Anthropology

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

It’s Majors Week!

Whether you are an exploratory track student seeking a major, or an already declared student who is still exploring, Majors Week is for you!

SBS majors (and majors across campus) are holding info sessions and open houses this week throughout …

By Carol Sharick
Carol Sharick Director of Career and Professional Development for Undergraduates, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Carol Sharick
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Registration Planning?

Before we move into Spring 2022 Registration, please take a moment to check your Spire Student Center.

You’ll find these important boxes on the right side of the page:

Holds – Look here to see if you need to complete …

By Adrian Grace
Adrian Grace Adrian Grace
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What is Anthropology? Senior Speaker Akanksha Nagarkar’21

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Explore Outcomes

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2020 was 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

The SBS Office of Career & Professional Development annually surveys graduating seniors in order to provide a snapshot of their post-graduation plans.  The survey begins just prior to graduation, and continues until six months after graduation.  Our data collection process is guided by the industry standard put forth by the National Association of Colleges & Employers, and includes information collected by the SBS Office of Career & Professional Development, the Office of Institutional Research at UMass Amherst, and by various academic departments, as well as from information that is made publicly available by students.  The SBS undergraduate outcomes knowledge rate for 2020 was 60%, though knowledge rate varies among departments.

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First Destination

SBS graduates pursue a range of plans after graduation, including employment, continuing education, and volunteering/service, among others.  This graph depicts what recent SBS graduates tell us they are doing within six months after graduation.

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