Portland-State-University 2014-2015 Bulletin


141 Cramer Hall (CH)



  • B.A., B.S.
  • Minor in Anthropology
  • Secondary Education Program—Social Science
  • M.A., M.S.

Anthropologists study human biological and cultural diversity through time and space and the interplay between culture and biology. The discipline encompasses our closest primate relatives and the human experience from our earliest known bipedal ancestors to the modern world, from the smallest human groups to empires and multinational corporations. Anthropologists deal with prehistoric, historic, and contemporary peoples and with such topics as human evolution, subsistence and settlement systems, family, urban development, transnationalism, globalization, social conflict, gender, symbolic systems, and human ecology. Anthropologists apply the knowledge gained from diverse theoretical perspectives to practical human problems in settings such as health care, educational development, and natural and cultural resource management, among others. As scholars, we are committed to the highest quality teaching in the classroom and the field; to ongoing research both in Portland and abroad; and to active engagement in wider university and community programs.

The curriculum in anthropology is designed to develop an understanding of human life from these various perspectives. It does this by providing, both in general survey courses (Anth 101, Anth 102, Anth 103) and in its departmental major program, a balanced view in terms of the anthropological subfields of biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and socio-cultural anthropology.

The departmental major program is of benefit to the liberal arts student in providing the most broadly based view of human adaptation, variation, and achievement. A variety of ethnographic courses is offered for persons with particular regional or area interests, such as South, Southeast, or East Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Northwest. Finally, the major provides the necessary general anthropological background for those interested in graduate study in the discipline.