specialties, occupational therapy, nursing, public health, rehabilitation therapy and so on.

Transfer students interested in the Anthropology Biocultural major are advised to complete a year of chemistry and biology before entering the the program. Fulfilling these courses prior to entering Western may considerably shorten the many quarters necessary to complete the major. Students are welcome to contact our Department Office at (360) 650-3620 or the Biology Department for more information and advisement.

Mid-Program Checkpoint

Students seeking to complete a BA degree in anthropology with a Biocultural concentration within a four-year time span should have completed the following courses by the start of their junior year. Major omissions from this list will make it difficult or impossible to complete this degree within two additional years.

  • BIO 204, 205 & 206; CHEM 121, 122 & 123 OR CHEM 125, 126, 225; ANTH 201 and 210 and either ANTH 335 OR ANTH 301

Students are eligible to declare an anthropology major once they successfully complete the following core courses: Anth 201 and 301, plus one of the following: Anth 210 or 215 or 247.


Anthropology - Biocultural Concentration - BA  (95 Credits)

Anthropology requirements as follows:

ANTH 201 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 210 - Introduction to Archaeology (5cr)
ANTH 215 - Introductory Biological Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 247 - Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology (5cr) - (LING 201 (5cr) or 204 (4cr) may be substituted)
ANTH 301 - Anthropological Theory (5cr)
ANTH 303 - Qualitative Methods in Anthropology (5cr) - optional
ANTH 335 - Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 350 - The Ecology of Human Variation (5cr)
ANTH 424 - Medical Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 490 - Senior Seminar in Anthropology (5cr) - optional
ANTH 496 - Portfolio Assembly (1cr)

BIOL 204 - Introduction to Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity (5cr)
BIOL 205 - Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (5cr)
BIOL 206 - Introduction to Organismal Biology (5cr)
BIOL 348 - Human Anatomy and Physiology (5cr)
BIOL 349 - Human Physiology (5cr)

Two courses from:

ANTH 361 - American Indian Perspectives (5cr)
ANTH 362 - Anthropological Perspectives on Asia (5cr)
ANTH 365 - Latin American Perspectives (5cr)
ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology (5cr)
ANTH 423 - Human Evolution (5cr)
ANTH 426 - Human Genetics and Epigenetics for the 21st Century (5)
ANTH 457 - The Anthropology of Death and Dying (5cr)
ANTH 462 - Native Peoples of the Northwest (5cr)
ANTH 463 - Critical Issues in East and Southeast Asia (5cr)
ANTH 465 - Critical Issues in Mexico and Central America (5cr)
ANTH 476 - Borderlands (5cr)

Choose one of the following series:

CHEM 161 - General Chemistry I (5cr)
CHEM 162 - General Chemistry II (5cr)
CHEM 163 - General Chemistry III (5cr)


CHEM 175 - General Chemistry I, Honors (5cr) 
CHEM 176 - General Chemistry II, Honors (5cr)
CHEM 225 - General Chemistry III, Honors (5cr)

Choose either:

CHEM 251 - Elementary Organic Chemistry (5cr)

or all three of the following:

CHEM 351 - Organic Chemistry (4cr)
CHEM 352 - Organic Chemistry (4cr)
CHEM 353 - Organic Chemistry (3cr)

Students are encouraged to further specialize according to their interests by pursuing appropriate course sequences and/or minors outside of the anthropology department, e.g., mathematics with an emphasis on statistics if pursuing epidemiology. Please confer with your advisor, Dr. M.J. Mosher.

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