Student Opportunities

As an anthropology major you will have many opportunities for hands-on experiences—travel-based courses, fieldwork, service learning, clubs and honor societies.

Travel Courses

As an anthropology major, you might participate in spring term travel courses like “Inca Archaeology and Cultural Ecology” in Peru or “Peoples and Cultures of Ecuador.”

Students who’ve taken the Peru course lived with families in Cusco, on Islands in Lake Titicaca, and in a remote village above the “Sacred Valley.” In the village of Ampay they worked side by side with the locals in harvesting and processing native plants into medicines. Students in the “Peoples and Cultures of Ecuador,” also stayed with local families, worked with latchkey children, visited the home of a curandera, climbed mountains, rode horses with gauchos, and visited the oldest continuous market in the country, predating the Incas.

Local Fieldwork

Closer to home, you can learn about the history of Alma through an analysis of material culture.  Archaeology students have conducted mortuary analysis at Riverview cemetery. Recently, independent study students created a museum at a local nature area. In Spring Term 2014, Dr. Bonhage-Freund introduced the field of archaeology through classroom, laboratory and field experiences in Michigan Archaeological Fieldwork. The students excavated the site of “Old Main,” to document, preserve and interpret the artifacts and features they uncovered, and brought Alma College history to life.


Service Learning

Our program emphasizes service learning. In recent semesters, we’ve visited a local nursing home to create “Food Memory Biographies” of and for the residents. A first year seminar planned and staged an Ecuadorian banquet fundraiser for an after-school program in Ecuador, after studying that culture’s cuisine. Archaeological fieldwork courses teach schoolchildren about archaeology.

Clubs & Honor Societies

Outside of class, our student-run anthropology club offers field trips to archaeology day festivities, panel discussions on depictions of ethnic groups in Disney films, social activities and more.

We also have an honor society for outstanding anthropology students. If you qualify, you may be granted membership in the Delta of Michigan chapter of Lambda Alpha, the national anthropology honor society.