Anthropology

“Anthropology, it is frequently noted, makes the familiar strange and the exotic quotidian. Off-campus study whether it be near or far, can offer the same.”
– Jason Pribilsky, Associate Professor

Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership. We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help Anthropology students…

  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Develop an awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Gain primary research skills from field studies and work with primary sources, such as collecting ethnographic data or working with archeological collections.
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Improve or acquire foreign language skills

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Anthropology department?

  • Field study program with the opportunity to engage in research with the local community
  • Programs that provide an opportunity for in-depth exploration of the ethnography or archaeology of another region
  • Programs that help students gain proficiency in another language
  • Programs that offer an opportunity for independent study research

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Anthropology prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • During off-campus studies students can improve foreign language skills, practice social science research methods, and acquire an in-depth understanding of a country or region. 
  • Prepares students for future work in diverse communities.

Which requirements can Anthropology majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • Research that can inform the Senior Thesis

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the Anthropology Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year and second-year students are encouraged to take ANTH 101 Paleoanthropology: An Introduction to Archaeological and Physical Anthropology and ANTH 102 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.  Additionally, the student should take as much of the language of the study abroad destination as possible in preparation.
  • If possible prior to study abroad, anthropology majors should enroll in an ethnographic/field methods course such as: ANTH 337 Regional Ethnographic Fieldwork: Researching and Writing Culture 4 or SOC 207 Social Research Methods.
  • Prior to the senior year, it is recommended that anthropology majors complete ANTH 318 History and Theory in Anthropology.

Credit Limitations

A maximum number of 12 credits can be applied to the anthropology major from off-campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions) with the approval of your major adviser.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Anthropology department?

Students with a strong interest in cultural anthropology should consider SIT and other programs with a field component.  Students with an interest in archaeology should consider universities and programs that offer archaeology, such as IFSA-Butler National University of Ireland at Galway and College Year in Athens.

Advising Support

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.