Department of Anthropology

Anthropology is the comparative study of human biological and cultural diversity—as seen over time in human evolution, and as seen around the globe in the range of cultures and societies that define our modern age. Our cultural anthropology faculty are at the forefront of research in the study of modern religion, politics, and society; youth culture, gender, food, and sexuality; public anthropology; human rights and democratic transitions; and the anthropology of cross-cultural psychology and morality. Our biological anthropology faculty are at the cutting edge of paleoanthropological research on primates and other mammals, evolutionary biology, and primate and human health, diet, reproduction, and behavioral ecology. Faculty bring years of expertise and enthusiasm to their teaching.

For undergraduates, we offer two courses of study:

  • Our social anthropology coursework prepares students for careers in law, business, international relations, development, and related fields.
  • Our biological anthropology coursework prepares students for careers in medicine and health sciences, human resources, environmental management, and conservation.

Both courses of study also prepare students well for the strongest graduate programs in the field. We also offer a joint major in anthropology & religion, as well as minors in anthropology and medical anthropology.

The opportunity to pursue honors in the major is available to academically qualified students.

Study abroad is strongly encouraged and many programs within and outside of BU can count for credit in anthropology.

Instructional & Research Facilities

Department facilities include teaching and research laboratories, skeletal collections, a world-class collection of fossil hominin casts, and computational labs dedicated to primate database, video, and morphometric analysis. Through courses and independent studies, students can work with faculty, graduate students, and postdocs in these labs and may also be able to participate in fieldwork.


Anthropology in the Works is a student-run club that offers undergraduate majors the opportunity to socialize, meet visiting scholars, participate in anthropological events, visit local museums and zoos, and learn about fieldwork opportunities. The club is open to majors and non-majors and maintains an active Facebook page.