Anthropology: A 21st Century Major

Anthropology is the holistic study of the human experience.  What this means is that Anthropologists share an interest in all aspects of being human, both in today’s world and in the past.  Our field exists at the intersection of the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and the Natural Sciences, and appeals to a diverse group of students who come to Anthropology from many different backgrounds with diverse life experiences and varied intellectual interests.

Anthropologists explore the…

  • Global diversity of human cultures,
  • History and prehistory of human groups,
  • Linguistic diversity and modes of communication of people and groups,
  • Biological diversity and evolutionary history of humans and our primate relatives.

The study of Anthropology provides students with the intellectual and practical skills for navigating our complex, global, 21st century world by…

  • Encouraging cross-cultural and international experiences and providing a means for understanding cultures and ways of life, our own as well as others,
  • Combining classroom study with real world experience via field schools, involvement in faculty research in the field and the lab, and internships in the broader community and workplace,
  • Providing a broad Liberal Arts education emphasizing critical thinking, close reading, and both persuasive and analytical writing skills,
  • Exploring the meanings of human diversity across both time and space, including biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity.

Studying Anthropology can be a transformative experience for many students. While not all Anthropology majors will become practicing anthropologists, many will find that their anthropological education informs their personal life, their career choices, and even the way they see the world long after graduation.

This program is being discontinued pending SACSCOC approval and is not accepting applications for admission. The University is still authorized to offer the program and issue the associated credential for students who are currently enrolled in the program.

Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology (or Social Anthropology) is the study of behavior, material objects, traditions, practices, beliefs and values within societies.  Cultural anthropologists seek to understand cultural, political, economic, and environmental dynamics at local, national, regional and global levels.  Cultural anthropology has an applied perspective whereby anthropologists seek local solutions to contemporary problems in such fields as education, business, the environment, health, human rights and social justice.

Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology (or Physical Anthropology) is the study of the biology of living and fossil humans and the other members of the Order Primates. It utilizes an explicitly evolutionary approach to understand Homo sapiens as a member of the biological world. It includes subspecialties like paleoanthropology, skeletal biology, forensics, primatology, genetics, and human biology.


Archaeology is the study of human behavior and human societies as revealed by the recovery and analysis of the material culture and evidence of the environmental context of human existence in the historic and prehistoric past. The archaeological record begins several million years ago with the first stone tools, and continues to be formed today by a multitude of activities of modern humans.

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