Anthropology explores human diversity through time and space. It is holistic in that it examines the entirety of the human condition including biology, society, culture and language. Anthropology is both historical and comparative, examining cross-cultural information from differing populations and across vast time periods.
Anthropology's four traditional sub-fields are cultural, biological, archaeological and linguistics. Cultural anthropology examines human behavior and cultural diversity from the recent past through the present. Biological anthropology studies evolutionary trends through the fossil record, genetics, and comparative primate behavior. Archaeology reconstructs human behavior through the documentation of material and physical remains. Linguistic anthropology explores how communication and speech vary by social and cultural factors and through time.
Anthropology's contributions can be theoretical and applied. Applied anthropology uses anthropological knowledge to address "real-world" problems and issues.
Our program offers students a general introduction to the cultural, physical and archaeological sub-fields through classroom learning, seminars and hands-on field and laboratory research opportunities. Whether examining fossil casts or modern human bones, studying at the zoo or in villages in Third World villages, digging for artifacts in the field or just facts in the library, our students learn through an interactive engagement with anthropological projects. Our faculty pursues research in development anthropology, DNA analysis, ecological anthropology, forensic anthropology, fossil excavation, Latin American urban anthropology, modern Mayan cultures, and both historic and prehistoric archaeology. Research sites include Central and Latin America, West and East Africa, near Eastern Mediteranean, and Texas. All of these projects offer excellent opportunities for students to participate in primary research working alongside their professors.