Anthropology is the study of human differences and commonalities in a world of global and transnational connections.

Cultural anthropologists study a wide range of contemporary concerns, from identity and community formation to popular culture and political economy. They engage in long-term ethnographic research in rural, urban, and suburban environments around the world and apply critical cultural analysis to their field experiences.

Anthropology at Purchase College takes the study of culture to be an inherently interdisciplinary practice, drawing not only on other social sciences, but also the natural sciences, the humanities, and the arts. Courses in the anthropology program provide the core of a broad liberal arts education for students majoring in anthropology. These courses also introduce students from a range of other disciplines to the vital connections between anthropology and their own fields of study.

Our graduates go on to careers in social work, development, and activism for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, curatorial and archival work at museums and historical societies, consumer research and creative communications for marketing and advertising firms, end-user practices for product design firms, and teaching at colleges and universities.


In addition to meeting general education requirements, all anthropology majors must complete the following requirements (35–39 credits):

  1. The following courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher:
    • ANT 1500/Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology: 3 credits
    • ANT 3150/Classics in Anthropological Literature: 4 credits (*offered in the spring)
    • ANT 3560/Fieldwork: Qualitative Methods: 4 credits (*offered in the fall)
    • ANT 4070/Current Anthropological Literature: 4 credits (*offered in the fall)
    • Four anthropology electives: 12–16 credits
  2. SPJ 4990/Senior Project I: 4 credits
  3. SPJ 4991/Senior Project II: 4 credits

Anthropology majors are encouraged to undertake an internship, study-abroad opportunity, or community-action independent study. Students may petition to take credit-bearing internships with anthropology faculty sponsors in lieu of one upper-level elective for the major.

Refer to The Senior Project for additional information.

Minor requirements:

The minor in anthropology is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the discipline and to introduce them to some of the major subfields.

Students interested in the minor should consult with a member of the anthropology faculty, then submit a completed Application for a Program of Minor Study. A student is assigned to the faculty advisor who best meets the student’s academic interest in the minor.

Academic Requirements for the Minor in Anthropology

Five courses, to include:

  • ANT 1500/Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Plus four elective courses in anthropology, chosen with the assistance of the anthropology faculty


  • Lecturer of Anthropology
    • BA, Florida International University
    • MA, Florida International University
    • PhD, Florida International University
  • Associate Professor of Anthropology
    • BA, Trinity College
    • MA, New York University
    • PhD, Columbia University
  • Associate Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology
    • BA, Hampshire College
    • MA, University of Washington
    • PhD, Columbia University
  • Professor of Anthropology
    Director of Natural and Social Sciences
    • BA, Yale University
    • MIA, Columbia University
    • PhD, Stanford University
  • Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology
    • BA, University of Chicago
    • MA, New School for Social Research
    • PhD, University of Texas, Austin
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
    • MA , Brooklyn College
    • MPhil,Goldsmiths College
    • PhD, University of Texas, Austin

Contributing Faculty

  • Director, School of Liberal Studies
    Associate Professor of Liberal Studies and Anthropology, Liberal Studies Program Chair
    • BS, Hunter College, City University of New York
    • PhD, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York
    • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching
    • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
    • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Innovative Study Abroad
  • Professor of Media Studies
    Juanita and Joseph Leff Distinguished Professor 2023-2024
    • BA, Grinnell College
    • PhD, University of Texas, Austin