Two people kneel in an excavation site surrounded by stones and tools

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.

Major & Minor

About the Major and Minor

With the help of faculty advisors, you can plan courses, pursue research and internship opportunities, and choose from a list of options for studying abroad that fit your interests and career plans. Explore courses in archaeology, biological anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology.

Major & Minor Requirements

Optional Track: Global Health and Environment

Anthropology majors may choose an optional track within the major called Global Health and Environment if the students’ interests lie primarily within this area of Anthropology.

Global Health and Environment Track Requirements

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.

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