COVID-19 Updates from WSU


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wichita State University will conduct all classes online or remotely for the summer.

For COVID-19 updates and information, go to

Wichita State's Anthropology Department combines a diverse range of courses and concentrations, with opportunities for student-faculty research — opening doors to a wide variety of career paths.

Artifact screening Etzanoa


Graduation Announcement:

The May graduating seniors and graduate students are a special graduating class. During these difficult times, Wichita State University acknowledges they won’t have the traditional commencement opportunity due to the events affecting our nation. The university wants to honor their hard work, dedication and commitment.

For our seniors and graduate students, graduation is a time to reflect on your higher education and look toward the future. It’s a time of celebration with those closest to them and the faculty and staff who helped get them to this moment. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the traditional in-person May ceremony because of the dangers related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So instead, the university will hold a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2020 starting at 9 a.m. The virtual celebration link will post on the commencement web page. The virtual format will allow us to safely celebrate the spring and summer graduates on their original commencement date during this time of social distancing. The celebration will feature pre-recorded remarks from the university president, provost, deans and the WSU Alumni Association, as well as personalized slides of each participating graduate.

But the university also recognize that walking during your graduation is one of the most special parts. So on Saturday, Oct. 10, the university will hold a special graduation ceremony for all those who completed their degrees in May. The university wants to recognize everything they've done and celebrate with family and friends present. As long as it’s safe to do so, Wichita State will celebrate alongside you.

Those who cannot make the October ceremony are also welcome to participate in the December ceremony.



Founded in 1967, the Department of Anthropology at Wichita State University has grown from three faculty members to six faculty members and four adjunct lecturers. The Holmes Museum of Anthropology, research laboratories, and various field research stations are among the special facilities available to all students, both undergraduate and graduate. Anthropology combines the perspectives of the sciences and the humanities. It examines many aspects of human activity -- psychological, biological, social, and cultural -- -including technological, economic, religious, political, and artistic. An anthropologist explores the vast diversity of human cultures, striving to understand and appreciate the myriad ways of living that constitute alternative solutions to the universal problems of human existence and survival. It has a tradition of four subfields: archaeology, linguistics, cultural, and biological anthropology.                                


Areas of Emphasis


Archaeologists study the material remains (the buildings, tools, pottery, and other artifacts) of societies in order to understand cultures and to infer the processes of cultural change. Anthropological archaeologists are usually, but not exclusively, concerned with the prehistoric cultures (those without written records) of our early ancestors, people who existed before the emergence of agriculture, the domestication of animals, and the use of metals.

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Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropology, also called physical anthropology, is the subfield of anthropology that focuses on the biological aspects of human beings, especially how they relate to cultural practices, evolution, and the environment. The subfield itself is divided into three major branches which often overlap: paleoanthropology (the study of fossil humans and near relatives); primatology (the study of primates -- humans, apes, monkeys, and prosimians); and the study of modern human variation and adaptation.

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Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropologists seek to understand different groups and societies by examining their culture from a holistic perspective, which means the broadest possible context through which the complexities, interconnections, and interdependencies of culture can be comprehended.

Culture can be defined as the entire collection of a group or society's values, beliefs, traditions, perceptions, and behaviors . It encompasses stated as well as unconscious principles by which groups define their lives and the world around them. Every aspect of a group or society -- from family structure, social control, political and economic structures, to religious, artistic, and linguistic principles, even the way we dress and the food we eat -- is part of culture.

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Museum Studies Graduate Certificate

The Museums Studies Graduate Certificate Program is designed for graduate students and for those who currently work in museums. This is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for careers in the museum field and will enhance the education and knowledge of those currently working in museums.

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Course Spotlight




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