University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400120
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4120
(434) 924-7044 Fax: (434) 924-1350
Overview Anthropology is the study of culture and cultural diversity throughout the world. It is a broad field that is classically divided into four areas: socio-cultural anthropology, the study of contemporary societies; archaeology, the study of the material remains of past societies; linguistics, the study of the structure and principles of language; and biological anthropology, the study of human evolution and human biological diversity.
Faculty There are currently 28 anthropology faculty members. Six of the faculty are archaeologists who specialize in North American prehistoric and historic archaeology, the ancient Middle East, and Africa. Five are linguists, with particular expertise in African, Native American, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian languages and sociolinguistics. One member of the faculty is a folklorist who focuses on the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The majority of the faculty consists of socio-cultural anthropologists, whose teaching and research interests span the globe. Particular geographical concentrations include the cultures of South Asia, East Asia, Indonesia, Melanesia, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and North America.
Students There are currently about 200 students majoring in anthropology. While this number represents a diverse group of students with a wide range of interests, it is small enough to maintain a high rate of faculty-student interaction. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research, and many have worked with faculty conducting archaeological field and laboratory work.
Upon graduation, some students pursue graduate degrees in specialized areas, preparing themselves for careers in teaching, research or applied anthropology. Many go on to careers in law and medicine, aided by their knowledge of anthropological concepts, such as cultural diversity and human evolution. In addition, there are more business opportunities open to the anthropologist today, as our current era of global economics demands the appreciation of different cultural perspectives. Still, many enter educational fields and social services: teaching in the U.S. and abroad; joining the Peace Corps; and working in museums and on archaeological excavations.