We are an innovative program using anthropological knowledge and skills to understand and make changes in the world. As a research-intensive university with a public service mission, our broad training in anthropological subfields at Purdue uniquely positions us to study human diversity through time. Through our integrated approaches to discovery, learning, and engagement, we expand human knowledge and address global grand challenges.

Anthropology, as the “science of humans,” is the discipline that studies human diversity, through time and globally, and focuses on human and other primate adaptations on our planet.  What that teaches us is that humans have a huge range of experiences and many ways of living.  None of our societies is perfect, but all societies have contributed valuable and creative discoveries and perspectives.  We all share in the great adventure of living life to its fullest within the circumstances we have. 

Anthropologists are committed also to figuring out how to make things better for human societies—how to solve the grand challenges while respecting differences, to live as neighbors on one small planet, helping one another to achieve fulfillment, peace, justice, and freedom. We apply anthropological knowledge and perspectives to work collaboratively with those who work on economic development, food security, human rights, technological improvements, and peace initiatives. 

There are many ideological differences in societies of the world today, but we have only one planet.  We hope that anthropological research, teaching, and service will contribute to creating a world where human rights are honored and human dignity is the common goal.  We seek to prepare our graduates with the skills and experiences they will need for a broad spectrum of careers that contribute to human well-being. In Anthropology, students and faculty work on global challenges, often working in interdisciplinary teams. Anthropologists participate in summer field schools and study abroad programs around the world, local community projects, and other hands-on research.


Anthropologists can help change the world. We do this, in part, by making sure our graduates are prepared with the skills and experiences they will need for a broad spectrum of careers. In Anthropology, you will work on global problems in interdisciplinary teams. You can participate in summer field schools around the world, study abroad, and do other hands-on research. We are committed to exploring human diversity across time and space.  We invite you to join us!

Excellence in Teaching Award


Latest News

11/2/2017 - Amanda Veile and collaborator Karen Rosenberg organized a symposium "The Evolutionary Causes and Consequences of Rising Cesarean Birth Rates," which was accepted for a special session at the 2018 American Association of Physical Anthropologists Meeting (April 11-14 in August). The symposium draws together anthropologists, biologists, and practitioners who study cesarean birth using evolutionary and biocultural theoretical approaches.

11/1/2017 – Congratulations to Michele Buzon on presenting the Research and Scholarship Distinction Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 30th. Pictured below is (left to right) Suresh Garimella, Michele Buzon, and Lu Ann Aday who has endowed Purdue’s most prestigious research award in the humanities and social sciences. Dr. Buzon received this award for her groundbreaking work on bioarchaeology. Buzon is viewed as a leader in bioarchaeology and strontium isotope analysis. She has earned an international reputation for her expertise and innovation for her research in the Nile Valley.    Buzon Research and Scholarship Distinction Distinguished Lecture

10/30/2017 - Congratulations to Elizabeth Rowe, who has served as Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology for three years, has been appointed Project Manager in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at IUPUI.  

More news

Giving to Anthropology


Butler Centers Conversations About Inclusion Series
Gender and Race/Ethnicity in Navigating Faculty/Student Relationships
Thursday, November 16
4:30-5:30 pm East Faculty Lounge PMU

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