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

12/6/2017 – Congratulations to Erik Otárola-Castillo who recently received the Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences grant from EVPRP. Erik received a grant for $47,000 for “Estimating Food Security Risk Management Behavior of early North American Foragers and Farmers.” Click here to read his article about his research also co-authored by Purdue Anthropology graduate student, Melissa Torquato and Purdue Anthropology undergraduate student, Hannah C. Hawkins.

12/6/17 - Congratulations to Stacy Lindshield who recently received the Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences grant from EVPRP. Stacy received a $38,000 grant for “Reconsidering Female Chimpanzees:  Nutritional and Political Motives to Hunt and Share Food.”

12/6/17 - Congratulations to Matt Pike for being awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award from the National Science Foundation, Arctic Social Science Program. Matt’s faculty adviser throughout this graduate program is H. Kory Cooper, professor of anthropology and materials engineering. Click here to for more information.

12/4/2017 - Congratulations to Jennifer L. Johnson.  Jennifer received the 2017 Junior Scholar Award at the recently completed American Anthropological Association meetings. The Anthropology and Environment Society recognized the following article:

Johnson, Jennifer Lee. 2017. Eating and Existence on an Island in Southern Uganda. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 37(1): 2–23. Click here for details about her article.

More news

Giving to Anthropology


Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

© 2017 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by CLA

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact the College of Liberal Arts Webmaster.

Some content on this site may require the use of a special plug-in or application. Please visit our plug-ins page for links to download these applications.