College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Anthropology

Hands-on research and experience

No anthropology curriculum would be complete without hands-on experience. Our faculty are involved in diverse research from body adornment to social complexity to advertising and media to moral authority to social acceptance in cultures and much, much more.

Explore Anthropology at UVM

Professor George Henry PerkinsAnthropology and UVM have roots going back to the early days of the discipline. One of the first, if not the first, undergraduate course in anthropology in the United States was taught here in 1886 by a geologist, and subsequent Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, George Henry Perkins.

Departmental history

Anthropology at UVM became a separate department in 1971 and moved to its present location on the top floor of Williams Hall with its striking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Today, we are one of the largest undergraduate-only anthropology departments in the nation.

Department of Anthropology Vision

The Anthropology Department at the University of Vermont strives to be a leading undergraduate four-field anthropology program excelling in research on the diversity of humans and their cultures, providing students with a high-quality comprehensive education in anthropology grounded in the liberal arts, and addressing pressing human problems shared over time and space.

Department of Anthropology Mission

The mission of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Vermont is to produce influential research in anthropology integrated with an outstanding undergraduate liberal arts education. Drawing on the interdisciplinary four-field tradition, we emphasize strong training in contemporary anthropological theory, research methods, and ethical practices, with the goal of preparing students to think critically and act as engaged citizens for the common good. Together as students and faculty, our scholarly community mobilizes anthropological knowledge to address questions of culture and its role in a diverse and changing world.

Committed, talented faculty

Although the faculty of the department is deeply committed to research and other scholarly activities, we see our primary mission as providing a first-rate undergraduate education. Many of our majors have gone on to graduate work in anthropology and have told us they appreciate the firm grounding in all four areas of the discipline they have received.

Major and minor offerings

We strive to prepare students in four areas/sub-fields:

  • archaeology
  • biological anthropology
  • sociocultural anthropology
  • linguistic anthropology

In addition to the major, we also offer a minor in anthropology. The minor emphasizes developing an understanding of at least two of the four subfields. We also feel a strong obligation to provide students who are not concentrating in anthropology with a sense of the discipline and especially some idea of the diversity of human kind.

Variety of courses; hands-on advisement

We are especially committed to providing students with a comprehension of the variations in human populations and a sensitivity to cultural differences. In order to implement these concerns, we offer a variety of courses in all four subfields. Our advising program, including the Teacher Advisor Program (TAP) of first-year seminars, emphasizes individual attention and a mentoring relationship between faculty and students.

Over the past ten years, the department offerings have become increasingly popular with UVM students. The department has added many new faculty who are contributing new perspectives and research initiatives. All of our faculty are actively engaged in scholarship, guaranteeing that our course offerings reflect developments and trends in contemporary Anthropology.

Some of our courses include ...

The department offers a broad range of courses reflecting the breadth of the discipline as well as the diversity of our faculty's experiences and research interests.

Our program begins with four basic courses designed to introduce anthropology's four major subfields:

  • Human Cultures
  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Linguistic Anthropology

Students can gain practical field experience in courses such as:

  • Field Work in Archaeology
  • Methods of Ethnographic Field Work

Course offerings emphasize both cultures of different areas of the world such as:

  • Middle East Ethnography
  • Chinese Culture
  • Anthropology of Eastern Europe
  • Cultures of Africa
  • Latinos in the U.S.
  • Peoples of South Asia

Faculty also regularly teach topical classes related to their ongoing research. Recent offerings include:

  • Law, War and Disorder
  • Anthropology of Media
  • Culture, Health and Healing
  • Primates and Anthropology
  • Street Children
  • Tourism and Heritage
  • Language, Gender and Sexuality
  • Archaeology of the American Southwest
  • Language and Mind
  • Archaeology of Frauds, Myths and Mysteries

View a list of current courses offered.

The UVM online catalogue contains more specific information on all these and other offerings.

Internships, field work practicums, hands-on experience

Hands-on experience is integral to the study of anthropology. Field work and internships are available on a course or semester basis, typically for upper-level students.

We also have lab facilities where students interested in archaeology, human osteology, and forensic anthropology can find training and experience, including in class such as Human Osteology and Archaeology, Stone Tool Technologies and a yearly summer field school in archaeology.

Students may pursue their own interests by enrolling in Readings and Research in which they may work with an appropriate faculty member on their own individually-designed research. Highly motivated students may elect to do College Honors in which they prepare a major research project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Last modified February 06 2014 08:52 AM

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