Overview of the Department

Anthropologists study the full spectrum of what it means to be human. Why does anthropology matter? Investigating the pressing issues facing nations, communities and scientific inquiry today, anthropology is vital to many of the compelling intellectual conversations occurring at Emory and beyond.  

Anthropologists address questions of human origins and evolution, behavioral biology, human ecology and adaptations, gender and sexuality, human cognition and emotion, health and illness, social justice and inequality, social behavior and human diversity, media and communication, and the intersections of biological, environmental, political, economic, and religious life. Our diverse theoretical and methodological toolkit permits anthropologists to forge creative approaches to established and emerging societal problems as well as to explore and expand the boundaries of human knowledge.


We are committed to integrative and empirically-grounded approaches to the human experience. Using ethnographic, computational, digital, archaeological, historical, biological, comparative, and experimental research methods, anthropologists explore a broad range of human conditions, past and present. Our teaching prepares students to “think outside the box,” to approach intellectual questions with curiosity and passion, using scientific knowledge from peoples and cultures around the world. We help students develop the analytical and communicative skills to address contemporary dilemmas from cultural, historical, and evolutionary perspectives.

Anthropology graduates have gone on to careers in international development, public health, education, diplomacy, law, social justice activism, business, entrepreneurship, and medicine as well as careers in academia. As a scholarly community, we train future researchers, academics, and civic leaders to succeed in and make a strong impact on our increasingly complex and interconnected world.