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!

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Latest News

4/16/2018  Dr. Erik Otárola-Castillo and Melissa Torquato will be teaching a workshop on geometric morphometrics to the Anthropology Department at George Washington University this Monday (4/16).  This seminar provides participants with examples of innovative 3D geometric morphometric analysis in the R programming environment. Instructors will work through examples to import, digitize, manipulate, analyze, and display 3D data using “GUImorph”, a user-friendly Graphical User Interface to R.

4/6/2018 Dr. Zoe Nyssa was invited to present at Brown University. The event, Waters Edge will be held April 3-13.  Dr. Nyssa will be presenting on the 13th, “Writing on Water” Can writing propel change?

4/3/2018 - Dr. Jennifer Lee Johnson was invited to provide a talk at a Brown Bag Lecture at Aarhus University in Denmark. She will be presenting "A Dying Lake, A Living Sea, and Other Bodies of Water" on April 4th in Denmark. 

More news

Giving to Anthropology


MS Prospectus Presentations
April 20 | 1:00-3:00 PM | MTHW 304

Joseph Orkin, University of Calgary
Details coming soon!
April 25 | 2:30 pm | STON 154

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