Anthropology is the most interdisciplinary field in the social sciences. We are scientists when we conduct radiocarbon dating, analyze microscopic plant remains and engage in evolutionary arguments regarding the origins of modern humans. Analyses of ancient rock art, language and culture, and art and architecture are more aligned with the humanities.

To embrace our human diversity in both past and present, we remain the only field of study that examines social change from our earliest origins in Africa to the present through the study of our rich social, linguistic, biological, historical and archaeological heritage. Our department is unique in the Washington metro area for its long-standing commitment to the anthropology and archaeology of Native Americans and our close collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution.

Anthropologists and archaeologists respect the dignity of all human beings, probing complex philosophical and ethical questions about the nature of humanity, and whether there is a moral order underlying our diverse life ways.

Our department offers an Anthropology major and minor, and a new Archaeology major.


  • Students in anthropology class with skeleton

    Anthropology (B.A.)

    Anthropology is the study of human diversity from the Paleolithic to the present, how humans form and think about communities, how they make a living, impact the environment, communicate, and express themselves in art, religion, language, and in practical activities.

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  • Students in anthropology class with artifacts

    Archaeology (B.A.)

    As an archaeology student, you will study the history of human cultural development, from the stone tool and cave art of early modern homo sapiens through the growth of complex pre-industrial agricultural societies. You will learn analysis and field investigation techniques while taking courses that cover survey, excavation, preservation, and cataloging of artifacts and human remains from historic and prehistoric sites.

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  • Minor in Anthropology

    Students can minor in Anthropology by taking six courses in those fields (introductory, core, or elective). Any six courses are acceptable, though it is possible to build thematic tracks according to student interest.

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  • Minor in Global Migration and Refugee Studies

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  • Minor in Latin American and Latino Studies

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