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Department of Anthropology / Undergraduate

Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate Studies

Welcome to the Department of Anthropology at Florida State University.

Anthropology investigates humankind in all its diversity. It includes the study of human origins, physical characteristics, adaptations, distributions, customs, artifacts, languages, beliefs, and practices. Anthropologists divide their work among four sub-disciplines. Archaeologists study material objects left behind by prehistoric and historic peoples and document stability and change in human behavior over long time periods. Physical (biological) anthropologists study living primates, the fossil record of primates and early humans, comparative anatomy and osteology, contemporary forensic anthropology, medical anthropology, human variation, and the evolutionary and biological bases for cognition and culture in humans. Cultural anthropologists live among and study contemporary peoples; their social institutions; their history; their political, religious, and medical practices; and the creative products of their social lives. Anthropological linguists study the evolution and structure of human language and the relationships between language, culture, and society.

The undergraduate offerings in anthropology include survey courses to give liberal studies students an introduction to human diversity and behavior, and upper division courses for advanced students with specialized interests. The courses provide a rigorous course of study intended to prepare students for graduate study in any one of the subfields of anthropology. The courses also provide a science-based liberal arts education to students wishing to pursue other professional degrees such as law or medicine (with additional coursework) and to those students who may not wish to pursue graduate studies. Students with a heavy anthropology background often develop careers in areas of public policy, cultural resource management, public health, women's studies, museum studies, and other areas where practical approaches contribute to providing workable solutions to human problems.

The department participates in the undergraduate programs in Latin American and Caribbean studies, Middle Eastern studies, Classics and in the honors in the major program. Anthropology is frequently chosen as an undergraduate minor by students in geography, geology, classics, social sciences, and biology.