Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Anthropology as a Discipline

Anthropology is the study of human beings and seeks to understand humankind from millions of years ago to the present day. Anthropologists consider how human behavior changes over time, and how people and cultures are both different and the same. Anthropology examines the human condition in scientific and interpretive ways, providing students with the tools to understand cultural diversity and solve pressing problems associated with cross-cultural communication.

Anthropology Program

The Anthropology program at Auburn University takes a four-field approach to the study of the human condition, offering courses in archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Students majoring in anthropology will sample the variety of topics within the discipline while gaining specialized knowledge in each of the four fields. Classes are generally small to allow for an intimate exchange of knowledge between faculty and students.

Students may major or minor in Anthropology and introductory classes are offered in Auburn's core curriculum exposing all students to topics integral to diversity and global studies. With an undergraduate degree in Anthropology, students can continue their academic work in a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences at the graduate level, or prepare for a profession in government, the non-profit and educational sectors, or industry. Anthropologists forge careers in archaeology, cultural resource management, environmental and human impact assessment, analysis, policy making and analysis, and research, among others.

The Anthropology Faculty

The Anthropology faculty hold expertise in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology, with specializations in the environment, medicine, gender and kinship, migration, and southeastern archaeology. Their areas of expertise include the southeastern United States, the Caribbean (the African Diaspora), Mesoamerica, and Asia. Faculty teach courses that cover the four fields, and offer advanced classes in archaeological field problems, environment and development, health and nutrition, human variation, and gender and globalization.