Anthropology Students Performing Fieldwork


Discover answers to your questions about human culture and biology – past and present – as you become a leader who solves problems, thinks critically and communicates clearly in a globalized world.

Why Study Anthropology?

As an anthropology major at USD, you will follow your curiosity about people and cultures as you study human beings throughout time. With courses in the four fields of anthropology (cultural, biological, linguistic and archaeological), USD offers you a robust education filled with unique, hands-on experiences. Here you will receive personalized mentorship from expert faculty, and you will get hands-on experience through opportunities like field work, research in the USD Archaeology Laboratory, internships and more. These educational advantages will set you up for success in countless careers, including positions such as a field archaeologist, museum curator, forensic scientist, video game and media designer, educator or foreign service officer.

Become a leader who can meet tomorrow's societal challenges with a rich understanding of our past and present as an anthropology major.


Degrees & Offerings

Anthropology (B.A., B.S.)

  Vermillion Main Campus

As the study of human beings across time and cultures, anthropology applies to nearly any career path. Through this program, you will excavate and interpret remains left by past cultures, examine human biology and its relationships to culture and behavior, explore the role of culture in society from local and global perspectives and come to understand the interaction of culture and language.


  Vermillion Main Campus

A minor in anthropology will help you develop critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills and explore as you learn about people and cultures around the world throughout history. This program is a great complement to a variety of majors, including sociology, political science, criminal justice and legal studies.

Program Details






Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.
Two Female Students Interning at the W.H. Over Museum
Anthropology students conducting hands-on research at the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion.

Through internships and research opportunities, you can gain valuable real-world experience at USD. Our students have completed internships at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and other prestigious destinations. Locally, you can intern at the W.H. Over Museum and other non-profit organizations to apply the skills you have acquired in the classroom. There are a variety of undergraduate research opportunities available to you, including the chance to assist with research in the USD Archaeology Laboratory. Recent students traveled to Baylor University to assist with osteological research, while others spent part of the summer excavating a historic South Dakota town site during the Susan Tuve Archaeological Field School.

Students Working in the ARCHLAB
The archeology lab is offers expert analysis.

The USD Archaeology Laboratory (ARCHLAB) is the research facility for the anthropology program at USD. The ARCHLAB is home to laboratories, curation facilities, a wet lab, a specialized library, field equipment and more. You'll learn about archaeology through data recovery and organization and analysis of the Great Plains region, and you can look forward to hands-on research experiences, including uncovering local history during the Susan Tuve Archaeological Field School.

Group of Anthropology Students
APES offers unique opportunities for students.

The Anthropology Program Enthusiasts Society (APES) is the official club for anthropology at USD. You can connect with other students in your major and develop lifelong friendships as you work toward a career that reflects your passion for anthropology. The group hosts field trips and sponsors events like atlatl spear-throwing contests, games nights, cultural cuisine nights and travels to regional museums. The APES also sponsor "Gorilla-grams" every spring and participate in community events, like drive-through Trick-or-Treating.

Explore Student Organizations

Departments & Facilities

Our faculty have expertise in medical anthropology, medical sociology, epidemiology, forensic anthropology, religiosity, globalization, archaeology and more.
USD students conducting dig site research.

Anthropology & Sociology

Human behavior. Biology. Culture. Societies. Social change. Explore what brings us together and what makes us unique on biological and social levels through the Department of Anthropology & Sociology.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology. Our faculty are experts in their fields, contributing to scholarship in archaeology, radiocarbon dating, medieval epidemics, paleodemography, religiosity, globalization, sociology of education, the family, medical sociology, sociology of the law and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Karen Koster

Karen Koster

Chair, Anthropology & Sociology/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Isaiah Cohen

Isaiah Cohen

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cheryl Hartman

Cheryl Hartman

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Saige Kelmelis

Saige Kelmelis

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Tony Krus

Tony Krus

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Louisa Roberts

Louisa Roberts

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Crystal Sheedy

Crystal Sheedy

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Stephanie Spars

Stephanie Spars

Senior Lecturer
Students Examining Bones in a Lab

Gain Real-World Experience

Do you have your sights set on getting your hands dirty at an archaeological dig? Studying at one of the world's most prestigious museums? Uncovering stories of our past? The USD anthropology program can help you get there. From assisting with research in the robust USD Archaeology Laboratory facilities to interning at renowned centers like the Smithsonian Museum of National History, USD anthropology students like you experience a full and enriching education.
Two anthropology students doing field work.

Enhance Your Education

Looking to specialize in a specific area of anthropology? Our program offers you a variety of minors and certificates so you can focus on your unique areas of interest. Check out our minors in archaeology and geography or certificates in forensic anthropology and health and culture to uncover new layers of your education.

Tuition & Fees

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.
SD Residents, SD Advantage* & Child of Alumni
MN Residents
Tuition (30 cr.)
Fees (30 cr.)
Books (estimate)
Food Service

* SD Advantage: The in-state rate is available to residents of South Dakota, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and children of alumni of USD.

More About Tuition & Costs

This is an estimated annual cost. Other factors may change the cost of tuition.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities.

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

Student success story

Success story Natale Basta smiling.
The anthropology program at USD fully prepared me to succeed in graduate school, and I attribute that preparation to the wonderful faculty within the department. All of the professors at USD are so willing to help the students succeed, whether it be through help on a paper or mentoring in an independent study course.

Natalie Basta

B.A. Anthropology '19

Death Investigator at Cass County Coroner's Office

Fargo, ND


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