What is Applied Anthropology?

Sometimes called the "fifth sub-field", applied anthropology is simply defined as the use of anthropological knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems. Everything from implementing culturally appropriate medical interventions, to mediating between indigenous and conservationist stakeholders, to even designing better products that meet users' needs, anthropologists successfully take on unique roles while serving in the private, public, and non-governmental sectors.

Anthropologists bring methods informed by a robust theoretical heritage that emphasize the importance of understanding locally-contextualized knowledge as well as the impacts of (pre)historical and social forces. Graduate-level training at the University of Memphis draws upon the diverse experience and expertise of faculty while remaining committed to locally-engaged and community-based research and practice. Our nationally recognized Graduate Program is one of the oldest Applied Anthropology programs in the US and is designed to train students to apply the theoretical and methodological foundations you learn in the classroom in professional settings.

Some of our faculty strengths in applied anthropology include:
- Medical Anthropology and Public Health
- Community Development
- Environmental Anthropology
- Political Economy and Ecology
- Race and Social Inequality
- Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies
- Refugee, Migrant, and Immigrant populations
- Environmental Justice and Activism
- Food Systems and Insecurity

Through the practicum experience, the MA in Applied Anthropology provides you with the opportunity to work directly with organizations who benefit from your unique knowledge and, in turn, give you real world experience in the community development, community health, and business arenas. The networks, knowledge, and experience you will build through this first hand learning is invaluable to your future employment prospects after graduating from our challenging, rewarding, and award winning program.