UChicago’s program in Anthropology is ranked among the nation’s best for faculty quality and teaching effectiveness. Undergraduates work closely with faculty members pursuing various lines of research, from Amazonian ethnology to modernity and the politics of identity. The department introduces students to the discipline via rich ethnographic material and the use of interpretive theory. Students are encouraged to construct individual programs in such areas as archaeology; human evolution; and biological, cultural, linguistic, and psychological anthropology.
Anthropology encompasses a plethora of historical and comparative approaches to human cultural and physical variety, ranging from the study of human evolution and prehistory to the study of cultures as systems of meaningful symbols. Anthropology involves, at one extreme, natural science such as anatomy, ecology, genetics, and geology; at the other, various social sciences and humanities ranging from psychology, sociology, and linguistics to philosophy, history, and comparative religion. Anthropology can lead (through graduate study) to careers in research and teaching in university and museum settings. More often it provides a background for further work in other disciplines of the social sciences, humanities, and biological sciences, as well as for professional careers in government, business, law, medicine, social services, and other fields.