Major | Minor

Studying anthropology helps you understand human cultural and biological diversity. It also reveals the common factors that bind us together.

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Why Study Anthropology?

Do you have an interest in human diversity and want to learn more about what we all have in common?

Studying anthropology lets you experience the amazing expression of human culture. You’ll learn how to engage in other cultures through travel. You’ll study clothing, artwork, and tools. You’ll also discover how to seek clues to the lives of past people through archaeological excavation.

An anthropology major helps you understand what makes us human. This ability is critical in our interconnected and multicultural world. Studying anthropology is about transforming your understanding of other people and yourself.

Why Study Anthropology at Luther?

Luther’s anthropology program helps you develop your critical thinking, perspective, and cultural competency. It also creates meaningful connections with a variety of disciplines. For instance, a medical career benefits by an awareness of cultural healing practices. The planet’s environmental issues should consider how humans from diverse cultures live in the world. Studying anthropology helps you develop skills and perspectives in high demand in many areas of today’s workforce.

Program Highlights

Off-Campus Study

Spend January in Tanzania. Study current issues in Europe. Take part in Luther’s Archaeological Field School in northeast Iowa.

Student/Faculty Collaboration

Conduct research with faculty and staff in the lab and field.

Anthropology Lab and Collections

Gain hands-on experience in collections management, research, exhibit development, or in a work-study position.

What You’ll Learn

Luther’s anthropology program helps you examine central questions about the human condition today and in the past. The program focuses on the four fields of cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.

Anthropology Major

Core courses in the major introduce you to the main subfields of anthropology. The 200-level courses teach you how to conduct anthropological research. In your junior year, you’ll take Anthropological Theory, which explores the theoretical perspectives that shape the discipline. You’ll also take electives based on your personal goals and interests.

Anthropology Minor

As an anthropology minor, you’ll take five courses, including two 100-level courses, one 200-level course, and two electives.

Whether you major or minor in anthropology, you’re encouraged to have a field experience. You can do this through a regular course offering, an internship, or study abroad.


Careers and Outcomes

Luther’s anthropology program teaches you to use anthropological knowledge to address real-world problems. Our anthropology majors go on to find success in a diverse variety of careers. Many also continue their studies in graduate school.


  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office
  • Smithsonian Institute
  • Science Museum of Minnesota
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Universal American School, Kuwait
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Veterans Administration Rural Health Resource Center
  • College Possible
  • Ana M. Mencini & Associates

Career Fields

  • Personnel administration
  • Urban planning
  • Museum curation
  • Contract archaeology
  • International business
  • Teaching
  • Cultural resource management
  • Immigration law
Abby Vidmar
It is critical to have an understanding of a vast number of subjects because issues in the world are complex. Luther’s anthropology program reflects this multidisciplinary mindset.
Abby Vidmar '19

Geophysical Remote Sensing

Archaeological remote sensing allows archaeologists to study the remains of past cultures without physically contacting them. It can include aerial photography, satellite imagery, and a range of geophysical techniques. Luther is one of only a few institutions in the U.S. that offers this opportunity for undergraduates.

At Luther, you can get hands-on experience with archaeological remote sensing. Our students are have used this specialized technology to learn more about Decorah’s history.

two people are out in a field of grass, holding wires and an oblong metal device being swept over the ground


Luther helps match anthropology students with choice internships at museums, educational organizations, and various nonprofit organizations. Recent anthropology majors have interned at:

  • Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
  • YMCA of Metro Minneapolis
  • Helping Services of Northeast Iowa
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio


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