Professor Javier Urcid looks at artifacts with three students

Students work with Professor Javier Urcid in the Material Culture Study Center.

In an Indian village, a woman in a sari speaks with Professor Sarah Lamb while another older woman looks on.

Professor Sarah Lamb (right) conducting fieldwork in India.

Three students site in a line. The female student in the middle is talking.
A painting of a man's face, in black and white, on a red background

Explore the Dynamics and Diversity of Human Cultures

The Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University is a vibrant and active center of research and teaching. Students have the opportunity to study: social relations and inequalities; religion and worldviews; political economy and racial capitalism; the connections among language and social processes; multimodal anthropology; theory in anthropology and related disciplines such as gender, queer and trans studies; cultural understandings of medicine, disease, aging and death; materiality and material culture; the human body in the distant and more recent past; as well as to develop skills in ethnographic and archaeological methods.

Professor Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria stands in front of a blackboard

Professor Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria


Department faculty carry out field projects across the world; in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the United States. With its commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching and advising, engagement with interdisciplinary scholarship, and spirit of collegiality and hospitality, this department is a vital part of the intellectual life of the university.

Elizabeth Ferry teaching

Professor Elizabeth Ferry

Undergraduate Program

As a student of anthropology, you will acquire the concepts, theories and methods that will enable you to explore, describe and understand the human world in all its complexity. At the same time, you will be encouraged to pursue in depth your own areas of interest.

Read a commencement speech by anthropology major Nina Kumar '23.

two anthropologists digging through ruins

Doctoral student Van Kollias (left) examines ancient Maya architecture with Professor Charles Golden.

Graduate Programs

Graduate programs are based on core courses in the history, theories and methods of anthropology and opportunities to pursue a wide range of theoretical, ethnographic and archaeological interests. Our graduate students specialize in either sociocultural anthropology or anthropological archaeology.

student being hooded by faculty member

Houman Kooraei Oliaei, PhD, being hooded by Professor Janet McIntosh

Brandeis Anthropology Research Seminar (BARS)

Every year the department organizes a series of lectures and professionalization workshops for graduate students. Workshops will cover topics such as applying to PhD programs, publishing, grant-writing and alternative academic careers. View the schedule.