What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humankind. Anthropologists employ prehistoric, historic, and contemporary perspectives to explore the culture, evolution, behavior, beliefs and social organization of peoples around the world. The discipline offers a comparative understanding of lifeways around the planet and seeks strategies for improving humans' quality of life in a global context.

American Anthropology is generally divided into four related sub-fields: socio-cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, anthropological archaeology, and anthropological linguistics. At times referred to as the most holistic social science, anthropology is made up of a diverse community of scholars and practitioners who typically receive training in several if not all of these sub-fields.

The University of Memphis offers two Anthropology degrees:

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.

See how past undergraduates are using their anthropology degrees!

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Applied 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.

Find out how to get started today.