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About the Program

Anthropology is the study of human beings and their relationships with one another and with the world around them. W&M offers coursework in four subfields and opportunities for you to develop your own research projects. The Anthropology Department is especially interested in promoting engaged anthropology, scholarship and teaching that works with members of diverse communities – from Virginia Indians to Mexican farmers – to carry out research that addresses their concerns and interests. The department also offers a minor in Native studies that explores the culture, history, language and identities of Native peoples in the Americas and Polynesia.

What Makes Us Different

  • Beyond Lectures

    Take part in community engagement with Indigenous communities, regional museums and historical societies.

  • Special Collections

    Learn from the W&M collections including historic and contemporary ethnographic objects, archaeological artifacts and comparative osteological materials.

  • Four Elective Subfields

    Focus on studies in archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology or linguistic anthropology.

  • Student Activities

    Join the Anthropology Club, the National Association of Student Anthropologists and the Anthropology Graduate Student Collective.


  • # 3

    Best College for Anthropology and Sociology in Virginia

    Niche 2024
  • # 16

    Best Science Lab Facilities

    The Princeton Review 2024
  • # 6

    Best College Library

    The Princeton Review 2024

Applied Learning



Paths leading from an undergraduate degree in anthropology branch out in all directions. Many majors proceed directly to graduate or professional schools. Others enter the workforce in areas ranging from law to economics, from business to teaching and from peace-keeping to public health. The graduate program prepares students for careers as university professors, historical archaeologists and professionals in museums, historical societies, government and the private sector.

Talk to Us

Want to learn more? Our current students and faculty want to connect with you.

Department of Anthropology

Washington Hall Room 103

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Courses Disclaimer

*Courses listed are examples. Course availability changes each semester.