Anthropology Department


BYU's Anthropology Program seeks to teach students to describe, interpret, and make meaningful, human behavior in socio-cultural systems. It also trains students to explain the similarities and differences in human behavior patterns among all peoples and cultures, both in the present and the past. The program offers emphases in Sociocultural Anthropology and Archaeology, as well as a minor in Sociocultural Anthropology. Sociocultural Anthropology usually focuses on human societies in the present. Through class and field experiences, students learn professional methods involving participant-observation, interviewing, and other techniques in order to understand life in a single culture, a subculture, or a multicultural system. Graduates in this emphasis usually find employment with communities and institutions involved in local, national, or international development, or research projects involving specific cultural groups. Students in Archaeology explore deep human history by learning how to document and understand the range of cultural patterns practiced by peoples no longer living by excavating, researching, and analyzing human remains, artifacts, and architecture, as well as the environments that supported human societies. Student participation in archaeological field excavations reinforces course work that emphasizes methodological approaches to solving the complex questions surrounding human cultural development. Archaeology also often utilizes interdisciplinary techniques drawn from biology, geology, history, classical studies, linguistics, epigraphy, etc. Practical field internships and employment opportunities for students are also available through the BYU Office of Public Archaeology. BYU Anthropology graduates in either Socio-Cultural Anthropology, or Archaeology are accepted into the most prestigious graduate programs both nationally and internationally and readily find employment.  Students interested in Museum Studies may add courses to their program that train them in the fundamentals of applying anthropological approaches to all facets of museum work and cultural heritage site management, including curating collections or sites, developing exhibitions, maintaining safe museum environments, and public outreach. Hands-on interactions with the collections of the Museum of Peoples and Cultures provide essential experiences for students in all aspects of the Anthropology Program at BYU.  A Museum Certificate is an optional additional program that may be added to the Anthropology Masters Degree in Archaeology.  This Certificate makes students job-ready in museum and cultural heritage employment venues upon graduation.