What is Anthropology?

Anthropologists seek to understand the human condition through investigation of biological, cultural, and linguistic diversity in human populations. Anthropology provides perspectives on our origins, on our lived experiences as a species, and on the global challenges we now face.

Why Study Anthropology at UAlberta?

We have a vibrant department and expertise in the four major subfields of the discipline of anthropology: Archaeology, Biological, Linguistic, and Cultural Anthropology. Our faculty members have expertise in a range of societies and cultures, past and present, including First Nations and Métis, and we explore issues related to indigenous societies worldwide. Faculty have expertise and teach about a range of world areas, including North and South America, the Arctic, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We offer courses on theory and method in all four major subfields.

Experience Beyond the Classroom

Many of our Archaeology and Biological Anthropology courses include a laboratory where students identify and interpret artifacts and fossils; we also offer archaeology field school opportunities. Our advanced undergraduate courses in cultural and linguistic anthropology offer students the opportunity to conduct original research including at a summer ethnographic field school in Serbia. Students have the opportunity to present their work at the annual Frucht student conference and to publish in Compass: The Student Anthropology Journal of Alberta.

  • Sub-disciplines within Anthropology

    Archaeology - the study of human activity and history through the recovery and analysis of material culture

    Biological Anthropology [Physical Anthropology] - focuses on the biological and behavioral development of humans; Forensic Anthropology involves using the methods of physical anthropology to solve criminal cases

    Cultural Anthropology - the study and comparison of modern human cultures, typically using the method of first-hand observation and interviewing.

    Linguistic Anthropology - the study of language variation across the world, including cross culture variation in communication practices, and language loss, maintenance and revitalization.

  • What can I do with an Anthropology degree?

    Training in Anthropology provides students with a broad understanding of how human institutions function, including formal and informal economic and political systems, but also the taken-for-granted systems of language and culture. Our students gain skills in writing and critical analysis that are widely useful, and our graduates have pursued careers in law, government administration at all levels, non-profit organizations, cultural management, applied archaeology, and healthcare. We also provide an excellent preparation for further study in anthropology, and many of our graduates have obtained graduate degrees as preparation for careers in research and teaching.

If you're interested in Anthropology, you might also be interested in...

Ethnomusicology Native Studies

Environmental Earth Sciences Religious Studies

Geology Sociology

History and Classics Political Science

Human Ecology Women's and Gender Studies

Human Geography



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