Anth students in  Environmental Design and Community Development Study Abroad Program in Sicily study the map of abandoned railway in the Simeto River Valley.
Learn about applied and engaged anthropology in the Department of Anthropology's M.A. programs
Undergraduate Student Anna Cash presents her poster at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the UofM campus
Kenny Latta  representing Grow Memphis at South Memphis Farmers Market
After taking Ethnographic Methods, Paul Dygert and Alexandria Spann (undergraduate anthropology majors) collect data for Dr. Trapp's lunch plate analysis study.


Keri Brondo, ChairWelcome to the Department of Anthropology at the University of Memphis! The University of Memphis offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Anthropology. Our Anthropology courses are also perfect electives for students in other fields, such as international studies, international business, sociology, political science, communication, history, and education.

Student involvement is one of our most important goals and we pride ourselves on the close relationship between our faculty and students, and the quality of opportunities we offer our majors. We  lead the campus in enriched learning, including study abroad, community-based research activities, internships, and service learning. We offer outstanding teaching and mentoring by award-winning faculty and feature an Anthropology Club, awards for student scholarship and service, Honors and Fresh Connections classes, resources for student research, and travel support for majors participating in professional conferences.

The Department of Anthropology offers one of the nation's leading M.A. programs in applied anthropology. Graduate students in our program receive training in core areas of theory, research methods, data analysis and application. Our students successfully pursue careers in government, nonprofit, and private sectors in healthcare, community development, health administration, cultural heritage preservation, and environmental management. Our program also prepares students to move on to doctoral study in anthropology and other fields.

We have nine full-time professors and five part-time instructors whose diverse research interests range from food systems, healthcare, immigration, biological anthropology, community development, organizational anthropology, and conservation and environmental justice/rights in the Memphis area, the larger United States, and globally. Our faculty are frequently recognized with university, community, and national awards for their excellence in teaching, research, and engaged scholarship. Our professors also hold positions on several boards for the university, anthropological organizations and community activist groups.

Our department is unique in that our BA and MA alumnae stay connected with other alumnae and faculty/staff over the course of their careers. We have alumnae and student groups on Facebook and LinkedIn so that our alums and community partners can relay job and professional development opportunities. It is because of these connections that the vast majority of our MA graduates find immediate employment as practicing anthropologists post graduation.

Stay tuned for department news and updates on our twitter @memphisanthro, Facebook Memphis Anthropology, our university website, and through our LinkedIn network

If you have any questions regarding our department please contact us at 901.678.2080 or come see us in 316 Manning Hall, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152.

Best Regards,
Keri Brondo, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology Chair


What is Anthropology and what does training in Anthropology do for you?

Anthropology is the study of humankind. Anthropologists explore the culture, evolution, behavior, beliefs and social organization of peoples around the world in prehistoric, historic, and contemporary contexts.

Anthropology majors develop cross-cultural communication, human relations, critical thinking, writing, analysis, evaluation, problem-solving, planning, and community outreach skills. It is an ideal field to prepare for jobs that require people skills, and understanding of multicultural and institutional dynamics. The minor in Anthropology is also valuable for those planning to work with diverse national and international populations.



We, the faculty and students of the University of Memphis Department of Anthropology, are committed to applying our discipline to the understanding and potential redress of local, national, and international problems rooted in a lack of awareness of and/or respect for cultural difference. Faculty members draw from their publicly-engaged research to provide quality instruction and other forms of support for students seeking to effect positive change through anthropologically-informed careers.


To be among the leading applied anthropology programs in the country, preparing undergraduate and graduate students for career success in local, national, and global job markets.

To apply anthropological theory and methods within individually-run and collaborative research projects geared toward understanding and potentially solving the complex social problems besetting the region, nation, and world.

To ensure that students, through comprehensive study and application of anthropological theory, understand and value human diversity.

To expand anthropological theory through insights from our applied work.


Character and integrity. Acting with honesty and respect towards others.

Scholarship. A commitment to academic rigor, critical inquiry, and interdisciplinary outreach in research and writing.

Open, fair-mindedness. Celebrating our common humanity but also the many forms of human diversity. Defending the right to diversity through taking action against social injustice.

Community engagement and service. Applying knowledge towards improving life on the local, national, and international level; working collaboratively with others to problem-solve.

Education. Encouraging critical inquiry, lifelong learning, and civic engagement in our students. Sharing our skills and values not only with students but also the broader community.


Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology have the opportunity for training in three of the four subfields: cultural and biological anthropology, and archaeology. Students can also take advantage of numerous opportunities for enriched learning such as internships, service-learning, and study abroad. Students with diverse interests will find anthropology to be a stimulating major or minor, with relevance for understanding pressing real world issues. In our last Senior Exit Survey students were 100% satisfied with the accessibility of faculty and 94% satisfied with the quality of teaching.

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Anthropology join a nationally-recognized applied program. Students benefit from opportunities to work directly with local organizations, and gain experience in community development, environmental justice and sustainability, cultural identity and heritage, health disparities, healthcare systems, health risk and business anthropology. The networks, knowledge, and experience students build is invaluable for future employment. In a 2014 survey, 90% of alumni from the MA program reported that they were satisfied with the quality of their education, and over 84% say their MA plays a significant role in their overall career satisfaction.


Private gifts are increasingly important to our continued success. Every investment we receive from our alumni and friends makes a critical difference in our ability to remain competitive with our peer institutions.
Your gift to the Anthropology Department will help us:

  • Provide additional scholarship dollars and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students
  • Support student professional memberships and conference travel
  • Increase graduate stipends
  • Attract and retain high-caliber students and faculty members

Some examples of what your gift can do:

  • $60 or $5/month supports a student membership at the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) or the American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • $180 or $15/month would fund both our Outstanding Senior Scholarship Award and a student membership in SfAA
  • $250 or $20/month funds our Outstanding Engaged Community Service Award and networking reception for students and the Department's Community Advisory Board
  • $560 or $50/month covers the full cost of attending the AAA or SfAA annual meetings
  • $1000 or $85/month provides 1 year support for the recipient of the Tim Bolding Scholarship in urban anthropology

If you would like to Make a Gift please click HERE and thank you for your support.

Tim Bolding Award

If you would like to Make a Gift specifically to the Tim Bolding Award, which honors Tim's lifetime of helping students and our community, follow the steps below after clicking HERE:

  • Choose "Greatest Need"
  • Click on "Fund Not Listed"
  • Enter your information and gift by following the prompts.
  • Enter "Tim Bolding Award" in the special instructions

Tim Bolding Award