Oct 01, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Record 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED RECORD]


Return to: College of Arts & Sciences: Departments/Programs  

Brooks Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400120
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4120
(434) 924-7044 Fax: (434) 924-1350
Program/Course: Anthropology  

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 societies, past and present; linguistics, the study of the structure and principles of language; and biological anthropology, the study of human evolution, human biological diversity, and the biological basis of human societies.

Faculty There are currently 21 full-time anthropology faculty members. Three 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, Middle Eastern, Native American and Melanesian languages. 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, and the Americas.

Students There are currently about 170 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. 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. In addition, more business opportunities are open to the anthropologist today, as our current era of global economics demands the appreciation of different cultural perspectives and the synthetic nature of the anthropological endeavor provides numerous analytical skills useful across the spectrum of our social system; a recent graduate manages construction sites, others have found their ways to high finance.