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!


Latest News

10/12/2017 - Congratulations to Michele Buzon for receiving Purdue’s 2017 Research and Scholarship Distinction Award. Buzon will deliver the Research and Scholarship Distinction Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 30 in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. The 10:30 a.m. lecture is free and open to the public. You can read more about this award here and more about Buzon's research here.

9/11/2017 - Plans are being made for Summer Study Abroad, in the Brazilian Amazon.  

9/1/17: Dr. Amanda Veile’s recent research on the growth consequences of Cesarean births was featured on President Daniels’ annual address to Purdue University 

More news


"We Need To Talk (About How We Talk) About the Environment"
Dr. Zoe Nyssa
Friday, October 20th at 5:30 PM
MJIS 1001


“Who Built that? A Participatory approach to Digital Research Infrastructure Design for Maternal Child Health Research”
Kendall Roark, Courtesy Faculty, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Friday, October 27
UNIV 017
Join us after in the Stone Hall Atrium for light refreshments and conversation!

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