Anthropology is a really unique major that most students going into college don’t consider. It has many subfields that can be applied in almost any job field. The courses at Stony Brook are fun and interesting and the professors are enthusiastic and caring. Here are five reasons why you should major in anthropology at Stony Brook University.
1. You’re not alone
This reason sounds weird, right? But anthropology is not a common major choice, in fact, it’s pretty uncommon. The amount of anthropology majors you’ll find at your school is way way less than the amount of biology majors. Sometimes it feels lonely when you know you’re one of three or five people in that major, and it becomes harder to complete that major because there’s not a lot of support from your college. At Stony Brook, it’s the opposite. There are almost 200 anthropology majors and minors, and we even have a club for it. The undergraduate body of anthropology majors and minors is lively and outspoken, and you’ll feel connected.
2. Great professors
The anthropology department at Stony Brook boasts some amazing professors. From Professor Russo, who has her own functional morphology lab and researches human evolution, to Professor Wright, who has worked extensively with primates in Madagascar, there’s a professor for everyone’s interests. The professors in the anthropology department are actively involved in different fields of research, frequently travel the world to research or excavate, and give talks and speeches on their adventures. It’s really cool.
3. The Undergraduate Anthropology Society
The Undergraduate Anthropology Society is an on-campus club dedicated to bringing anthropology minors and majors together to bond and talk about things they’re interested in. They meet every other Wednesday in the Undergraduate Anthropology lounge from 1-2pm. In the past, they’ve had halloween parties, discussed conspiracy theories, and talked about study abroad programs. And sometimes there’s free food.
4. It’s a small major
An anthropology major at Stony Brook is only 36 credits, so in comparison with other majors (60 credits or more), it’s a really small major. You’ll be finished with your anthropology degree usually by the end of sophomore or the beginning of junior year, and then you can spend the rest of that time focusing on a minor, doing research, or applying to graduate school.
5. The courses are interesting
The courses offered at Stony Brook for anthropology majors are super interesting. Of course it depends on what you’re interested in, but there are courses for every aspect of anthropology. If you’re interested in the biological and scientific side of anthropology, we have courses like Human Osteology and Comparative Primate Anatomy. If you’re interested in the more cultural side of anthropology we have Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and courses discussing cultures in different parts of the world. If you’re interested in forensics we have a course on Forensics and Human Anatomy. There’s something for everyone.
6. Great study abroad programs
Part of being an anthropologist is going out and doing field work. The best experiences are out on the field, and Stony Brook offers some really cool study abroad programs for this. There’s one in Kenya, in the Turkana Basin Institute where you can learn about human evolution and dig up hominin remains. And there’s one in Madagascar where you can learn about primates and primatology and study one of the coolest primates: lemurs!
After all these reasons, being an anthropology major seems pretty cool, doesn’t it? There’s already a community here, and the professors and courses offered are great. This way, you don’t have to feel weirded out about choosing a unique major, because your one in a whole network of people interested in the same thing as you.