Anthropology is a field of study that deals with both the biological and cultural aspects of humanity. Its basic concerns include the organic evolution of the human species; the origin, development, and integration of customs, techniques, social relationships, and beliefs that define a way of life (or culture) of human social groups; and the interrelations among these biological and cultural factors in human behavior.
The subject matter of anthropology is divided into four major areas of study: Anthropological Archaeology (ANTHRARC), Biological Anthropology (ANTHRBIO), Linguistic Anthropology, and Sociocultural Anthropology (ANTHRCUL).
Biological Anthropology considers human evolutionary history, the causes of present genetic diversity, and biological aspects of human behavior. It uses the evidence and concepts of paleontology, primate studies, population genetics, growth and nutrition, and ecology.
Anthropological Archaeology seeks to understand human behavior in the past, by examining the remains of human activity (such as settlements, tools, pottery) that have survived from earlier times. Through the analysis of material remains, archaeologists explore the cultural forms and social organization of human societies over the longest possible time span.
Sociocultural Anthropology describes, analyzes, and compares the widest possible range of human cultures and social institutions, with emphasis on the present day. While some sociocultural anthropologists concentrate on societies that differ from our own in scale or cultural history and way of life, others examine contemporary European and American societies with the wider perspective gained from looking at other cultures and societies.
Linguistic Anthropology views language as one of the most distinctive characteristics of human beings. It studies language in the context of human evolution, social relationships, and cultural forms, and it explores the role of languages and ways of speaking in cultural difference and social action.
Anthropology Department Waitlist Policy
- All undergraduate Anthropology classes (ANTHRARC, ANTHRBIO, ANTHRCUL) will have waitlists available in Wolverine Access as soon as registration begins with the exception of large lecture/discussion classes, which will have a waitlist added after the lecture section is entirely full. If a student wishes to register for a closed Anthropology class they should add themselves to the waitlist on wolverine access.
- Prior to the first day of classes, permissions will be issued by Anthropology department staff as spots open up in the class. Permissions granted before classes begin will expire one week from the issue date.
- Permissions will be given first to anthropology major and minors, then to the first non-major on the list.
- After the first day of classes, instructors will be given the opportunity to decide who receives a permission into their classes based on the instructor’s criteria, such as attendance, field of major, etc., and not necessarily on waitlist position. The instructor will apply his/her criteria consistently. Permissions granted after classes have begun will expire in 48 hours. Students will be allowed to waitlist for classes only through the first week of the term.
- If the instructors do not notify department staff that they would like to control their own waitlists, then department staff will issue permissions based on anthropology major or minor status, then on waitlist position as spots open up in the class.
- Students are notified by email when permission has been issued.
- If all students on a waitlist have been given an opportunity to enroll, but do not, they will be dropped from the waitlist by the Registrar’s Office. This will allow the class to open back up for registration.