Anthropology Department

In seeking answers to the most basic human questions, anthropologists explore the relationships among the physical, biological, social, technological, symbolic, and moral worlds in which we live.

To do this, they employ an interdisciplinary, four-field approach that includes archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, biological/forensic anthropology, and linguistic anthropology, and which draws on many other disciplines in the sciences (social and natural) and the humanities. Our program will prepare you to think critically and effectively about human history in its broadest sense as well as the many issues facing humanity today. It is an excellent complement to other disciplines, such as economics, history, psychology, biology, public health, sociology, and linguistics to name just a few.


Our faculty are engaged in active research on a wide a variety of topics, including ethnographic studies of the impacts of resource extraction on circumpolar populations, language learning and identity construction in contemporary China and among Chinese Diaspora in America, historical archaeology in Northern New York and the Bahamas, experimental archaeology, Native American studies, forensic and bioarchaeological research, Mesoamerican archaeology in Veracruz, Mexico, and Hohokam archaeology in central Arizona.

Hands-on experience

Each year, numerous opportunities are available for collaborative research, field work and faculty sponsored independent research for undergraduates. A number of grants are available for student research through the department and other campus programs to support both independent work, collaboration with faculty and international study.

Student Hannah Kruse in anthropology lab

Student spotlight

Hannah Kruse '18

Biology, anthropology

I took "Cultural Anthropology" — it was one of my first classes at Oswego — and the class really captivated me. Anthropology is a really diverse field, and it was kind of cool to see all the things that fall under this one giant umbrella and how those different fields play off each other.

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Anthropology department

313 Mahar Hall


Phone: 315.312.4190