College of Social and Behavioral Science
Department Office: 102 William Stewart Building
Mailing Address: 270 S. 1400 E. Rm. 102, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0060
Department Chair: Leslie A. Knapp, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Advisor: Shawn W. Carlyle, Ph.D.
Graduate Advisor: Jack M. Broughton, Ph.D.
Anthropology is the comparative study of people and their ways of life across the full temporal and spatial range of human experience. Our Department has special expertise in archaeology, genetics, behavioral and evolutionary ecology, primatology and demography. Our regional expertise is strong in Africa, Australia, Oceania, Latin America and North America. Active research is carried out on hunter-gatherer ecology, North American, African and Oceanic ethnology and archaeology, as well as human and nonhuman primate molecular and population genetics. Special facilities and laboratories include the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Archaeological Center, ancient and modern DNA laboratories, zooarchaeology and isotope laboratories. We have a relatively small, but influential faculty, four of whom are members of the National Academy of Sciences. Many faculty members do research that crosses disciplinary and sub-disciplinary lines, and we encourage students to do the same.
Please see the Anthropology B.A., B.S., and Minor listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.
The undergraduate program has three principle aims. It provides an interesting and imaginative course of study for those desiring a liberal, but rigorous, education and a better understanding of human biological and cultural experience through space and time. It provides a major for those interested in pursuing a graduate degree in anthropology or an advanced professional degree, such as medicine or law. It also provides a minor for students desiring an anthropological component to their general education in any department or college of the University. A minor in anthropology may supplement a professional degree in allied fields such as psychology, education, sociology, or biology or in certificate programs such as criminology and corrections, or international relations.
Anthropology Major with Health Emphasis
The department of Anthropology offers a special program that provides excellent preparation for the pre-med student. Medical schools want students who appreciate the interactions between biological, environmental and social factors influencing health and illness. A recent Newsweek article on the topic summarized this trend by saying that, “medical educators are looking beyond biology and chemistry majors in the search for more well-rounded students who can be molded into caring and analytic doctors.” This perspective is shared by the University of Utah School of Medicine’s office of Admissions and by other health profession schools in Utah and nationwide.
Integrative Human Biology Minor
While a more general Anthropology minor may be taken by students desiring an anthropological component in their general education in any Department or College of the University, or in Certificate programs, such as International Relations, the Integrative Human Biology (IHB) minor offers a program focusing on humans, evolution and ecosystems. The IHB minor is interdisciplinary and jointly taught with Biology.
The University of Utah offers unique experiences at specialized Field School. Undergraduates in Anthropology and related subjects may choose to participate in their summer programs to enhance their research experience or to collect data for a University Research Opportunity Program (UROP) or an Honors Summer project. Programs in archaeological field techniques are held at various locations around the U.S. One class, sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Natural History Museum of Utah is held at Range Creek Canyon in east central Utah. Another program at Eagle Lake Field Station in California offers students the opportunity to learn modern archaeological method and theory and lab techniques in an ongoing field research program. A Primate Field School is also offered to train students in the basic methods of behavioral observation and field research. Additionally, a Study Abroad in Tonga program is taught by one of the Department’s Cultural Anthropologists each summer.
Students pursuing a major in anthropology must complete at least 18 credit hours in anthropology at the University of Utah. Students pursuing a minor must complete at least 12 credit hours in anthropology at the University of Utah.
Please see the Anthropology M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. listed in the Program and Course Offerings section.
The graduate program encompasses the full breadth of anthropology, and programs leading to the M.A./M.S. or Ph.D. degree allow students to concentrate their study in one area of research specialization. This pattern enables students to become involved in research early in their graduate training and, at the same time provides considerable flexibility in the specific details of individual program development. Current research tracks include evolutionary ecology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Currently the faculty has substantial expertise in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
There are additional admission requirements for these programs. Please see degree pages for more information.
Fellowships and Assistantships
Contact the department office for information.
Program and Course Offerings