Anthropology Undergraduate Programs

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Anthropology is the study of human beings and their cultures, past and present, throughout the world. The discipline examines and compares the world’s culture patterns in all their variety and studies humans as biological organisms. Through archaeology, it attempts to shed light on the long history and evolution of humans and their ways of life. In these pursuits, anthropologists favor comparative and evolutionary perspectives. As a result, anthropological studies are wide-ranging with respect to topic and far-reaching with respect to both space and time.

A major in anthropology serves the needs of at least three kinds of students:

  1. those who wish to specialize in anthropology or one of its subfields.
    • archaeology
    • ethnology and related sociocultural subjects
    • linguistics
    • physical anthropology
  2. those who seek as part of their liberal arts education to gain a broader understanding of human behavior; and ,
  3. those whose professional or career interests require insight into otherwise unfamiliar peoples and cultures.

A major in anthropology provides a useful and relevant foundation for many kinds of jobs and career interests; visit the American Anthropological Association's "Careers in Anthropology" web pages. Careers in anthropology include numerous types of positions abroad working with people of varied cultural backgrounds, such as community development work in the international field, foreign diplomatic service, international business, and international exchange programs. Additional career tracks include positions in forensic science, museums, the communications field, community cultural projects, urban planning, and other professions. There are opportunities for students majoring in anthropology to develop skills in heritage management, including environmental conservation and archaeological fieldwork for various agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Parks etc..

Collaborative research projects involving faculty and undergraduates are one of the strengths of the program. Opportunities for undergraduates to be directly involved in hands-on learning include arranging internships with a faculty supervisor and/or an on-site supervisor, for example at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Faculty-led research programs include field schools in Senegal and New Orleans; primate research in South Africa; archaeological field projects in Peru and Central America; and an archaeological field school in the Great Lakes region. Under the auspices of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) program, students have participated in an experimental archaeology project involving the butchering of an elk and the inventorying and organization of a large collection of human remains.

For more information please contact the undergraduate advisor:

Jean Hudson
Sabin Hall 225
Phone: 414-229-2821
e-mail: jhudson@uwm.edu