Artifacts resting on a map.

The Anthropology Major: Exploring Human Diversity

Anthropology is the holistic study of humankind, across space and time.

The discipline is divided into four fields: cultural anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, and physical/biological anthropology, all of which are represented in the department offerings.

The emerging field of medical anthropology, a cross-over between cultural and physical, is also well represented in our major. Anthropology majors interested in medical anthropology may consider double majoring in Sociomedical Sciences, which is administered by the Department of Anthropology.

The SUNY Geneseo B.A. program in Anthropology provides a comprehensive education in both the theoretical and practical aspects of Anthropology. Courses, laboratory experiences, and learning experiences inside and outside the classroom setting serve the professional goals of students and faculty, training a new generation of anthropologists to have a positive impact on the world. Exciting study abroad and study away opportunities are also available within our department.

Anthropology Alum in the News:

Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences Alum-Lily Shields ’23 won a 2024-25 Fulbright US Student Award to Uganda.  She will be an English teaching assistant in Kampala. Lily’s life experiences and choice of our two majors will help aid in her wonderful work.  Please see the link below to read more on our amazing Alumnus.

2023 Lambda Alpha 3rd place scholarship recipient: Fiona Shackelton '23 is a recent graduate of the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Geneseo, who earned a B.A. in anthropology with a minor in art history. Fiona spent two years at SUNY Geneseo after transferring from SUNY Fredonia. She is an outstanding student, having maintained a “perfect” 4.0 GPA at both schools and being recognized with Summa Cum Laude graduation honors, membership in Phi Beta Kappa, and our department’s Wendell Rhodes Award for Archaeology, which was presented at the annual Senior Awards Dinner. For the past two semesters Fiona has served as President of the Society for Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences, which is our major’s “club.” Fiona participated in the 2022 archaeology field school that we held locally at a historic site in the nearby Bristol Valley and then during the 2022-2023 academic year, Fiona parlayed her field school experience in an archival research project at the Bristol Hills Historical Society, and an internship at the Livingston County Historical Society and Museum. As a result of the archival research conducted at the Bristol Hills Historical Society, she completed a research paper that helped win this award, and which is currently under review for publication by Cornell University Press in conjunction with colleague Dr. Marie Lorraine Pipes. The opportunity to potentially publish the paper arose from Fiona’s presentation of the results at the 2023 New York State Archaeological Association’s annual conference in April. Fiona is taking a gap year and was recently hired to work as a field technician for Hudson Cultural Services, a CRM firm based in Lagrangeville, N.Y. Next year she will be applying to graduate schools which include Washington State University and the University of Michigan with the goal of earning a Ph.D. in anthropology, specializing in archaeology. Fiona is inspired to contribute to the ever-growing field of archaeological knowledge as well as to inform, train, and guide the next generation of anthropologists.