Anthropology (Biological, Evolutionary, Forensic, Cultural) and Archaeology

Anthropology is, by definition, the study of humans. This includes investigations into historical or contemporary human biology, society, culture, and cultural objects like art or technology. Our program is based on the premise that anthropology, more than any other discipline, provides insights into who we are, how we became this way, and what our future might be. Whether you choose to pursue graduate studies in anthropology or another field or move directly into the workforce, we provide you with a broad education by offering large and small lecture classes and a variety of laboratories, field classes, and research opportunities across the concentrations of anthropology, including minors in forensic fields.

You can choose to concentrate in one of four subfields for your Bachelor degree:

Historically, UNM was known for its expertise in Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology of the U.S. Southwest (see Notable Alumni and Faculty), including the first formal excavations of Chaco Canyon, an ancient center of culture and commerce. We continue to run the oldest archaeological field school in the U.S. every summer and offer fantastic training in these fields, and our program has expanded into other anthropological areas, with a particular strength in evolutionary and biological anthropology. We run multiple field projects across various fields of Anthropology, giving students hands-on experience in exploring these areas.

Our program includes instruction in biological anthropology, primatology, human paleontology and prehistoric archeology, hominid evolution, anthropological linguistics, ethnography, ethnology, ethnohistory, socio-cultural anthropology, psychological anthropology, research methods, and applications to areas such as medicine, forensic pathology, museum studies, and international affairs.

Archaeology: The Archaeology Program provides broad education and training in theory and method, with many opportunities for student research, either related to faculty projects or of their own design. The faculty is highly diverse in their theoretical perspectives, areas of methodological expertise, and regional specialization, giving students a wide range of opportunities to learn what interests them. UNM’s Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque's first public museum, houses many important collections from the U.S. Southwest and other areas, which are available to undergraduates for research. The archaeology program also offers laboratory training in lithics, ceramics, archaeofauna, geoarchaeology, and spatial analysis. 

Ethnology (Cultural Anthropology): Undergraduates gain a strong foundation in sociocultural theory, the anthropology of language and linguistics, and public anthropology. Key concerns include cultural and linguistic revitalization, gender, ethnicity, nationalism, human rights, ethnoaesthetics (culturally specific artistic creation), expressive culture, land, water, health, historical consciousness, public policy, ritual, and tourism. We regularly offer training in ethnographic fieldwork, visual documentation, museum studies, and the analysis of speech-based interaction, and emphasize the productive relationships between theory and practice by encouraging students to pursue research that addresses the concerns of the people with whom they work, while also sharpening the focus and purpose of sociocultural theory. Special area strengths include Latin America, the U.S. Southwest, and Native North America.

Evolutionary Anthropology: Evolutionary anthropologists employ a scientific approach to studying the nature, evolutionary causes, and scientific and social implications of human biological variation, including human evolutionary ecology, primate behavior and evolution, genetics, human biology, bioarchaeology, and forensic anthropology. Our faculty have a wide range of knowledge and experience in areas such as small-scale forager and horticultural societies, tropical conservation and resource usage, human social status competition, skeletal biology and human prehistory, non-human primate social behavior, paleontology, biogeography, physical and behavioral evolution of Neanderthals and other early humans, human genetic diversity in the Americas, and the relationship between biology, language and culture. Our department started the Comparative HuMan and Primate Physiology (CHmPP) Center in 2008, which enables a broader scope for research on health and the human condition. Our researchers investigate how health and behavior have been shaped by our evolutionary past, and how they are influenced by the environments in which we live. Additionally, evolutionary anthropologists at UNM work closely with the Center for Stable Isotopes to understand environmental and behavioral change over time in human societies through material analysis.

Human Biology: Human Biology is a dynamic, multidisciplinary program that provides students with an introduction to biological, behavioral, and health sciences, focusing on human health, behavior, genetics, and evolutionary history. With its multifaceted look at human life, it offers great preparation for medicine and allied health fields. Through a combination of coursework in Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, and Population Health, students will gain skillsets that will prepare them for future careers in STEM, including medical tracks and allied health fields. By accompanying our Anthropology major with a minor in Biology, Population Health, Psychology, or the creation of your own minor using courses from those fields, students can tailor this Human Biology program to meet their individual interests.

Undergraduate Program

Departmental Honors

UNM Catalog

Programs of Study


  • B.A. Anthropology - Archaeology
  • B.A. Anthropology - Ethnology (Cultural Anthropology)
  • B.A. Anthropology - Evolutionary Anthropology
  • B.S. Anthropology - Archaeology
  • B.S. Anthropology - Evolutionary Anthropology
  • B.S. Anthropology - Human Biology
  • Anthropology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Sciences

Contact Information

Undergraduate Academic Advisor(s): 
Advisor office locations vary. Please click on your advisor's name below to learn more.
Advising Email:
Department Email:
Department Location:
Anthropology (Bldg 11), Suite 240

Department/Program Website