University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology




Undergraduate Program

Welcome to Anthropology at Illinois

Study human ancestry and past life-ways in our state-of-the-art archaeology, isotope and bio-anthropology labs. Explore ancient and modern cultures through our archaeological and museum field schools. Engage with local and global communities through cultural and linguistic research. Innovate new techniques in genetics and forensics. Our interdisciplinary program will prepare you to be a global citizen with advanced problem solving and intercultural skills. Apply your anthropology degree to careers in academic, corporate, non-profit or legal fields.

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of difference. Broaden your perspective and rethink what is familiar abroad and strange at home. Learn to understand diverse ways of thinking, varied modes of living, and different ways of interacting. Embrace your global citizenship — from the local to the transnational.

Anthropologists engage with communities of all kinds!  We work together to foster conversations, answer questions and develop solutions.  Bioanthropologists examine the interconnections between genetics, environment and culture to address issues from human origins and morphology to forensics and modern health. Linguistic anthropologists explore variation among languages, ask how and why communication works or fails, and examine how we use talk, gestures and social media to construct identities. Sociocultural anthropologists investigate the wide range of political, economic, legal, religious and familial aspects of cultures at home and abroad, including such topics as gender, power, race, sexuality, and the consequences of globalization. Archaeologists explore the human past through its material remains to understand cultural and societal change through time, and the role of heritage in the present.

Gain Learning Experiences beyond the Classroom

As an Anthropology major, enjoy a variety of hands-on learning opportunities that enhance your classroom understanding. Choose from faculty-led summer research programs, internships, archaeological field schools and study abroad. Connect with student and community groups on campus and beyond — with Anthropology Leaders, Anthro Club, and Lambda Alpha — the international honors society for students of anthropology.

 

Thematic Areas 

Anthropology intersects with the world in many different ways. The following course themes reflect faculty expertise and combine related topics to address a wide range of contemporary issues. You can guide your studies by selecting courses that fit your interests and career goals.

Our thematic areas are:

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Anthropology of the Americas

america

Select from this wide range of courses that cover contemporary and historical issues and communities in North, Central and South Americas.

  • ANTH 106 Historical Archaeology of the Americas
  • ANTH 157 Archaeology of Illinois
  • ANTH 182 Latin American Cultures
  • ANTH 184 Asian American Cultures
  • ANTH 190 American Jewish Culture
  • ANTH 259 Latina/o Cultures
  • ANTH 280 Personal Anthropology
  • ANTH 284 Advanced Topics in Asian America
  • ANTH 288 American Indians of Illinois
  • ANTH 359 Advanced Topics in Latina/o US
  • ANTH 368 ‘America’ in the World
  • ANTH 370 Latina/o Ethnography
  • ANTH 376 Aztec Civilization
  • ANTH 399 Black Lives Matter: Human Rights Perspectives
  • ANTH 405 Contemporary Central America
  • ANTH 419 Civilization in Ancient Peru
  • ANTH 449 North American Archaeology
  • ANTH 459 The Ancient Maya
  • ANTH 472 Border Latina/Latino Cultures
  • ANTH 481 Andean Ethnography

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Criminality, Law & Social Justice

criminality

Courses in this area examine the roles played by law and legal institutions in the pursuit of contemporary political values such as peace, justice and prosperity and will prepare students for careers in law, forensics, social work, government, policing and related fields.

  • ANTH 160 Contemporary Social Issues
  • ANTH 246 Forensic Science
  • ANTH 346 Forensic Anthropology
  • ANTH 399 Black Lives Matter: Human Rights Perspectives
  • ANTH 456 Human Osteology
  • ANTH 499 The Anthropology of Policing
  • ANTH 499 Political and Legal Anthropology

 

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Engaged Globalization

global

Courses in this area give students the necessary resources to engage with local and global issues and perspectives in an increasingly connected world.

  • ANTH 209 Food, Culture and Society
  • ANTH 210 Families in Global Perspective
  • ANTH 260 World Ethnography
  • ANTH 286 Southeast Asian Civilizations
  • ANTH 362 Body, Personhood and Culture
  • ANTH 368 ‘America’ in the World
  • ANTH 379 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 399 Black Lives Matter: Human Rights Perspectives
  • ANTH 403 Women in Muslim Societies
  • ANTH 420 Case Studies in Global Heritage
  • ANTH 423 Economic Anthropology
  • ANTH 425 Anthropology of Education
  • ANTH 448 The Prehistory of Africa
  • ANTH 486 People’s of Mainland SE Asia
  • ANTH 488 Modern Europe

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Health, Medicine & Wellness

global

Build your interdisciplinary expertise in bio-cultural anthropology in preparation for a practicing career in the health and medical professions, or advanced bio-medical and genetics research.

  • • ANTH 209 Food, Culture and Society
  • ANTH 242 History of Human Evolution
  • ANTH 249 Evolution and Human Disease
  • ANTH 258 Sex in Nature and Culture
  • ANTH 343 Behavior and Biology of Women
  • ANTH 360 Evolution and Human Health
  • ANTH 361 Ecology and Human Health
  • ANTH 379 Medical Anthropology
  • ANTH 404 Disability, Culture & Society
  • ANTH 432 Genes and Behavior
  • ANTH 456 Human Osteology
  • ANTH 479 Race, Medicine and Society

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Identity & Politics: Race, Class, Gender & Sexuality

global

Courses in this area critically examine social and personal identities and how these are mobilized within a range of political issues and power.

  • ANTH 143 Biology of Human Behavior
  • ANTH 160 Contemporary Social Issues
  • ANTH 225 Women in Prehistory
  • ANTH 241 Human Variation and Race
  • ANTH 258 Sex in Nature and Culture
  • ANTH 259 Latina/o Cultures
  • ANTH 262 Women’s Lives
  • ANTH 265 Ethnicity in the USA
  • ANTH 268 Images of the Other
  • ANTH 280 Personal Anthropology
  • ANTH 343 Behavior and Biology of Women
  • ANTH 359 Advanced Topics in Latina/o US
  • ANTH 399 Black Lives Matter: Human Rights Perspectives
  • ANTH 403 Women in Muslim Societies
  • ANTH 404 Disability, Culture & Society
  • ANTH 466 Class, Culture and Society
  • ANTH 472 Border Latina/Latino Cultures

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Immigration, Transnationalism & Diaspora

global

People all over the globe are on the move, both by choice and by necessity. Courses in this theme explore the complex reasons for such mobility.

  • ANTH 185 The Global Pacific
  • ANTH 261 Intro to the African Diaspora
  • ANTH 275 The World of Jewish Sepharad
  • ANTH 284 Advanced Topics in Asian America
  • ANTH 290 Jewish Cultures of the World
  • ANTH 359 Advanced Topics in Latina/o US
  • ANTH 402 Transnational Islam, Europe-US
  • ANTH 403 Women in Muslim Societies
  • ANTH 465 Oceania’s Peoples and Cultures
  • ANTH 472 Border Latina/Latino Cultures
  • ANTH 478 African Immigrants in Europe
  • ANTH 484 Asian Diasporas

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Language, Culture & Communication

global

The ability to think and communicate with language is a fundamental part of the human experience. Courses in this area examine both spoken and other semiotic practices that make our lives meaningful and shared.

  • ANTH 165 Language and Culture of Native North America
  • ANTH 171 Evolution of Human Communication
  • ANTH 243 Sociality of the Great Apes
  • ANTH 270/271 Language in Culture
  • ANTH 362 Body, Personhood and Culture
  • ANTH 363 Anthropology of Dance/Movement
  • ANTH 372 Topics in Language and Culture
  • ANTH 425 Anthropology of Education
  • ANTH 471 Ethnography Through Language

Interested in Anthropology?

ANTH 199 Get to Know Anthropology

This 8 week, one credit course is highly recommended for all incoming freshman and transfer students. We want to ensure that you are working towards a degree, but also getting involved and building the skills you need for your future. Learn about the department’s student organizations, research opportunities, internships, field schools, study abroad, workshops, and other activities that promote students’ personal growth as well as ideas for turning your anthropology degree into an exciting career.

See our Undergraduate Advisor

Dr. Maritza Quinones-Rivera
109F Davenport Hall, MC 148
607 S. Mathews Ave
Urbana, IL 61801
217-244-3497
quinonem@illinois.edu