Field Schools in Anthropology

Students in Anthropology have several opportunities to learn the fieldwork process first hand from our faculty in actual fieldwork settings. Through our field school in ethnography and biocultural anthropology in Tanzania students learn fieldwork methods in rural eastern Africa, focusing on health, nutrition, and culture in the context of political and economic changes. Anthropology faculty have also led field schools in Cameroon and Mexico, and students have worked with our faculty on their fieldwork in China and Bolivia. In these actual fieldwork experiences students learn anthropological methods--in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology--and apply them under the guidance of faculty researchers. Other opportunities are available through outside programs.

Students receive one or two course credits for participation in field schools, and the programs may be counted toward graduation in the major and the minor. In addition, student research conducted as part of a field school can, in some cases, be continued or expanded for use in preparing a senior thesis to satisfy the thesis requirement in the Anthropology major. We also encourage participation from students majoring in other, related fields, and in the past such students have expanded their field school research to prepare theses in those fields.

Individual field schools may have unique prerequisites. Usually a minimum requirement is an introductory course in the relevant field of study. Costs, which also vary, usually include tuition, equipment costs, lodging, meals, and transportation while on the field school. Students usually pay separately the costs of transportation between their homes or the College and the field school site. Other costs, such as passports and any needed vaccinations or preventative medications, are also not covered by the costs of individual programs. Dickinson students who are eligible for financial aid should inquire about options for financial assistance at the Financial Aid Office.

Students can ask any Anthropology professor about field schools and fieldwork opportunities. Students can also consult with the Anthropology Department Chairperson.