College of Arts & Sciences Anthropology


Understanding Cultural Changes

The Department of Anthropology deals with human culture and biology, past and present. Cultural anthropology courses stress an understanding of the traditions which have influenced Western Culture and the traditions of non-Western Cultures in order to develop an understanding of the dynamic and modal nature of the diverse cultures found in the world.

Archaeology stresses cultures of the past, known through their preserved material remains, and courses are oriented toward providing an understanding of culture changes over millions of years of human existence. Physical anthropology explores human biology and how culture and environment interact, in order to provide students with an awareness of the global nature of today's society and how human society and biology reflects influences from our recent historical and distant prehistoric past. 

We Offer:

Commitment to Excellence

Our faculty members are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarships and research. We represent a wide range of interests, including:

  • Cultural resources management
  • Archaeology of North America
  • Paleoethnobotany
  • Newfoundland fishing culture and economy
  • Historical archaeology
  • Art and archaeology
  • Archaeological method and theory
  • Plains Indian Skylore 

Faculty Members mentor students through small class sizes, personal attention and student involvement in faculty research projects.

Take it From Them!

Read why our students chose Anthropology as their major!


The department is housed in East Hall, which is also home to the South Dakota Archaeology Laboratory (ARCHLAB), which includes labs, curation facilities, a specialized library, a wet lab and field storage lockers. ARCHLAB's field equipment can support two large field projects, and its primary activity is conducting cultural resources management (CRM) projects and an annual field school for training students in archaeological methods.


Our department offers the Susan Tuve Award, available to anthropology majors. Please email us at for more information.

For freshman scholarships, also see Financial Aid.