Frasier Hall at Sunrise, a new day

What is Anthropology?

Students learning cultural traditions in the classroom

Anthropology is a science of humankind. It studies all facets of society and culture. It studies tools, techniques, traditions, language, beliefs, kinships, values, social institutions, economic mechanisms, cravings for beauty and art, struggles for prestige. It describes the impact of humans on other humans. With the exception of the Physical Anthropology discipline, Anthropology focuses on human characteristics generated and propagated by humans themselves.

Anthropologists are concerned with the origin, history, and future of our own species, so the field is as diverse as people are.

What can I do with a degree in anthropology?

Anthropology students learn to have a highly flexible perspective toward the similarities and differences among peoples and cultures. A degree in anthropology will prepare you for graduate work or for employment in community services or the business sector. KU anthropology graduates work at universities and museums across the nation and with such federal agencies as the National Park Service and the Peace Corps. But as an anthropology major, you need not be limited to such work. Because anthropology is so diverse a discipline, it is excellent preparation for an advanced professional degree in such areas as business, medicine, or law. More and more, employers are seeking students with degrees in the liberal arts for management positions. They want people who can deal with concepts and abstractions, who are imaginative and creative - just the skills that studying anthropology will help you develop.

What degrees are offered?

Undergraduate anthropology majors can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) degree. Both degrees require a generous sampling of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students earning a B.A. also will take courses in a foreign language. Anthropology majors are encouraged to earn the B.A. degree because skill with a foreign language is an asset in a field that can take you anywhere in the world. As an anthropology major, you will take introductory courses in each of the four subdisciplines: archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and linguistics. You also will take specialized upper level courses, at least one of which will have a particular geographic focus.

Academic Advising

For information regarding academic and career advising, please contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies:
Dr. Frederic Sellet
E-mail:  fsellet@ku.edu