Anthropology is the study of humanity in all its cultural and biological diversity. In the United States, the discipline traditionally includes four fields: archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology, although research increasingly examines questions at the borders of the fields or which span more than one field. The department maintains a commitment to a four-field approach to undergraduate training despite a national trend towards increasing specialization at earlier stages. Anthropology provides essential foundations and perspectives for the study of the social and natural sciences and the humanities, as well as for applied professions such as education, public health, and social work. The Anthropology curriculum emphasizes original research, scholarly writing, informed critical thinking, and the understanding of, and tolerance for diverse cultures and ways of life. The faculty is actively involved in interdisciplinary teaching, interdepartmental collaborative efforts, and individual and team research projects, including many that involve new information technologies, cultural resource management, environmental impact assessment, ethnicity and gender, regional and area studies, and economic development– to name a few. Biological anthropology and archeology host state-of-the art research labs that support student training and research. International field sites are also available for student research. The Department is also committed to involving undergraduate students in ongoing faculty-supported research, and in encouraging independent student-initiated research projects.
Courses and faculty in the Anthropology Department also participate in the new undergraduate Human Biology - BA major, which emphasizes the study of humans in a multidisciplinary framework using behavioral, cultural, social and biological approaches.