Welcome to Penn Anthropology

Anthropology is the key to the contemporary curriculum. Our courses are cross-listed in a variety of other departments: disciplinary, such as English, History, Linguistics, Biology, Psychology, and Religious Studies; areal, such as East Asian Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Near East Studies, African Studies, Africana Studies, and South Asian Studies; and professional schools and centers, such as Education, Design, Law, Wharton, Annenberg, Medicine, Nursing, Social Policy and Practice, and Public Health. We have joint degree programs with several departments and schools. Our individual research topics engage a range of contemporary issues, including corporations and finance, media and communication, migration and demographics, science and technology, health and environment, heritage and identity, race and gender, violence and social control, poverty and rights, and political and economic development. This research informs the courses we teach.

Our curriculum is based on the proposition that in order to responsibly and constructively engage with contemporary human affairs, we must understand: 1) the historical trajectories that give rise to the different cultural and social forms of the modern world; 2) the logics of biological change, diversity and health; and, 3) the rubrics of social, economic, and political interaction that shape contemporary life worldwide. Our curriculum equips students with the intellectual skills they need to work in a globally inter-connected world. Whether students plan to pursue a career in business, or government, or medicine, or law, or any other profession, a background in anthropology equips them to pursue their goals.
Anthropology is the involved social science. It is scientifically rooted and actively engaged. It moves with the times. It makes a difference.  

The Penn Museum

Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has always been one of the world’s great archaeology and anthropology research museums, and the largest university museum in the United States. With roughly one million objects in our care, the Penn Museum encapsulates and illustrates the human story: who we are and where we came from.