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 comprised 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. Archaeology considers past human life and how societies grow, change, and become extinct. Linguistics examines human communication processes.
The anthropology major at the University provides students with a broad social and behavioral science background and prepares the student for a range of careers, from public service to marketing and international management. The department also offers minors in cultural anthropology, archaeology, practicing anthropology, and biological anthropology. These programs give the student a holistic and cross-cultural perspective to complement most majors.
The Department of Anthropology has a number of special programs and resources. An annual summer archaeological field school provides experience in archaeological excavation and analysis. The microfiche and on-line human relations area files in the Burritt Library Serials department is an easy-to-use system for cross-cultural research. There is also an extensive collection of human skeletal materials and fossil casts for education in biological anthropology. Extensive internship opportunities and summer field schools in cultural anthropology are also available.