Anthropology is a contemporary social science that bridges both the natural sciences and humanities to examine human diversity in the past and present and the profoundly different ways in which social groups interpret and inhabit an increasingly complex world.

Our program is characterized by an emphasis on fieldwork and is encouraged in student work abroad. We cover anthropology's subfields of cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology, each characterized by unique approaches, yet all oriented toward understanding and informing contemporary debates about the diversity of human experience in a wide range of societies. 

Anthropology at Dickinson teaches students the process of doing anthropological research through fieldwork and laboratory research. Ethnographic fieldwork—observing and interacting intimately with people in a social setting over an extended period of time—is one of anthropology's distinctive contributions to the human sciences. In coursework and our department's ethnographic field schools, students familiarize themselves with fieldwork by conducting local and international projects that they may later develop into senior thesis papers.

Students leave the anthropology program fully prepared for graduate school, for public and nonprofit sector work and for any form of business or professional work that requires critical-thinking skills and understanding of cultural differences.

Contact Info


Jim EllisonAssociate Professor of Anthropology

Department Coordinator

Heather IngramAcademic Department Coordinator






219C, Denny Hall Mailing Address


Where Our Students Go From Here


  • El Cacaotal
  • CleanEdison Inc.
  • James Perse Enterprises Inc.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
  • OTJ Architects
  • RRR Associations, LLC
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • University of Maryland Extension
  • City Year, Inc.

Graduate Schools

  • Bryn Mawr College
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Penn State University
  • University of Michigan
  • SUNY Binghamton
  • Emory University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Drexel University
  • Fordham University
  • University of Maryland
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Chicago
  • American University
  • College of William & Mary
Where Our Students Have Interned
  • Atlanta History Center
  • Dickinson College Archives - LGBT Center of Central PA Project
  • Eastmont Wellness
  • Multicultural Community Service
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence
  • New American Pathways
  • Northeastern University
  • Sexual Health Innovations
  • Dickinson College / Human Resource Services
  • Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization
  • LGBT Center of Central PA Project
  • National Forest Service
  • Performing Arts Abroad
  • United Way of Pennsylvania

“Anthropology at Dickinson teaches students how to be engaged readers, interviewers, and writers with a cross-cultural lens. Being an anthropology major allowed me to build skills in qualitative and quantitative research pratices and complete my own research projects that draw on my interdisciplinary interests and make connections across departments at Dickinson.”

- Courtney Gistaro

Anthropology News

Changing the World ... With Chocolate

Changing the World ... With Chocolate

There's a craft chocolate boom in Peru, and anthropologist A.J. Wildey '13 plays a delectable part. Lonely Planet named her fair trade chocolate "library" a top 10 destination in the nation.

 Student Snapshot: Nora Stocovaz ’25

Student Snapshot: Nora Stocovaz ’25

“Just try new things—even if it is scary!” That bravery has served Nora Stocovaz ’25 well, as chief of staff of Student Senate who performed fieldwork in Greece.

NEH and MLA Recognize Associate Professor of Spanish Mariana Past

NEH and MLA Recognize Associate Professor of Spanish Mariana Past

With a fellowship grant and an honorable mention, national organizations highlight scholarly edition and translation work.

Student Snapshot: Elliot Barr ’23

Student Snapshot: Elliot Barr ’23

Meet Elliot Barr ’23, a club-sports player who served a sports-marketing internship in London and studied abroad in Toulouse.

Student Snapshot: Mandy Porter

Student Snapshot: Mandy Porter '23

Learning ancient Greek is challenging and deeply rewarding, says Mandy Porter ’23, a double major in archaeology and classical studies and student-researcher who lives in the Human Cultures House.

Student Snapshot: Emily Angelucci ’24  

Student Snapshot: Emily Angelucci ’24  

Learn more about how an internship at Dickinson's art gallery is helping Emily Angelucci ’24 shape a potential future career in museums and archaeology.