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Anthropology is the comparative and global study of humanity. Biocultural diversity and the universals that link all humans are the principal foci of anthropological research. Anthropology is a holistic discipline comprising the following sub-fields: cultural (ethnology); physical (biological); archaeology; and linguistics. Contemporary anthropology is concerned with the generation of basic knowledge and the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. The USF Department of Anthropology particularly emphasizes application, while recognizing that basic and applied research are inextricably linked.

As the only field to address all aspects of the human experience, Anthropology provides both a broad vision of what it is to be human as well as creative synergies unavailable to other disciplines within the social and natural sciences. At USF, Anthropology applies a holistic perspective to identifying and understanding contemporary human problems, such as the role of race and ethnicity in urban housing policies, the nexus of poverty and infectious diseases, nutritional patterns of immigrant populations, and the social construction of identity among historical and contemporary populations. We are an active community of scholars with diverse intellectual interests and expertise, committed to excellence in research and teaching.

We are committed to understanding global diversity through community-based applied research that is holistic and interdisciplinary. As applied anthropologists, our faculty study, design, and evaluate policies, programs, and organizational courses of action that have social and cultural consequences. In doing so, we seek to empower disenfranchised individuals and groups by constructing advocacy plans to enable them to deal with colonialism, cultural chauvinism, and other forms of social oppression. In keeping with USF’s Research I status, our faculty engage in world-class innovative research with a wide mix of disciplinary approaches across the globe. With active research being conducted throughout the Americas, Europe, and Africa, our work targets globalization, economic development, resource and health disparities, environmental remediation, diet and nutrition, community advocacy, heritage management, education, media, and communication.

We are committed to being a nationally recognized, top-ranked educational program in Anthropology, with a special emphasis on Applied Anthropology. We teach students the skills needed to conduct theoretically sound and methodologically rigorous analyses of human social phenomena at both the local and global levels. We offer students opportunities to develop and apply those skills through research, internships, and service learning in Tampa Bay and beyond. Currently, the Department has over 340 undergraduate majors enrolling in more than 50 courses. The department also serves more than 1,000 students a semester through general education classes, and offers a departmental honors program in which undergraduates carry out original research. Nearly 180 graduate students are pursuing M.A., Ph.D., M.A./M.P.H., and Ph.D./M.P.H. degrees. In addition to classroom and laboratory instruction, students receive training through internships and by participating in research conducted through the Center for Applied Anthropology, the USF FPAN Center, the Alliance for Applied Research in Education and Anthropology, and the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies, all housed within the department. We also offer local and international field schools in ethnographic and archaeological methods in the United States and Latin America.