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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:

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 in Anthropology


Natural Sciences

ANTHRO 213- Human Origins

ANTHRO 275 - Introduction to Forensic Anthropology

ANTHO 309 - Human Osteology

ANHRO 316 - Forensic Anthropology

ANTHRO 375 - Advanced Methods in Forensic Anthropology

ANTHRO 386 - Methods in Human Biology Research

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

ANTHRO 322 - Introduction to Archaeology Research Design & Methods

ANTHRO 326 - Archaeologies of Sustainability and Collapse

ANTHRO 357 - Biocultural Perspectives of Water Insecurity

ANTHRO 382 - Political Ecology

ANTHRO 383 - Environmental Anthropology

ANTHRO 389 - Ethnographic Methods & Analysis

Ethical & Evaluative Thinking

ANTHRO 232- Myth and Symbolism

Historical Studies

ANTHRO 318 - Material Worlds of the Middle Ages

ANTHRO 319- Material Life & Culture in Europe, 1500-1800AD

ANTHRO 327- Historical Archaeology

ANTHRO 370- Anthropology in Historical Perspective


Click here for a full list of Foundational Discipline course offerings