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First-Year Focus

Welcome! Below, you can find answers to some questions you might have about anthropology at Northwestern.

What is anthropology?

Anthropology draws upon the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to answer compelling questions about humankind:

Why study anthropology?

Today’s world is changing and shrinking. By studying anthropology, you will develop an understanding of cultures around the world and across time. Understanding cultural, biological, and linguistic differences and similarities is central to almost any career. Read about career paths and options.

What makes Northwestern’s Department of Anthropology special?

The Department is strong in a wide variety of fields:

Undergraduate students have access to:

A partnership with the Chicago’s Field Museum. Students in this joint program can participate in the field and collections projects directed by Northwestern University and/or Field Museum anthropologists.

Get started studying anthropology

Explore your course options and take a class. Anthropology students also have opportunities to study outside of the classroom in a laboratory-setting or through field studies around the world.

Down the road, you may want to focus on anthropology by becoming an anthropology major or minor. You can also pursue a concentration in human biology.

Foundational Discipline courses available to first-year students


Natural Sciences

ANTHRO 213- Human Origins

Social & Behavioral Sciences

ANTHRO 211- Culture and Society

ANTHRO 214- Archaeology: Unearthing History

ANTHRO 215- The Study of Culture through Language

ANTHRO 221- Social and Health Inequalities

Ethical & Evaluativew Thinking

ANTHRO 232- Myth and Symbolism


Click here for a full list of Foundational Discipline course offerings