Fast Facts about the Department

Employment of our alumni
Graduate school acceptances for our alumni

 I. Enrollment and Graduation Rates

  • Majors. In Spring of 2013, Anthropology had 169 majors. The overall trend in anthropology has been a growth of majors, with an increase of 32% over the last ten years.
  • Graduation Rates. In 2012-13, 46 students graduated from our program, our largest graduating class ever.
  • Student Credit Hours: Our student credit hour production has increased by 22.1% over the last five years. In our most recent year (2012-13) anthropology filled 2676 seats for 7659 SCH.
  • Between 2015-16 and 2020-21, the Department added three tenure-stream faculty (14 full-time faculty positions) and grew to nearly 200 majors. 

II. Quality, Uniqueness, Impact

  • ASU's anthropology department has a well-deserved reputation as the best anthropology undergraduate program in the state and one of the best undergraduate programs nationally. There are no external rankings for undergraduate anthropology programs, but our graduates have a reputation for being well prepared for professional employment and graduate study.
  • We are the largest undergraduate-only department in the state and in fact one of the largest undergraduate-only programs in the nation. In North Carolina, we are the largest anthropology program overall, with the exception of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke.
  • We offer students a range of courses and concentrations not rivaled in the state or region, including rigorous methods and technology training which are critical for employability.
  • We engage undergraduates (we have no graduate students) in our research and as instructional assistants. Students and faculty have coauthored at least 25 publications or conference papers in the last five years.
  • Engaged research and sustainability. The SD program at ASU grew out of the anthropology department and anthropology continues to offer courses for SD students. To enhance our "engaged" research aims, we will next year launch a new concentration in "Social Practice and Sustainability," the cornerstones of which is engagement through internships, field experiences, and methods training. Two faculty are working with the Energy Center on research projects, and another on a project with Christmas Tree Farm laborers here.
  • Technology. Our lab equipment is unique in NC. Only two other programs (Eastern and Wilmington) have a 3d scanner available for training bioarchaeology undergraduates. That, along with new metallurgical and stereomicroscopes in our archaeology lab, allows us to offer students courses and internships in the latest microscopy and 3-D scanning technology used in archaeology and biological anthropology today.
  • STEM. We are the only UNC program to offer a Forensic Anthropology Summer Camp to introduce high school students to STEM in anthropology and we are the only program in NC with a primatology field school.
  • Jobs. Our archaeology major is the only one in the state that focuses on preparing students for employment in Cultural Resource Management (click here).
  • Forbes Magazine ranked "Anthropologist" as number two among "Best Jobs for Women in 2012," projecting a growth in demand for professional anthropologists at 28%. Similarly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a growth in demand for anthropologists at 21% through 2020.
  • Anthropology students are known for their ability to analyze complex cultural and social situations, and find employment in fields as various as Marketing, Research and Development, Community and International Development, Law, Journalism, Cultural Resource Management, Museums, Non-profit organizations, Medical Research, Intelligence, Forensics, Teaching, and more. Our Archaeology students, in particular, are sought after by Cultural Resource Management firms all over the southeast.
  • Collections. We have the largest vertebrate osteological comparative collection in the state. We house archaeological research collections from the following periods: Archaic South East, Hopewellian (Biltmore Estate), Late Prehistoric (NC), Protohistoric (Broyhill property), and Historic (Fort Defiance and others). 
  • Our human skeletal collection and fossil cast collection—used for teaching and research in biological anthropology, skeletal morphology, and forensic analysis—is the second largest in the UNC system. Only Eastern has a somewhat larger teaching collection of both casts and real skeletons.
  • Graduate admissions: Because ASU Anthropology has a national reputation for undergraduate excellence, we have placed students in top programs in the field in Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Archaeology, as well as in fields of social work, law, international relations, development, and others. (click here)

III. Centrality to the University's Mission: Strategic Plan, MS Comprehensive, QEP

  • QEP. Anthropology's core subject matter is the cultural and social life of humans across time and space. Our faculty members specialize in international research in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Russia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, and Native North America. All of our courses, at all levels of the curriculum, explore and analyze global cultural complexities of the contemporary world and regional significance.
  • QEP/Field Schools. In addition, the Anthropology department offers several study abroad programs. We take students for rigorous research and methods training to Amazonian Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Navajo Nation, and soon we will launch a field school in China as well. These programs are much more than "cultural experience trips"; they prepare our students for international work and for top notch graduate programs.
  • Interdisciplinarity. Anthropology has close pedagogical partnerships with global studies, sustainable development, interdisciplinary studies, App. studies, sociology, and geology. In addition, we are expanding our relation with biology and will soon propose a course in forensics to contribute to ASU forensics programs.
  • Research collaborations also point to our interdisciplinarity. Anthropology faculty are currently engaged in research and publication projects with faculty from Technology, The Energy Center, Physics, App Studies, Geology, Sociology, Psychology, English, and Health Sciences. Beyond ASU we have multiple international and national collaborations (in North and South America, Europe, and Asia).
  • Sustainability. As noted above, the SD program at ASU grew out of the anthropology department, and we continue to work with SD offering courses in political ecology, environmental justice, energy production and culture, and environmental anthropology. Our focus on engaged research on environmental issues is expanding and will result in the field school on energy issues in China, which is in the planning stages.
  • Liberal Arts. Anthropology specializes in shaking up the world views of students, and as such contributes significantly to the liberal arts across the natural science, social science, and the humanities. Knowledge about the range of human experience through time and space makes a significant impact on students, as does the exercise of relativizing one's own world view as just one of many.

IV. Scholarly Productivity (faculty and students)

  • Anthropology faculty members have been awarded three out of the last ten "Outstanding Faculty" awards (junior and senior levels) given by the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • In the past five years, our 10 tenure-track anthropology faculty have published at least 40 peer reviewed articles, 27 chapters in edited books, 4 books, 7 edited books, produced 1 documentary film (shown at two juried festivals), written 21 technical reports, and presented more than 65 papers at professional conferences, workshops, or symposia regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Faculty actively pursue external funding, having submitted at least 19 proposals in the last five years to Fulbright, NIH, NSF, Princeton University, Leakey Foundation, Wenner-Gren, NEH, and the American Inst. of Indian Studies.

V. Support for General Education

  • Anthropology is the only department at ASU offering courses in each of the four general education perspectives.
  • We offer approximately twenty-two sections of general education courses each year, averaging over the last two years about 1876 seats each year (summer included), for 4995 SCH per year.
  • An Anthropology faculty member serves on the Faculty Coordinating Committee for the Science Inquiry Perspective, and many of our faculty took key roles in shaping general education, and perspectives at the outset.

Employment of our alumni
Graduate school acceptances for our alumni