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The anthropology minor is a group of courses designed as a second field for students interested in exploring humans and human culture. Students may develop an individualized major in anthropology, typically through a summer's work at another institution.

There are four subfields in anthropology: physical anthropology, archaeology, anthropological linguistics, and cultural anthropology.


Archaeology is the study of earlier cultures by anthropologists who specialize in the scientific recovery, analysis, and interpretation of the material remains of past societies. Much of archaeology focuses on the time before the advent of writing (prehistory), but historic archaeologists who work with complex societies that have left written records also perform archaeological work.

Archaeologists, like all anthropologists, are concerned with culture, but the sources of information for archaeologists are not living people. Archeologists use the material culture-the things people made, used, altered, and then left behind-to study the artifacts left behind and use it to study the people who left them behind.

Biological Anthropology

The subfield of biological anthropology encompasses a diverse range of studies. There are specific fields for studying the human skeleton, evolution, primate behavior, and aiding law enforcement.

The subfields of biological anthropology are as follows:

  • Primatology: Study of non-human primate behavior
  • Osteology: Study of the skeleton
  • Paleopathology: Study of disease and injuries in human remains
  • Forensic Anthropology: Work with law enforcement to aid in the identification of remains

Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology is the study of all aspects of human behavior. Interested individuals began studying these traditional societies and writing descriptive accounts (ethnographies). Often these are the only accounts we have of cultures that have since become extinct.

Cultural anthropology has changed a great deal in the last century. Field research is still a major part of the discipline, but the locations have become more diverse.


Linguistics is the scientific study of human speech and language. Topics include the basic sounds that make up a language and how we manipulate language in daily communication.

Are we born "hardwired" to learn language? How do languages develop? Does language affect our view of the world? These are just a few of the questions that anthropological linguistics attempt to answer.


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