People gathered in front of building with columns in South Africa

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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Petroglyphs on rock by shore
two women smiling in front of building, the National Archives of Cambodia, Phnom Penh
3 Foreign Language Area Studies Student Fellowships, 2019-20


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 
  • Curator
  • Global health specialist 
  • Educator
  • Ethnographer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Attorney
  • Social worker
  • Health care professional
  • Museum professional
  • Community organizer
Student studying at their computer

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

UW campus near Drumheller Fountain

Four Dean's Medalists, Working Toward Change

The four new graduates honored as College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Medalists for 2023 are all working to improve our world, in different ways. 

Laada Bilaniuk head shot

In Ukraine, Language is Political

Ukraine's national language is Ukrainian, but many citizens grew up speaking Russian. Does that matter? Professor Laada Bilaniuk studies language and Ukrainian identity.

Sam Dubal formal headshot

Honoring Sam Dubal's Vision

A new graduate fellowship in memory of anthropology professor Sam Dubal reflects his commitment to building an anti-racist society.