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Anthropology is the study of humans. Sounds simple,doesn't it? In reality, anthropology is a very complex and dynamic field. The methods and theories of anthropology are continuously changed and refined as anthropologists gather and analyze new data and reanalyze old data. Anthropology is multidisciplinary, drawing from and contributing to fields ranging from evolutionary psychology to medicine to historical ecology. Anthropologists are employed in universities, government agencies, and private corporations. Other people with degrees in anthropology apply their knowledge in careers ranging from firefighters to lawyers. Whatever career one chooses, an understanding of humans and appreciation for other cultures are essential in a multiethnic society such as ours. We in the Department of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville believe that teaching these skills and other aspects of anthropology are fundamental to an undergraduate program. What is more important than the study of humans? Four subfields of anthropology are traditionally recognized in the U.S.: cultural anthropology, linguistics, biological anthropology, and archaeology. SIUE's anthropology department offers students opportunities to study and apply all four of these topics.






Anthropology, the study of humans, is at the core of a comprehensive and globalized education, and is incorporated into aspects of everyday life. The mission of the Department of Anthropology is to educate students towards an understanding and appreciation for human diversity, and in holistic biological and culturally based approaches to local and world issues. The Department of Anthropology does this through an integration of theoretical and applied frameworks based in experiential learning, promoted by active faculty engagement in research and community involvement.


To provide excellence in undergraduate education in anthropology, and to lead our community, at the university and beyond, to recognize the value of anthropology in all spheres of life.

The Anthropology Department's Seven Goals for Majors

Baccalaureate students in Anthropology will:

1. demonstrate conceptual and applied knowledge of the four basic subfields of anthropology (Knowledge; Integration and Application of Knowledge)

2. demonstrate specialized knowledge in at least one of the four subfields of anthropology (Knowledge; Integration and Application of Knowledge)

3. effectively communicate disciplinary knowledge orally and in writing (Communication)

4. demonstrate the ability to identify, articulate and address problems and questions using anthropological models and methods (Problem Solving/Framing; Life-long Learning; Integration and Application of Knowledge)

5. demonstrate the ability to think critically about theoretical and practical anthropological issues (Critical Thinking; Life-long Learning)

6. demonstrate awareness of anthropological ethics (Citizenship; Life-long Learning)

7. demonstrate awareness of the importance and value of sociocultural and biological diversity (Citizenship; Life-long Learning)