Anthropology strives to answer the basic questions of how we’ve come to be the way we are as human beings and how we live together on this earth. Students study current societies throughout the world, paying particular attention to the concept of culture. The program stresses overseas study and fieldwork experiences.


  • Exercise your anthropological imagination, observing the relationship between individuals and the historical, cultural and social forces in their lives
  • Learn the basic scientific methods of the discipline, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Gain real-world experience with fieldwork and study abroad opportunities
  • Build understanding and cultural competence to work and engage in a global society
  • Engage in coursework with students from around the world in real time via advanced video conferencing technology
  • Complete an original thesis based upon their own fieldwork


Coursework in anthropology introduces students to the lives of other peoples around the world. The central concept in anthropology courses is culture, which refers to primarily symbolic systems as well as material culture. Comparative religions, world music, culinary practices, myth and ritual are among the many subjects offered, along with opportunities to combine service learning, fieldwork and independent study.


Students who have graduated with a degree in anthropology or sociology usually work in business and corporate life, as well as in the fields of education, research and in nonprofit organizations, such as the Peace Corps. Others attend graduate school, such as medical or applied anthropology, throughout the world.

Anthropology & Sociology

Anthropology is part of a department at Pacific University that also includes sociology, social work, comparative religion and public health