two people work in excavation site

Undergraduate Program

The Study of Humanity

Anthropology offers the opportunity to study human existence in the present and the past and to explore how and why humans vary in their behaviors, cultures and biology. Students choose to study anthropology because they want to understand some of the most intriguing and troubling issues faced by modern society: the origin and meaning of ethnic and gender differences; the role of institutions in social, political and economic life; learned vs. innate behavior; the similarities and differences among human societies; and the meaning of religion, community and family.

We offer courses in archaeology, biological anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. Our faculty are active in research around the world and bring a diversity of experiences to their teaching.

  • Faculty research expertise in archaeology includes the origins of food production; the cultures of prehistoric North, Central and South America; African and Central Asian prehistory; environmental archaeology; geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Biological anthropology faculty focus on the evolution of humans and on the ecology, behavior and evolution of nonhuman primates.
  • Sociocultural faculty conduct research on a wide range of topics, including states, societies and beliefs; political ecology, demography, fertility and population; sociolinguistics; medical anthropology and public health; bodies, gender and sexuality; science and technology, mind and cognition; and religion and politics.
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Fall 2020 Anthropology Orientation Virtual Tour

Interested in anthropology? Join TR Kidder, Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, for a virtual tour of the department.

Pandemic Fear Grips Nepal's Remote Villages

Pandemic Fear Grips Nepal's Remote Villages

Major and Minor

Learn more about the Anthropology Major and Minor Requirements

Anthropology Major

Anthropology offers the opportunity to study human existence in the present and the past and to explore how and why humans vary in their behaviors, cultures and biology. Students choose to study anthropology because they want to understand some of the most intriguing and troubling issues faced by modern society: the origin and meaning of ethnic and gender differences; the role of institutions in social, political and economic life; learned vs. innate behavior; the similarities and differences among human societies; and the meaning of religion, community and family. Students may also be drawn to anthropology because of an interest in the human past as recorded in the archaeological and paleoanthropological record, or because of an interest in the function and evolution of the human body, or because of an interest in looking at non-human primates or the close relationships between humans, domesticated animals and plants.

Anthropology Major

Anthropology Minor

Anthropology offers the opportunity to study human existence in the present and the past and to explore how and why humans vary in their behaviors, cultures and biology. Students choose to study anthropology because they want to understand some of the most intriguing and troubling issues faced by modern society: the origin and meaning of ethnic and gender differences; the role of institutions in social, political and economic life; learned vs. innate behavior; the similarities and differences among human societies; and the meaning of religion, community and family. Students may also be drawn to anthropology because of an interest in the human past as recorded in the archaeological and paleoanthropological record, or because of an interest in the function and evolution of the human body, or because of an interest in looking at non-human primates or the close relationships between humans, domesticated animals and plants.

Anthropology Minor

Global Health and Environment Major Track

Global Health, which is a major focus of medical anthropology, concerns itself with the broad ways that humans address and cope with issues of health, illness, and well-being in cross-cultural and cross-temporal perspectives. Because issues of health, healing, and wellness are situated in an environmental context (especially the natural physical environment but also the human built and created environment), it is essential that the study of human health be understood within a broad environmental framework. Within Global Health, students will also have the opportunity to look at the human body within an evolutionary framework, understanding how evolution has shaped the human body and contributed to contemporary patterns of health and disease through course work in human anatomy, paleoanthropology, osteology, genetics, biological development and studies of non-human primates.

Global Health and Environment Major Track

Global Health and Environment Minor Track

Anthropology minors may choose an optional track within the minor called Global Health and Environment if the students’ interests lie primarily within this area of Anthropology. Because this is an optional track within the minor, and not a stand-alone minor, all students enrolling in the track must complete anthropology department requirements as well as fulfilling specific requirements for the track as outlined below.

Global Health and Environment Minor Track

2020 Interim Academic Policies in Anthropology

2020 Interim Academic Policies in Anthropology
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Research Opportunities

In the past, research opportunities in anthropology department labs have included projects in archaeology, paleoethnobotany, geoarchaeology, zooarchaeology, genetic studies, human biomechanics, human osteology, human ecology, and primate studies. Every spring, undergraduate researchers have the opportunity to present at the annual anthropology honors and undergraduate research poster session.

Research in Anthropology

First Year Program: Medicine & Society

Addressing the important social and cultural foundations of health and illness, the Medicine & Society program also emphasizes service and research at health-related sites throughout St. Louis. The foundation of this program is medical anthropology, broadly defined as the study of human health and illness across culture, time, and location. Medical anthropologists examine the role of culture and society in shaping the experience of illness. We seek an understanding of such wide-ranging issues as responses to health threats, alternative medicine in modern society, the ethics of genetic testing and genetic engineering, social and behavioral factors affecting infectious diseases, and the causes of health disparities in the developing world.

Learn more about the Medicine & Society Program

Study Abroad

The Department recognizes and accepts courses from a number of semester or year abroad programs.

Learn more about study abroad
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contact

Have a question? Reach out to Kirsten Jacobsen, the undergraduate program advisor.

Email Kirsten Jacobsen