The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Department of Anthropology

To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws on knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. Historically, anthropology in the United States has been divided into four areas or subfields: sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. 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 anthropologists give primary attention to investigating questions having to do with evolutionary theory, our place in nature, adaptation and human biological variation. 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. Finally, linguistic anthropology is the comparative study of ways in which language reflects and influences social life.Anthropology explores the most fundamental questions about what it means to be human.

The UTRGV Department of Anthropology promotes a broad understanding of the complexity and diversity of the human experience, past and present. Our primary goal is to help students develop the intellectual curiosity, practical skills, and vision needed for living and working in a culturally diverse, interconnected world. We offer three Bachelor of Arts degrees: B.A. Anthropology, B.A. Anthropology with a Concentration in Archaeology, and B.A. Anthropology with a Concentration in Global Health and Migration. We also offer three minors: Anthropology, Archaeology, and Global Health and Migration. Visit our department webpage: for information about our program and faculty.