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Anthropology is the study of people of the past and present in their cultural, biological and material contexts. From human evolution to endangered languages, cultural diversity to health disparities, Anthropology seeks answers to some of today’s most complex questions. How are we alike?  What makes us different? Where are we headed? Our students and faculty are engaged in cutting-edge education and research to further our understanding of the world around us.

Undergraduate program options include a Bachelor’s degree, a minor, and multiple certificates.

Welcome to the Anthropology Community

Anthropology examines the nature and significance of human diversity in its biological, historical, and cultural forms. This examination is both a scientific and a humanistic undertaking. Anthropology thus straddles the social sciences and human biology in its theories and methods and the interpretive traditions of the humanities as well. Anthropology challenges conventional views that regularly mystify, categorize, or essentialize human diversity by race, gender, language, nationality, and class. Inevitably, students of anthropology apply what they learn to understand and ameliorate social conditions here and elsewhere, and to preserve and to interpret cultural resources from the past.

An anthropological perspective on human nature and human diversity is avidly comparative and cross-cultural, relying on assessing the full range of human diversity now and in the past before making generalizations about what it means to be and to act human. By contrast to various popular efforts to reduce human nature to what are perceived to be biological imperatives or constants, anthropology is skeptical of such claims and insists on examining and interpreting the interplay of culture, history, biology, and identity formation.

The Department of Anthropology offers four overlapping subdivisions of anthropology: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

Featured Articles

Admission Diversity Fellows Job Opening

Admission Diversity Fellows Job Opening

Position Name: Admission Diversity Fellows

Mission: The Admission Diversity Fellows are a team of 10 undergraduate students who work for the Undergraduate Office of Admissions, and assist the office with the goal to increase the number of underrepresented students on …

By Adrian Grace
Adrian Grace Adrian Grace
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Advice from an Alum: So it’s the end of the semester….

Seek your pathways

Finals are approaching.

In a perfect world, you have been organized, created a schedule, set achievable goals, studied a little every evening, attended office hours, and found time to exercise, sleep, and socialize.

Or, like I often found myself guilty …

By Samantha La Penna, Class of 2018, Legal Studies & English
Samantha La Penna, Class of 2018, Legal Studies & English Class of 2018, Legal Studies & English
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Featured Resources

The Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) at UMass helps students (and alumni who are not currently in grad school) …

Research Opportunities

The Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) at UMass helps students (and alumni who are not currently in grad school) …

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