Anthropology means “the study of people.” It assumes that generalizing about human life takes an integrated study of human biology and culture, past and present, and simple and complex lifeways. Anthropology is composed of four sub-fields. Cultural anthropology describes and explains variation in human cultural and social types. Biological anthropology explains the physical nature and development of humankind, and other primates. Archaeology considers past human life and how societies grow, change, and become extinct. Linguistics (the only sub-field not taught directly in our department) examines human and primate communication processes.
The Anthropology program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive, integrated, and interdisciplinary social science background and to prepare them for a range of careers; our graduates work a variety of fields, from education to public service, marketing and international management, to cultural resources management and museum curation. The department offers minors in cultural anthropology, archaeology, practicing anthropology, and biological anthropology. These programs give the student a holistic and cross-cultural perspective that complements many majors and career goals.