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Undergraduate

Understand the diversity of the human condition

Waterloo's Anthropology program encompasses three of the discipline's traditional major sub-fields: Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Archaeological Anthropology, and Biological (Physical) Anthropology.

Students in the program are required to take both theoretical and practical courses in all three of these sub-fields. This broad approach introduces the student to the whole field of anthropology in order to emphasize the holistic theory which underlies all these ways of studying human development and culture.

Anthropology students explore our cultural practices and biological complexities in the past and present, and in globally specific contexts.

In the University of Waterloo’s Anthropology program, students gain an 'anthropological sensibility' that builds knowledge and skills for life and work beyond the University. In a rapidly changing, increasingly globalized world, it is critical to understand the unions, disjunctures, and discursive changes over time, between species, and among cultural practices.

UWaterloo Anthropology students learn techniques of research design, field methods, and have fieldwork opportunities that bring classroom learning to life.

By the time students reach third or fourth year, they have discovered their interests and can make appropriate course choices and explore future career options.

Our teaching focuses on three of the sub-fields of Anthropology

  • Cultural Anthropology addresses the full global array of human groups and their cultural practices, beliefs, and social action, including interactions between groups, present and historical. It considers contemporary social transformations such as migration, transnationalism, and globalization and their varied effects in specific local sites. Cultural anthropology has significance for broad social concerns and intercultural understanding.
  • Archaeological Anthropology is concerned with the study of past cultures through the material remains people have left in their towns, villages, or campsites. Archaeologists examine these remnants of the past to reconstruct a picture of social and cultural life, and of human cultural evolution.
  • Biological Anthropology examines the interaction of our cultural and biological complexities. Through methods ranging from osteological analyses to the observation of primate behaviour, Biological Anthropologists consider such issues as the origin of language abilities, and disease in past populations and its relationship to cultural practices.

Find out about careers in Anthropology.