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5 minute guide to Ball State University Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of humankind in all times and places. A holistic discipline, anthropologists study every aspect of the human condition, including cultural, material, and biological topics.  Areas of special concern include human origins, ethnicity, diversity, gender, race, class, environment, and global development.

Four subdisciplines form the anthropological perspective.

  • Archaeology explores long-term cultural evolution based on the material remains left by prehistoric and historic peoples.
  • Cultural anthropology analyzes social and cultural phenomena such as religion, kinship systems, and political and economic structures among living societies.
  • Biological anthropology examines the biological characteristics of humans, including the study of hominid evolution, genetics, and primates.
  • Linguistics (taught in the Department of English) seeks to understand the history of language and the way living people use it.

Anthropology provides a way of thinking about people in social groups and the way these groups function that has practical applications in many academic and professional fields.

Click here to see some past activites

        Riverside/Normal City: Portrait of a Middletown Neighborhood

        Archaeological Processes Blackford County

        New Discoveries at Fort Recovery


We offer a major and minor in anthropology. as well as a Master’s degree and have Master’s link to our MA program page here: 

Master degree.

Our experienced faculty and staff believe training should extend beyond the classroom. Through participation in departmental activities such as the Anthropology Club, faculty members and students regularly gather outside the classroom. 

Each summer, the anthropology department offers an archaeological field school at a regional site in Indiana.  Experiences in cultural anthropology are available through field trips and field studies to destinations in the United States and abroad.

We provide opportunities for immersive learningreal-world research, internships, and field studies. Our high-tech facilities, including the Applied Anthropology Laboratories, will allow you to gain valuable applied experiences and training in anthropology. You can use these experiences as résumé builders and for your own personal growth.


Anthropology faculty members specialize in the cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology of the New and Old Worlds. Many of the faculty members have substantial experience in applied anthropology. Applied anthropology uses anthropological concepts and methods for problem-oriented, practical purposes in the contemporary world. 

Cultural anthropologists in the department study Native American cultures in North America (Dr.Murray), Digital anthropology (Dr. Phillips) and  Urban anthropology (Dr. Erickson).  Archaeology faculty members study the prehistoric archaeology of the Midwest (Dr. Hill), and the historical archaeology of the eastern United States (Dr. Groover),. 

Biological anthropologists in the department specialize in the bioarchaeology of the Southeast (Dr. Hogue).

The Department of Anthropology is housed in the Burkhardt Building. In addition to classrooms, offices, and a conference and seminar room, the department has a large, well-equipped archaeology facility. Students can gain experience in archaeological research, often while being paid, through working on field surveys, on excavations, and in the laboratory.