Department Information - Anthropology

Anthropology is a social science that seeks to understand and explain human cultural, behavioral, and biological variation through time and space. This gives anthropology a wide reach and has resulted in the formation of three subdisciplines: cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology. Cultural anthropology concentrates on modern human culture and behavior. Archaeology examines cultural and behavioral variation over time through the material culture of past people. Biological anthropology studies the biological evidence for human evolution, encom­­passing everything from the study of modern non-human primates to the earliest stages of mammalian fossil evolution. The objective of the Anthropology major is to train the student in all three subdisciplines while allowing the student to concentrate in a specific subdiscipline.

Students with a degree in anthropology take several postgraduate paths. Some continue their anthropology training in graduate schools, many at the finest graduate schools in the country. Others pursue, for example, medical school or conservation studies.

The undergraduate program introduces the student to the general field of anthropology, its branches, its theories and methods, and its relation to the other social sciences, the humanities, and the natural sciences. The curriculum emphasizes the fields of cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology. Students often have the opportunity to pursue coursework in any of the three fields in different cultural settings. Interested students should contact the director of under-graduate studies for details.