Anthropology is unique in being a hands-on field of study. Anthropology can be done wherever people are, and wherever people were. As a student of Anthropology at St. Thomas, you can expect to get out there in the real world, interacting with people in a variety of social contexts, excavating artifacts, and analyzing bones in our anthropology laboratory.
Cultural anthropologists, social anthropologists, and linguists typically spend years living with particular groups of people, participating in their everyday lives. This process of long-term, small-scale, intensive and detailed study allows them to understand some of the most fundamental aspects of human existence which only reveal themselves in this way. Archaeologists also conduct long-term fieldwork examining human material culture, excavating, documenting, and analyzing artifacts as a means of answering the same questions about human existence. Physical anthropologists study human skeletal remains not only to understand our physical past and development, but also in modern-day criminal forensic investigations.
Critical and Transferable Skills
Living and working in today’s world increasingly means interacting with people from many different cultural backgrounds. The skills developed through completing a degree in Anthropology enables graduates to become critical thinkers and effective communicators who are able to generate relevant information and make informed decisions.
According to the American Anthropological Association, anthropological training concentrates on three transferable skill areas: “understanding human diversity, building research skills for collecting and making sense of information, and communicating effectively.”
Careers and Graduate Pathways
Studying Anthropology can open doors to positions in research institutions, non-profit associations, museums, government agencies, educational institutions, world organizations, and private corporations. Anthropologists may work anywhere where there is a need to manage, evaluate and interpret data on human behaviour. If you are creative, a background in Anthropology can be an asset in documentary fi lm or the music industry. The ethnographic research skills learned in Anthropology are even used in areas of market and consumer research, and anthropologists work for some of the world’s largest advertising firms, as well as other large corporate organizations.
Related Areas of Study
As a holistic discipline, focusing on interrelationships, Anthropology has direct links to several of the sciences and humanities, such as History, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Geography, Philosophy, Biology, Ecology, Literary Studies, Music, Religion, Political Science, Languages. Since Anthropology overlaps in important ways with virtually every other discipline represented at St. Thomas, our discipline may form an ideal double-major with another discipline.