University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

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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 inter-disciplinary 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:

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. Laura Davis
109F Davenport Hall, MC 148
607 S. Mathews Ave
Urbana, IL 61801