Anthropology is the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space, in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture. Anthropology explores complicated human beliefs, relationships, and systems through a holistic lens.

With a major or minor in anthropology, you will learn the skills you need to successfully navigate a diverse world and help solve the complex problems that face today's communities. The anthropology curriculum will expose you to a broad historical and comparative framework within which to view the variety of human cultures. You’ll learn all of the fundamental concepts and techniques of anthropology through scientific, statistical, and qualitative analysis. 

The anthropology discipline pulls in knowledge and research from various areas of study, such as history, biology, sociology, ecology, and geology. Courses cover a variety of topics pertaining to rural life, kinship, justice, food, health, immigration, and sustainability.


There are four main subdisciplines of anthropology. 

  • Cultural anthropology (the study of contemporary human cultures) 
  • Physical anthropology (the study of human genetics, evolution, and primatology) 
  • Archaeology (the study of past cultures) 
  • Linguistics (the study of human communication)

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing a degree in anthropology, you will be able to 

  • think comparatively across sociocultural contexts and apply a culturally relative perspective pertaining to cultural diversity;
  • apply anthropological insights to the workplace and contemporary world based on both past and present human biological, ethnic, and cultural variations;
  • effectively communicate about qualitative and quantitative anthropological data, perform fieldwork, and develop an original research project;
  • understand ethical principles of and how research findings apply to  anthropological research and processes; and 
  • demonstrate a holistic knowledge of anthropology as a whole with the ability to articulate the central ideas from the subdisciplines.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Careers & Graduate School

Upon earning your degree in anthropology, you’ll be ready to enter the private or public job sector or go on to advanced degree work.


Completing a major in anthropology opens the door to many professional fields, such as business, public health, law, social work, government and public policy, nonprofit work, advocacy, education, and human service. Careers may range from advertising to museum work to international business to community service. An anthropology degree is particularly suited to careers where you will be working in a multicultural environment in the United States or internationally.

Recent UMN Morris anthropology graduates have gone on to be a:

  • User experience researcher
  • Human-centered systems analyst
  • Economic development specialist
  • Community organizer
  • Marketing strategist
  • Human resources manager
  • Nonprofit program manager

Graduate School

Continuing on to higher degree programs or advanced academic work with an anthropology degree can lead to teaching and research at the university level.

Research & Engagement


On-site research and fieldwork are vital components of the anthropology discipline. You may have the opportunity to join faculty on research trips to places like New Zealand, Portugal, and Mexico, to assist on archaeological excavations or perform ethnographic research. You’ll also have the opportunity to be involved in faculty-led research projects on or around campus. Examples of past projects include researching life in the rural mid-west, including immigrant experiences; conducting and transcribing interviews in Spanish with Mexican immigrant mothers; and collecting data with school teachers and personnel, support program volunteers, and civic leaders in the Morris area.

Developing and conducting your own research may be another option. Examples of past student projects involved talking circles about Native American student experiences at UMN Morris,  housing availability and winter-readiness among immigrant families, a comparative history of European and Mexican immigrant settlement in the region, and the role of monuments in public memory.

Anthropology students at UMN Morris have access to a social science lab to gain experience with interview recording, project management, transcription, and qualitative data analysis.


You are strongly encouraged to participate in study abroad opportunities. Many anthropologists specialize in one or more geographic areas of the world (such as Latin America, the West Indies, or Eastern Europe). Some far-reaching activities that UMN Morris anthropology students have been involved in include:

  • Engaging with the Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil
  • Volunteering at a home for women who are victims of domestic violence in Guatemala
  • Studying primates in Costa Rica and Uganda
  • Working with political prisoners in Mexico
  • Assisting with field research in Costa Rica
  • Interning at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago

Some anthropology classes include field trips to the local public school or a dairy farm, and activities like cooking and sharing food. As an anthropology student, you’ll have the chance to work closely with the Clifford J. Benson Center For Community Partnerships on campus.

Quick Facts

Program Offerings
  • Major
  • Minor


University of Minnesota Morris
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