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College of Arts and Sciences



Contact Information

Department of Anthropology

Phone: (405) 325-3261



Program Description

Students in OU's Department of Anthropology study everything that is human, covering the breadth of human existence from prehistory to the present. Undergraduate majors take at least two classes in each of the four areas of anthropology - linguistic, social-cultural, archaeological, and biological anthropology.

The Department of Anthropology has many undergraduate opportunities for hands-on field, laboratory, and museum experiences that apply classroom learning to the real world. Students can: 1. Spend a summer taking an archaeological field school and learning excavation techniques; 2. Volunteer in professors' archaeology and biological anthropology labs; 3. Work with faculty and tribes helping to maintain Native American languages in Oklahoma; 4. Help a faculty member on a health or medical anthropology project; 5. Volunteer at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History doing socio-cultural, linguistic, or archaeological anthropology; 6. Do an internship in any of the four areas of anthropology plus museum studies.

Anthropology students also often choose to study abroad in a variety of places, applying what they have learned in their classes to living in other cultures. OU has one of the top study-abroad programs in the nation, and students can work with the department to design a program that is right for them.

Degree Options

An anthropology student graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The major course requirements give graduates a foundation in the four areas of anthropology. The Department encourages students to pursue more focused interests within anthropology through additional coursework, independent or honors study and research, and internships.

Anthropology is a liberal arts degree, and B.A. graduates with this major are qualified for many jobs in government agencies, public services, non-profit organizations, and archaeological firms. Our majors have also been accepted into a wide range of graduate programs including all four areas of anthropology, law, medicine and other health care professions, public health, library and information studies, social work, and regional planning.

Interests & Skills

Anthropology majors typically have interests in studying human cultural and biological diversity. Students can have a wide array of interests including American Indian languages, prehistory and ancient civilizations, human biology, museum studies, medical practices, and the beliefs and behaviors of people in contemporary cultures and societies.

Notable Achievements

Our head Undergraduate Advisor has won both the College of Arts and Sciences and the university-wide advising awards. A senior faculty member has won two university teaching awards, one from the undergraduate student organization. Another faculty member won an award for starting the Native Youth Language Fair, now an annual event at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Anthropology faculty members do research and publish books on a wide range of subjects, which are tied to the subjects they teach. These include American Indian health, the peyote religion, health care in Latin America and the United States, human genetics, the human skeleton, archaeology of the southwestern, Plains, and southeastern United States, American Indian languages, and many other topics. Please see the Anthropology Department web page ( for each faculty member's specialty.

Your Future

Types of Employers

Social service and law
    enforcement agencies
Government agencies
Not-for-profit organizations
Cultural resource management
    (archaeology) firms

Recent Graduates Jobs

Archaeologist, cultural resource
    management firms
Facility coordinator, Sam Noble
    Oklahoma Museum of
    Natural History
Writer, Convention and
    Visitors' Bureau
Research assistant, Center for
    Applied Social Research
Caseworker, Oklahoma Dept. of
    Human Services
Publicity manager, University of
    New Mexico Press

Experienced Alumni Jobs

Curator, Smithsonian Institution
Assistant Professor, College of
    Public Health
Associate Professor, University of
Diplomat, U.S. Department of
Tribal Historic Preservation
Partner in Archaeological
    Investigations firm