Portland-State-University 2021-2022 Bulletin


141 Cramer Hall (CH)



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

Anthropology is the study of biological and cultural diversity across time and space, from the primates and our bipedal ancestors to human societies in prehistory and the modern world. As anthropologists, we have a keen understanding of the complexities of our past, the interconnections between biology and culture, and the urgent social problems of our times.

Students can develop their expertise in topics such as cultural heritage, human-environment interactions ,climate change, and biodiversity conservation, design and user experience, , structural racism, violence, migration, primatology, gender and sexuality, food systems, globalization, and human health and medicine. Students gain knowledge and skills through a variety of classroom, online, lab and internship opportunities. This experience prepares students for careers with federal and state agencies, NGOs, tribes, public/community health organizations, biomedical research institutions, consulting firms, activist groups, museums, corporations, academia and more.

Our department supports three subfields: archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and biological anthropology. Our regional specializations lie in Madagascar, Asia, Latin America, the Arctic, and western North America. We are dedicated to applied research and scholarship that addresses real world issues through problem solving and the co-creation of knowledge and solutions with the communities where research and interventions are conducted.

Central to our collective endeavors is critically reflecting on the colonial histories and epistemologies of anthropology as an academic discipline and profession. We are committed to including a plurality of theoretical and methodological perspectives in our pedagogy, particularly those of non-Western and underrepresented scholars. Our research practices advance collaborative, participatory, and praxis-based approaches that decenter authority in knowledge production. We prioritize engaging with practitioner communities, extending anthropological knowledge and insights beyond the academy, and expanding diversity within the faculty, student body and discipline as a whole.