Anthropologists increasingly focus on practical concerns. Faculty expertise focuses on the peoples and cultures of the Andes and western Amazon, Mexico, Latter-day Saints, Popular Catholicism, shamanism, religion health, digital anthropology, food, peoples of the Great Basin, Fremont, indigenous Southwest and public archaeology. Training at UVU is interdisciplinary and provides a strong grounding in anthropological history and social theory, as well as in methods. We emphasize the classic four fields and encourage students to develop and carry out their own research projects as part of becoming anthropologists.

Socio-cultural Anthropology

Sociocultural anthropologists examine social patterns and practices across cultures, with a special interest in how people live in particular places and how they organize, govern, and create meaning. A hallmark of sociocultural anthropology is its concern with similarities and differences, both within and among societies, and its attention to race, sexuality, class, gender, and nationality.

Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropologists seek to understand how humans adapt to diverse environments, how biological and cultural processes work together to shape growth, development and behavior, and what causes disease and early death. In addition, they are interested in human biological origins, evolution and variation. They give primary attention to investigating questions having to do with evolutionary theory, our place in nature, adaptation and human biological variation.

Linguistic Anthropology

Linguistic anthropology is the comparative study of ways in which language reflects and influences social life. It explores the many ways in which language practices define patterns of communication, formulate categories of social identity and group membership, organize large-scale cultural beliefs and ideologies, and, in conjunction with other forms of meaning-making, equip people with common cultural representations of their natural and social worlds.


Archaeologists study past peoples and cultures, from the deepest prehistory to the recent past, through the analysis of material remains, ranging from artifacts and evidence of past environments to architecture and landscapes. Material evidence, such as pottery, stone tools, animal bone, and remains of structures, is examined within the context of theoretical paradigms, to address such topics as the formation of social groupings, ideologies, subsistence patterns, and interaction with the environment. Like other areas of anthropology, archaeology is a comparative discipline; it assumes basic human continuities over time and place, but also recognizes that every society is the product of its own particular history and that within every society there are commonalities as well as variation.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Anthropological Knowledge
    Students learn anthropology by acquiring the skills of reading professional writings, historical and contemporary, for their location in the scholarly literature and for how the works develop arguments using concepts and data, and provide knowledge of a range of social situations and locations.
  • Critical Thinking and Professional Writing
    Students will learn to produce their own arguments and studies on society, culture, and history by mobilizing professional literature and data, both gathered by others and by themselves, demonstrating a critical understanding of how data can be constituted.
  • Methodological Knowledge
    Students will learn to grasp the nuances, strengths, and weaknesses of both qualitative and quantitative methodology in anthropology of those as well as classical anthropological participant observation.


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