The Department of Anthropology at Kent State University offers four-year programs in anthropology leading to either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Advanced anthropology students can also pursue a Master of Arts degree at Kent State. Students can choose among three major subfields of anthropology: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology.

Program Options

Students can choose among three major subfields of anthropology: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology. Each anthropology major completes some coursework in each of these subfields. However, early specialization is possible, and a wide range of specialty courses permits students to develop their particular interests fully.

Biological Anthropology

Human evolution, genetics, modern human variation, and behavioral strategies of our closest living relatives represent just a few of the interests of biological anthropology. Courses are available to students in all of these areas. Closely allied to archaeology, biology and cultural anthropology, this discipline today offers employment and career possibilities despite a declining market in other academic areas. In addition to teaching in the Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts programs in anthropology, faculty members contribute to the Ph.D. in biological anthropology in the School of Biomedical Sciences (College of Arts and Sciences).

Cultural Anthropology

Students explore the diversity of human culture (including politics, medicine, religion, kinship, and cognition) through a variety of ethnographic area study courses (including the study of Oceania and the Americas). Theoretical and topical courses are also available. Cultural anthropologists from Kent State have conducted fieldwork in North and South America as well as the Pacific Islands.


This discipline examines past human societies through the materials preserved at archaeological sites. Courses concerning both Old World and New World archaeology are available. Kent State archaeologists have conducted extensive studies in Ohio and in Mesoamerica and offer practical experience through a summer field school and other funded projects.



Program Requirements

All students pursuing bachelor’s degrees at Kent State complete a series of Kent Core requirements. Anthropology majors take courses in English composition, mathematics or logic, foreign language, humanities, fine arts, social sciences and basic sciences. For the Bachelor of Arts degree, they also complete the following courses in each subfield:

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Archaeology
Human Evolution 
PLUS 24 hours of elective courses within the major (chosen by the students with their advisors).

A Bachelor of Science degree is also offered, which adds training in biology, geology, geography, mathematics and chemistry.


Special Department Programs

Students have the opportunity to learn laboratory skills in biological anthropology methods in state-of-the-art departmental laboratories under the guidance of nationally recognized faculty.

The field school in Mesoamerican archaeology offers students training in survey and excavation at a well-developed field site in Mexico. Students in cultural anthropology may gain field experience through individual investigations. Courses in the department provide students with laboratory and archival expertise.

The department also offers opportunities to gain field experience in collecting behavioral and ecological data on free-ranging monkeys in South America. Internships and collaborative projects are also available at both the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Research Facilities

Laboratories of Biological Anthropology:

The department offers research and teaching laboratories, in addition to an introductory course in Human Evolution in a dedicated teaching lab. Kent State University has one of the best skeletal and cast collections in the country, available for hands-on learning under the supervision of anthropology graduate students and faculty.

Laboratories of Archaeology:

Research and teaching laboratories for archaeology, including comparative archaeological collections from Ohio and elsewhere and facilities for ceramic and lithic analysis.

Laboratory of Ethnozoology and Paleoecology:

A research laboratory for the study of human paleoecology, including vertebrate skeletal collections and faunal remains from archaeological sites in Ohio.

Laboratory of Tropical Ecology and Primate Behavior:

Research and teaching laboratory for the study of the ecology of neotropical primates, facilities for research in reproductive biology and nutrition and fieldwork opportunities in Suriname.