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Research Guides

More About the Anthopology Department

As of Autumn 2016 the Anthopology Department had:

  • 421 Undergraduate majors
  • 75 Graduate students



Programs & Degrees


The anthopology department includes 35 faculty members and three distinct academic programs:
  • Archaeology: the study of the human past through investigation of material traces (artifacts, food remains, features, structures, etc.) and their relationships in space and time.
  • Biocultural Anthropology: the study of ecological, physiological, and demographic aspects of human biocultural variation within the frameworks of human adaptability and evolution.
  • Sociocultural Anthropology: the study of cultural diversity and social relations, including recurrent global flux in languages, practices, and identities.
  • In addition we offer a concurrent MPH/PhD program, and a specialization in medical anthropology and global health.


Anthropologists at the University of Washington share a commitment to advancing understanding of human diversity. Reflecting the organization of the discipline as a whole, the department is organized into subdisciplinary programs that focus on different aspects of human diversity (the human past, the human body, and contemporary social life), each employing the specific theoretical and conceptual tools appropriate to its particular emphasis. They pursue a shared commitment through research and teaching that draws on a  diverse array of humanistic and scientific approaches: from evolutionary theory to critical social theory, mathematical modeling, thermoluminescence dating, bioassays, social network analysis, archival research and sustained participant observation. Many of their research foci, meanwhile, cross-cut subdisciplines and have been reflected in many curricular developments including options and/or areas of emphasis in Environmental Anthropology, Medical Anthropology and Global Health, and Anthropology of Globalization.