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
- How did the human species evolve? What is its basic nature, and in what ways is it manifested in different places and times?
- How have biology, language
culture become the defining characteristics of our species? and
- How and why do cultures change over time?
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
What makes Northwestern’s Department of Anthropology special?
The Department is strong in a wide variety of fields:
- African ethnography including research in West, South, and North Africa, Anglophone and Francophone Africa, Islamic and non-Islamic groups, and urban and rural populations.
- In the Americas, we have a concentration in
urbanUnited States. Several faculty focuson political economy along with a comparative perspective on race, gender andyouth culture.
- Archaeology specialties in complex societies and urbanism, in subsistence and political economies, and in gender identity. Regionally the department is strong in Mesoamerica, the Caribbean and African diaspora and England and Europe (AD1200-1800).
Undergraduate students have access to:
- The Laboratory for Human Biology Research, a state of the art laboratory for the study of human population biology. The lab supports primary research as well as the teaching/training of advanced undergraduate students. Members of the lab have ongoing research in Bolivia, Kenya, Siberia, Samoa, the Philippines and
- The Linguistic Anthropology Laboratory, where students in the Linguistic Anthropology concentration study language in society.
- The Geography Program, which is embedded within the Department of Anthropology and provides key resources for research in environmental studies, settlement patterns, geographic information systems, and map making.
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.
Foundational Discipline courses available to first-year students
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