Major Concentrations

General Anthropology majors study all four anthropology sub-fields, acquiring an introduction to the full range of anthropological research. Students are required to take courses in Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology (including Medical Anthropology). 

Archaeology is the study of past societies through the excavation of material culture, from the Paleolithic into the early Historical periods. Students study excavation methods and techniques of analysis, and have opportunities to work with collections in the Penn Museum and its Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM). Archaeology majors take introductory courses in all sub-fields of Anthropology, and complete the remainder of their coursework primarily in Archaeology.

Biological Anthropology is the study of human evolution and the biology of modern populations. Areas of study include genetics, osteology, and forensics. Students have the opportunity to work in laboratory settings, as well as in the Penn Museum’s Physical Anthropology section or its Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM). Biological Anthropology majors take introductory courses in all sub-fields of Anthropology, and complete the remainder of their coursework primarily in Biological Anthropology.

Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology is the study of cultural, social, and semiotic variation in the modern world. Areas of study include comparisons of different cultural communities and their relationship to social and demographic factors, as well as communication and media. Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology majors take introductory courses in all sub-fields of Anthropology, and complete the remainder of their coursework primarily in Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology.

Medical Anthropology applies anthropological methods to the study of global health, well-being, and disease. The concentration provides students with a theoretical and methodological foundation to address problems of global health inequality. Medical Anthropology majors take introductory courses in all sub-fields of Anthropology, and complete the remainder of their coursework primarily in Medical Anthropology.