College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology


Anthropology is the study of human cultural and biological variation and evolution. Because of their broad areas of interests and expertise in specific research programs, anthropologists take into account all aspects of the human experience, compare the patterns, and interpret them using various perspectives. At the University of Northern Iowa we employ a four-field approach to instruct students and conduct research in Anthropology. Cultural anthropologists study the patterns of socially transmitted cultural beliefs and practices in contemporary human societies. Linguistic anthropologists study the languages and communication patterns of societies around the world. Archaeologists study material culture to assist them in their reconstruction of past cultural systems. Physical anthropologists study the biological variation of past and present human populations within an evolutionary framework.

Those students who pursue a degree in Anthropology have a vast array of employment opportunities open to them after they graduate. Options include not only direct use of their training, as in the academic arena (e.g., professor), but also more indirect, applied uses in such fields as museums (e.g., curation, conservation and collections), government (e.g., administration, archaeological management, urban planning, and public health service), in the private sector (e.g., archaeological or forensic consulting, engineering and laboratories), business (e.g., human resources, public relations and marketing), and social services (e.g., counseling and non-profit organizations). In any field, the training you get at UNI in Anthropology will provide you with the basic and necessary job skills for any employment opportunity.


Professor Don Gaff's Azstalan Field School Summer 2013 (BLOG):

Also see Dan Seuer's photography site that features Dr. Gaff's Field School:



Featured Stories
2016 Purple and Old Gold Award - Anthropology

The Purple and Old Gold Award is awarded annually by the faculty to the most outstanding graduating senior in each major. This year's recipient is Caitlin Kelly. Caitlin is interested in...

2016-17 Dorothy Jean Ray Anthropology Scholarship Winner

Samuel Calonkey is fascinated by other languages and other cultures and already speaks Spanish, Japanese, and Russian in addition to English. He chose anthropology as his major in order to “become more flexible in my perceptions of the world, which I...