Anthropology is the study of humanity in all its cultural and biological diversity. Hunter College has offered anthropology courses since 1905. The College established a separate Department of Anthropology in 1963. In the United States, the discipline traditionally includes four fields: archaeological, biological, sociocultural, and linguistic anthropology, although research increasingly examines questions at the borders of the fields or which span more than one field. Known for its holistic approach, anthropology provides essential foundations and perspectives for the study of the social and natural sciences and the humanities, as well as for applied professions such as education, public health, journalism and social work. Anthropology contributes significantly to the mission of the College by emphasizing the development of informed critical thinking and the understanding of, and tolerance for diverse cultures and ways of life.
The anthropology curriculum reflects this broad commitment. The Department offers B.A., B.A./M.A., and M.A. degree programs, all of which provide both a solid grounding in the four fields and a variety of opportunities for specialized study, practicums and internships, and participation in faculty research. Our undergraduate courses stress theoretical fundamentals, the nature and scope of cultural variation throughout the world and across historical and evolutionary time. We consider hands-on training in ethnographic fieldwork, archaeology, biological anthropology, and quantitative methods to be an integral part of undergraduate and graduate training. The myriad national and ethnic backgrounds of our students are an important resource both in the classroom and in research projects which call on their distinctive insights and language skills. The faculty is actively involved in interdisciplinary teaching, interdepartmental collaborative efforts, and individual and team research projects, including many that involve new information technologies, cultural resource management, environmental impact assessment, ethnicity and gender, regional and area studies, and economic development-- to name a few. Members of the department are also vigorous participants in scholarly debates, national and international learned societies, and in university and local community service organizations.
Our New York City location gives us exceptional access to human, cultural, and scientific resources, including major museums, libraries and archives, international and non-governmental organizations, and diverse urban neighborhoods. We aim to inspire a zest for learning both for its own pleasurable sake and for its usefulness in fields which require a holistic understanding of the ways in which culture, language, and historical experience shape individuals' and groups' identities, actions, and aspirations.