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Anthropology (from the Greek anthropos, for human, and loggia, for science) is the study of human behavior, from the dawn of time to present day.

Today's anthropologists do not work only in exotic locations; they can be found in corporations, government, educational institutions and non-profit associations at home and abroad. Anthropologists were there at Ground Zero and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, gathering crucial data.

"The skills and lessons my professors have bestowed upon me will help me better understand people and how to approach policy and advocacy."
- Nealy Vasavda

Anthropology attracts people who want to understand why things happen and are eager to tackle big human problems, such as poverty, hunger, overpopulation and warfare. It is a field of study that is more relevant than ever.

Special learning opportunities

As an anthropology major at Union, you will combine fascinating course work along with valuable practical training. You will learn to observe, interview, record and describe complex social behavior as it happens. You may go on a term abroad in Fiji or India. On the Fiji term students do internships in schools to analyze the relationship between educational systems and society. In India, they intern with non-profit organizations.


Anthropology majors often take positions in business and government, lending their talents to such fields as advertising, market research, public relations, banking, merchandising, medicine, journalism and management consulting. They are also ideally suited to such governmental positions as foreign service officers, urban planners and counselors. As a discipline that focuses on cross-cultural understanding, you will find anthropologists working for agencies of the United Nations (such as UNESCO), the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Peace Corps and the Agency for International Development.

Meet some of our faculty

Michelle Osborn

Michelle Osborn

Visiting assistant professor
Ph.D., Oxford University
Special interests:  Political, urban and medical anthropology in East Africa

Aaron Kappeler

Aaron Kappeler

Visiting assistant professor
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Special interests: Agrarian political economy, rural development and the politics of natural resources in Latin America

Robert N. Samet

Robert Samet

Assistant professor
Ph.D., Stanford University
Special interests: Media, urban violence and the politics of security in Latin America

Karen Brison

Karen Brison

Roger Thayer Stone Professor of Anthropology and department chair
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Special interests: Childhood, education, religion, the study of language and culture

After Union

Researcher, Mexican Institute for Competitiveness

Artist, Waltham Mills Artists Association

Assistant vice president and recruiter, Bank of America

Deputy Director of Training and Development, Central Coast Children’s Fund

Public relations associate, RF Binder

Web content coordinator, law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP