Why Anthropology?



Link to faculty/staff contact information and office hours


The Anthropology Department is pleased to announce our spring 2020 awards:

Henry Rutgers Scholar Awards
These awards recognize the outstanding theses among Rutgers SAS students for the academic year. To be considered for a Henry Rutgers Scholar Award, a student must have presented his/her research at the Aresty Research Center Symposium, a department-based research event, or a professional conference.

Matthew Baldes
Olivia Boss
Rohan Ferriols Alibutud
Christopher Kotkin


Anthropology Department 11th Annual Honors Symposium Awards
Honors students’ presentations of their work are judged based on the merits of the thesis work and quality of presentation.

Olivia Boss – First Prize
Rohan Ferriols Alibutud – First Prize

  pdf Honors Symposium Program spring 2020 (1.01 MB)


Anthropology Department Honors Student Awards
Following the defense of their theses, honors students are given a designation by their advisors and second readers, according to this scale:

“Honors” is a considerable accomplishment and should be given to 60-70% of acceptable projects.
“High honors” should mark work that shows unusual excellence and/or effort in research and should be given to no more than 20-30% of the projects.
“Highest honors” should be awarded occasionally for work that might be publishable in a scholarly journal
 “Interdisciplinary Honors” is awarded to students successfully defending a thesis through the interdisciplinary honors program

Matthew Baldes – Highest Honors
Research topic: Area 116 and the Burgi Unconformity; Advisor Craig Feibel, Second Reader Kenneth Miller (Earth and Planetary Sciences); Majors Evolutionary Anthropology and Geological Sciences

Olivia Boss – Highest Honors
Research topic: Comparative dental microwear textural analysis: Pitheciines, Alouatta, and Ateles; Advisor Rob Scott, Second Reader Hylke de Jong; Major Evolutionary Anthropology

Brianna Christian – High Honors
Research topic: Do nothing without intention: Politics of care and authority as commanded by communities of Black women: Advisor Christien Tompkins, Second Reader Bridget Purcell; Major Cultural Anthropology

Rohan Ferriols Alibutud – Highest Honors
Research topic: Prioritization of autism candidate genes from whole-genome sequences of affected families; Advisors Jinchuan Xing (Genetics) and Erin Vogel, Second Reader James Millonig (Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine); Majors Evolutionary Anthropology and Genetics

Christopher Kotkin – Highest Honors
Research topic: FTIR Analysis of Ceramics from the Roman Villa of Vacone; Advisor Dan Cabanes, Second Reader Gary Farney (History, Rutgers, Newark); Major Anthropology

Frank Short – High Honors
Research topic: An Investigation of Orangutan Bimaturism through Continuous-Time Movement Modeling; Advisor Erin Vogel, Second Reader Richard Lathrop (SEBS – Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources); Major Evolutionary Anthropology

Nishita Patel - Interdisciplinary Honors
Research topic: An Analysis of Preventative and Curative Medicine Practices in Rural and Metropolitan Gujarat; Advisor Pilar Rau, Second Reader Omar Dewachi; Major Biological Sciences, Minor Cultural Anthropology


Paul Robeson Scholars
The School of Arts and Sciences has long continued the Livingston College tradition of designating students who complete a senior thesis as a Paul Robeson Scholars. Robeson, an accomplished and extraordinary student, wrote a senior thesis, The Fourteenth Amendment, the Sleeping Giant of the American Constitution, which fueled his famed valedictory address, The New Idealism.

Matthew Baldes
Olivia Boss
Brianna Christian
Rohan Ferriols Alibutud
Christopher Kotkin
Nishita Patel
Frank Short



ALL SUMMER 2020 courses are online - link to Web Registration

Some classes will be completely asynchronous (meaning all is posted, you can do your class at a convenient time for you)

Some classes will include online chats or meetings.

Click here for details

Why Major in Anthropology?

Anthropology teaches students to think in a critical way, and it exposes them to a fundamental part of the Western intellectual tradition. But it also gives them a perspective on their own position in a world of cultural, physical, and political diversity.  Anthropology seeks to understand the whole panorama of human existence in both geographic space and over long periods of time.  It offers a backdrop against which students can understand their own cultures, traditions, and behaviors and provides them with sensitivity to understanding human biological and cultural similarities and differences. 

Cultural Anthropologists
focus on understanding humans through a comparative perspective, one that teaches students to be acute observers and analysts of human behavior. 

Evolutionary anthropologists
might study orangutans, observing behavior and collecting urine to assess their social structure. 

might jump back a million years to probe the survival strategies, successes, and failures of the earliest humans. 

Linguistic anthropologists
might scrutinize conversation to learn more about the place of individuals in the family structure.

Other areas of anthropological study include forensic anthropology, business anthropology, visual anthropology, environmental anthropology, and museum anthropology.  In addition to careers in teaching and research, students of anthropology can continue on to careers in the many industries that value the anthropologist's perspective and skills.



The Undergraduate Director, Professor Robert S. Scott, can provide interested students with information and guidance in planning a major or minor, and discuss how anthropology can contribute to various goals.  Email for appointment: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office Hours from January 21 to April 28, 2020: Tuesdays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm or By Appointment


Find out how to earn honors in anthropology.

University Academic Integrity Policy



Consider joining Lambda Alpha , the National Anthropology Honor Society.  See Undergraduate Director for verification of your grades.  Lifetime membership requires one-time fee of $25.00.