Anthropology promotes understanding and appreciation of social complexity and diversity, actively improving the human condition.
Anthropology is the study of human cultures, societies, and behavior in all parts of the world throughout all periods of history. There are four sub-disciplines: archaeology, the study of past cultures and civilizations; socio-cultural anthropology, which is concerned with current cultures of all degrees of complexity; physical anthropology, the biological aspects of the human species; and anthropological linguistics, which is concerned with the scientific study of language and its relationship to thought and society.
Anthropologists study the entire spectrum of human existence from 6.5 million years ago when the first hominid set foot on the African continent, the process of human evolution, domestication of plants and animals, development of civilization, migration to the ends of the earth, and the present day diversity of cultures, religions, economies, and kinship systems seen around the world. Anthropology provides a well-rounded, generalist education that enhances wide career choices and provides students with the ability to critically evaluate theories, options, and actions that affect humankind.
Anthropology provides very broad training in the social sciences. Therefore, a background in Anthropology is useful in any career in which an understanding of people or the societies in which they live is important. Due to the broad nature of the field, students trained in anthropology have followed a wide range of careers. In recent years, our majors have pursued careers in anthropology, archaeology, law, social work, business, theology, library science, writing, museum work, nursing, computer programming, clinical psychology, education and economic development.
International Affairs in Anthropology majors receive excellent preparation for careers in law, foreign service, international development, international business and economics, government and diplomatic service.
Students with course work and practical experience in archaeology, as well as those with graduate degrees in archaeology, have found employment with public agencies and private organizations concerned with cultural resource management.
Special Resources and Programs:
The archaeology faculty focuses on prehistoric North and South America. The cultural anthropologists have extensive field experience in the Middle East, Oceania, Latin America, and North America.
Periodically, the anthropology faculty offers field schools in prehistoric archaeology, oral history and folklore, and geography. Students also are encouraged to participate in research programs in New England and the Maritime Provinces currently in progress. In recent years students have been hired to work on archaeology field and laboratory projects, in the Maine Folklife Center, and the Hudson Museum of Anthropology.
The Department of Anthropology cooperates with the Climate Change Institute to train graduate students in prehistoric archaeology. Application is made through the Graduate School. An Individualized Ph.D. in Anthropology is possible under certain circumstances.
(See also, Graduate School Catalog).
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