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John Burdick, Chair
209 Maxwell Hall

Faculty Douglas V. Armstrong, Hans C. Buechler, John S. Burdick, A.H. Peter Castro, Christopher R. DeCorse, Azra Hromadzic, William F. Kelleher Jr., Shannon A. Novak, Deborah Pellow, Lars Rodseth, Robert A. Rubinstein, Maureen Trudelle Schwarz, Theresa A. Singleton, John Marshall Townsend, Cecilia Van Hollen, Susan S. Wadley

The Department of Anthropology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University is oriented primarily toward socio-cultural anthropology, historical archaeology,  medical anthropology and political anthropology including applied anthropology and the study and implementation of social movements.

Anthropology is the systematic study of humankind, globally and temporally. It stands apart from other disciplines as its classic subfields—biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology (or ethnology)—bridge the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. A fifth subfield, applied anthropology, uses anthropological skills and knowledge to address contemporary social and policy issues. The discipline provides grounding in an integrated, holistic, and comparative understanding of the biological and cultural aspects of the human experience.

At Syracuse, we are particularly concerned with culture change, symbolic systems, and issues of power, both through the historical archaeological record and in modern communities. We believe that an anthropological perspective has much to offer students seeking a liberal arts education, especially in a country increasingly confronting issues of multiculturalism and globalization. Our program, through its individual courses and its overall curriculum, trains students to be able to:

  • understand and describe human diversity through the study of core anthropological knowledge (key concepts, theories, data) and methods (from one or more subfields);
  • think critically (including the capacity to evaluate competing ideas and to generalize from specific data);
  • research, write, and present effectively;
  • use anthropological ideas and knowledge to analyze real-world problems;
  • understand ethical principles and professionalism in anthropology.

The minor in anthropology is designed to encourage students to pursue breadth in areas which complement their major. With the assistance of their faculty advisors, students can design a minor reflecting their interest in any of the subfields of anthropology: socio/cultural, biological/physical, archaeological, applied, and policy-related studies.

To complete the minor in anthropology, students take 18 credits. No more than 6 credits at the 100-200 level can count toward the minor.

Examples of possible courses leading to a minor in anthropology could include (but are in no way limited to) the following: