Major Spotlight: Columbia Anthropology

To help undecided students get a sense of what different majors are like, this semester Her Campus Barnard/Columbia is doing a series of major spotlights asking people for their thoughts and experiences with different departments.

This week’s major spotlight focuses on the Columbia anthropology major only and not Barnard’s. Thanks to Chabely Jorge (CC '20)  for letting me interview her for this article!

Her Campus: What’s your major?

Chabely Jorge: I am majoring in anthropology.

HC: What do you think of the department overall?

CJ: I think that the department is strong but can always be improved. It's a small department and that comes with both benefits and drawbacks. I wish we had more required classes. We only have three required classes and then the rest you can tailor to your interests. Because it is such a [small] department, I think that you get to know the professors and also get the opportunity to attend events and symposiums that are hosted by the department. One thing that I think is really cool and interesting is that we are invited to the Thesis Symposium that is hosted at the end of the spring semester in which seniors present their thesis project.

HC: What’s something you like about the department?

CJ: I love the events that the department hosts and the variety of professors. You will find professors that have a varying range of interests and research focus. I love the flexibility of a major in anthropology. Even though we have few required courses, it gives you the opportunity to create what you want out of your major. For example, I have tailored my anthropology major around topics of inequality, Latin America and minority communities. These are all things that I am genuinely interested in and the classes we have in the department cater to these varying interest. When the department does not, you are always welcomed to take classes in other departments and they will be flexible in counting those credits towards the major.  

HC: Any advice for people thinking about the major?

CJ: Go to the info session that is hosted. You will be able to ask questions of students and of the head of the department. Reach out to professors in the department—they are always more than willing to answer your questions. If you are able to, take a class in the major or at least go sit in one during shopping week and grab a syllabus. That will allow you to see the direction some courses take throughout the semester.