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Understand the pathways of human life in the world.

In the UW Department of Anthropology, students critically engage with fundamental issues concerning how humans inhabit the world. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are structured around the field’s traditional subdisciplines: archaeology, biological anthropology and sociocultural anthropology. Students have access to cutting-edge laboratories, field schools in the U.S. and abroad, campus collaborations and community partnerships. The department’s faculty have been recognized with awards and grants from organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation, the World Health Organization and the Ford Foundation.

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3 Foreign Language Area Studies Student Fellowships, 2019-20

Careers

Because anthropology is an expansive field, a degree in anthropology prepares students for a broad range of careers. Alumni work in health care, education, the nonprofit sector, business and government. The skills our students develop — understanding human relationships and communicating effectively across diverse cultures — apply to global leadership roles across multiple disciplines.

Career Paths

A degree in anthropology can lead to a career as a(n):

  • Anthropologist
  • Market researcher
  • Archaeologist 
  • Global health specialist 
  • Educator
  • Ethnographer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Attorney
  • Social worker
  • Health care professional
  • Historic preservationist  
  • Community organizer
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Expand your horizons with study abroad and fieldwork.

UW Department of Anthropology students have many opportunities to conduct research and interact with diverse populations nationally and internationally, including university exchanges, field schools and affiliated programs and month-long Exploration Seminars. Recent seminars include “Discovering Ancient Mediterranean Spain: Landscape Archeology in Mallorca;” “SAFS American Samoa: Present-day and Ancient Connections Between Island Societies and Local Ecosystems;” and “Anthropology Rome: The Culture and Politics of Food in Italy.”

More About Study Abroad & Fieldwork

Find Yourself in Anthropology

Make sense of the world. Uncover new ways to transform society.

Department of Anthropology Stories

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A Course on Plagues Hits Home

Anthropology professor Steven Goodreau's "Plagues and Peoples" course took on heightened relevance when the coronavirus emerged.

Yasmin Habib

A Difficult Journey Inspires Action

Yasmin Habib (BA, Anthropology) understands firsthand the pressures faced by immigrant youth. She created a nonprofit to help them thrive.

Holly Barker points out details of a Tongan textile to a student.

The Burke Museum, a Place for Students

Curators at the Burke Museum are also academic faculty, which translates to unparalleled opportunities for UW students.