Anthropology, the comparative study of humanity and culture, seeks to explain both diversity and similarity in human behavior around the world.
It is an academic discipline that integrates a number of specialized fields, including physical anthropology, archaeology, social and cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and applied studies of human problems.
Anthropology emphasizes the holistic study of human beings in both the past and the present. Its four sub-fields (sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology) intersect to explain human biological and cultural diversity and provide us with the ability to better understand our own culture in a globalized world. Many courses apply anthropological concepts to real-world problems and solutions.
A major or minor in anthropology opens doors to many fields, including law, medicine, public health, education, social work, criminal justice, international development, diplomacy, communications, management, museum work, and various types of non-profit work. Anthropology is both a STEM science, which introduces students to multiple perspectives on the scientific method, improves scientific literacy, and develops critical thinking, as well as an interpretive endeavor in which the human experience is understood through multiple lines of evidence.
Anthropology also prepares students with the skills necessary in the modern workplace, including communication and cultural awareness, teamwork, problem solving, planning and organization, and both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The holistic approach to culture and biology is especially useful for careers in the medical sciences, while the cross-cultural exposure is essential preparation for students going into professions such as education, business, human services, or international development.
ANTH 101 (Introduction to Anthropology) and ANTH 202 (World Cultures) satisfy the distribution requirement for CASL students in Behavioral and Social Analysis Group A.
Learn more about specific Anthropology and CASL Degree Requirements.
Three courses from those that emphasize the interaction of culture and biology must be included among these 24 hours. These courses are 325, 331, 336, 340, 341, 345, 409, 415, 430, 435, and 482. Students are encouraged to take Anthropology 331 prior to enrolling in the courses with the strongest biological emphasis (336, 340, 341, and 409).
Students must also elect six hours in upper-level courses in cognate areas such as psychology, sociology, linguistics, biology, economics, philosophy, history, literature, and the arts. These courses are to be chosen in consultation with, and have the approval of, the concentration advisor.
For students considering a professional career in Anthropology, it is strongly recommended that a two-term sequence of Anthropology 398-399 be organized as an apprenticeship in collaboration with an Anthropology faculty member. This should take place during the final year of study.
A minor or area of focus in Anthropology consists of 12 hours of courses numbered 300 or above.
Program Goals & Dearborn Discovery Core
- Understand human biological and cultural variation across space and time.
- Understand the concept of culture and what is meant by the cultural construction of reality.
- Understand evolutionary theory, especially as it is applied to humans and non-human primates.
- Understand the interaction of human biology and culture.
- Understand anthropology's distinctive position at the nexus of the sciences and humanities.
- Demonstrate anthropological research skills.
- Apply anthropological concepts and skills to the solution of problems in the local and global context.
- Think critically utilizing anthropology's fundamental concepts and major theories.
- Think holistically and comparatively to understand what it means to be human.
- Understand human biological and cultural variation across space and time.
ANTH 101 Introduction to Anthropology--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 202 Introduction to Archaeology--Social & Behavioral AND Critical & Creative Thinking
ANTH 320 Culture and International Business--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 325 Anthropology Health & the Environment--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 331 Human Evolution--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 341 Human Paleontology--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 350 Prehistoric Archaeology--Social & Behavioral Analysis AND Intersections
ANTH 370 Indians of North America--Social & Behavioral Analysis AND Intersections
ANTH 381 Who Owns the Past--Social & Behavioral AND Upper Level Writing
ANTH 390P Historical Archaeology--Intersections
ANTH 390Q Engaged Urban Anthropology--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 409 Human Body Growth & Health--Critical & Creative Thinking
ANTH 411 Archaeological Lab Methods--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 412 Men and Masculinities--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 415 Nutrition and Health--Social & Behavioral Analysis
ANTH 430 Medical Anthropology--Social & Behavioral Analysis AND Intersections
Full-time Anthropology Faculty
Internship, Co-op, and Research Opportunities
For students considering a professional career in anthropology, it is strongly recommended that a two-term sequence of Anthropology 398-399 be organized as an apprenticeship in collaboration with an anthropology faculty member.
ANTH 410 (Archaeological Field School) and ANTH 411 (Archaeological Lab Methods) provide students the opportunity to participate in primary research projects on and off campus.
Anthropology students frequently present the results of their research at undergraduate research conferences like Meeting of Minds and the Michigan Undergraduate Research Forum, and even at professional meetings.
Students should contact a professor working in their area of interest to discuss classes, research projects, and independent study possibilities. See our Faculty Pages.
Field schools teaching anthropological research methods can be life-changing experiences that provide essential training for careers in anthropology as well as practical field research experience applicable to other professions. Field schools take place all over the world and provide students with training in anthropological methods in archaeology, human paleontology, bioarchaeology, ethnology, linguistics, and primatology. UM-Dearborn students have attended field schools in Australia, Jordan, Kenya, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, France, Ireland, and various sites in the United States. These programs are not required for an Anthropology major or minor, but we encourage you to consider the possibility of such a program.
UM-Dearborn’s Anthropology program helps provide these experiences in two ways. We offer a field school scholarship that helps students subsidize the costs of attending a field school in their chosen area. The scholarship program is competitive, and preference is given to students majoring or minoring in anthropology. Anthropology faculty also run their own field schools both locally during the term and internationally over the summer that can be elected for UM-Dearborn credit (see ANTH 410).
More about Field School Opportunities.
The anthropology program sponsors a mentor program in which junior and senior majors assist faculty in teaching introductory classes. Mentors help students use the library, guide students through written assignments and exam preparation, and sometimes lecture or do demonstrations before the class. Participants regularly count this among the high points of their undergraduate experience.
Anthropology students may also be interested in other clubs and organizations in Behavioral Sciences, throughout CASL, and across campus.
The National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA), the student section of the American Anthropological Association, was founded in 1985 to address graduate and undergraduate student concerns and to promote the interests and involvement of students as anthropologists-in-training.
- UM-Dearborn Club:
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org