Anthropology is a broad-based discipline because it is the study of everything about human beings--past civilizations, living people throughout the world, human biology and behavior, and language.  The major subfields of anthropology reflect these topics:  archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.  Specific areas of interest that are explored in depth within our program include topics such as border health issues, food, folk healing, sexuality, race, prehistoric archaeology and Spanish colonial archaeology.

The anthropology faculty members welcome all students to our Department of Anthropology at UTRGV.  This program offers both a major and a minor in anthropology as well as an interdisciplinary masters degree through the Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies program (M.A.I.S.).

Students trained in our program will acquire oral and written communication skills, research skills, and "people" skills which qualify them well for careers in international business, government, politics, criminal justice, social work, and medicine or other health-related professions (See Useful Links).

Degree Plans

Degree plans vary depending on the year a student matriculates. The Anthropology B.A. degree plan for 2019-20 requires that majors take 42 hours of anthropology courses, 27 of which must be at the advanced (3000 and 4000) level.  The five required courses for the Anthropology B.A. degree include:

  • ANTH 1324 Human Evolution
  • Choose one of two:
    • ANTH 1354 The Anthropology of Expressive Culture
    • ANTH 2311 Global Health and Social Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Illness and Inequality
  • ANTH 2302 Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 2351 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 4345 Anthropological Theory and Methodology

To fill out the remaining courses in the major, a student can concentrate in one or more of these areas that are the expertise of our faculty members--archaeology, cultural anthropology, and medical anthropology (See Profiles, Research).  As part of several of our courses, students spend time outside the classroom in settings such as local museums and archives, social service agencies, the Border Studies Archive, and archaeological sites (See Border Studies Archive and CHAPS, Research, Course Offerings and Schedule).

Course Offerings

BA Anthropology
BA Anthropology with concentration in Archaeology
BA Anthropology with concentration in Global Health & Migration

Student Organizations

The UTRGV Department of Anthropology also supports an active Anthropology Club as well as a chapter of Lambda Alpha, the Anthropology Honor Society.

Anthropology Club bench, Edinburg campus Anthropology Club trip to Washington, DC, May 2016
Anthropology Club bench, Edinburg campus      Anthropology Club trip to Washington, DC
Anthropology undergrad Ethan Portillo presenting a research poster at an SBS Research Conference in 2014 with Dr. Servando Hinojosa

    SBS Curanderismo Conference in Spring 2015.

Anthropology undergrad Ethan Portillo presenting a
research poster at an SBS Research Conference in
2014 with Dr. Servando Hinojosa.
     Undergraduate participants with in
     "Mexican American Folk Medicine in
     Testimony and Art" panel organized
     by Dr. Servando Hinojosa at the SBS
     Curanderismo Conference in Spring

“What could I do with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology?”

A major or minor anthropology is especially appropriate for professionals closely involved with people. Our graduates acquire skills useful in many careers rather than skills applicable to one job. Our program is strong in health, especially involving the US-Mexico border, and archaeology. Several of our faculty members are actively engaged in research projects on border issues such as politics, health, cultural heritage, and archaeology. Collaboration with other faculty members in the university who have similar interests makes this research particularly timely and important. Students are exposed to these issues through their classes and also by their inclusion in the research projects themselves. Through their participation in classes and research projects, students are uniquely qualified and well trained to help businesses flourish in the rapidly changing demography of the US where Mexican-origin populations are becoming increasingly important both in terms of economics and politics.

See the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for Anthropologists and Archeologists for more information. It is an excellent resource. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Anthropologists-and-archeologists.htm