What is Anthropology?
Anthropology studies humankind from a broad comparative and historical perspective:
- The biological evolution of the human species and aspects of the biology of living human populations
- The comparative study of living primates
- The origins of languages and cultures
- The long-term development of human cultures over many millennia
- The social life of humans in groups – families, communities, and nations
Anthropologists attempt to describe specific cultural traditions, forms of social structures, languages, and specific transitions in human evolution and cultural history. They compare cultures and societies to assess what cultures are similar or different, and why.
Anthropology is at once a biological science, a social science, and one of the humanities.
How do I declare my Anthropology Major/Minor?
How do I declare a major or minor in anthropology? Which courses count toward the major or minor? What are the different subfields or concentration areas in anthropology? How do I get involved in research? The Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) will be able to answer these and other questions about the anthropology undergraduate program. The DUS is responsible for approving and signing all Declaration of Major forms, all transfer credits, study abroad approvals and credit evaluation/transfer and, most importantly, all petitions to graduate. All Northwestern undergraduates who are interested in the major, the minor, or who want to talk about anthropology at the undergraduate level at Northwestern are encouraged to meet with the DUS. Office hours for the DUS are by appointment. Office hours for the DUS are posted in the front office of the department. Please stop by and sign up or call the department (847-491-5402) to schedule an appointment.
The DUS for anthropology is:
Helen B. Schwartzman
Learn more about studying anthropology at Northwestern
- For first-year students
Find reasons to study anthropology and explore study options.
Read descriptions of undergraduate courses and find a current class schedule.
- Majors and minors
Undergraduates can major or minor in anthropology. We also offer a human biology concentration.
- Senior theses and honors
Anthropology majors can learn about undertaking an honors thesis.
- Special academic opportunities
Anthropology students are encouraged to pursue a variety of research and study abroad options.
- Career paths
Anthropology prepares students for a wide variety of professional fields.