Understanding Connections

Through topics spanning the globe – from the archeology of East Asia to languages of indigenous people of the Americas – you'll gain insights, conduct research in the field and apply knowledge to make sense of the human experience. In studying Anthropology, students discover and question the similarities, differences, changes and continuities in human culture, society, language and physical characteristics. You’ll graduate with the skills to analyze holistically and with an evolved worldview that informs your interactions with people and places.

Student Spotlight Committed to Service

Gabriela Martinez '22

Gabriela Martinez '22

Since arriving at HWS, Gabriela has tried to be a bridge between people and needed resources. Her service efforts were recently honored with a Newman Civic Fellowship.

“During my time at college, I have helped coordinate the Community Lunch program, the Holiday Gift Program, and the Blood Drive. Through these programs, I have given back to a community that I am a part of and to whom I can relate.” –Gabriela Martinez '22


and Research

Anthropology majors are encouraged to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom. Starting as early as the introductory courses, students are exposed to fieldwork using anthropological research methods. The opportunity to participate in the Geneva Collaborative Internship program is popular with Anthropology students, giving them real-world experience. The capstone project is flexible and many students choose to draw on their personal life experiences for research ideas.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Emma Katherine Falkenstein: Real or Realized? How Ideas of Community Development Manifest into Reality in Geneva, NY
    Christopher Annear, Adviser
  • Whitney Swanson: Exploring Animal Frontiers: Space, Place, and Culture
    Brenda Maiale, Adviser
  • Sara DeVault-Feldman: Crafting and Creating Community in Geneva, New York: An Investigation of the Local Foods Movement and Farm to Table Restaurants
    Brenda Maiale, Adviser
  • Sophia Richards: Rape and Reform: The Politics of Protection and Complacency
    Jason Rodriguez, Adviser

Experiential EducationWorking to Improve

experiental learning

Work with the city of Geneva to improve disability access in public spaces or research the needs of non-binary residents with the LGBTQ+ Resource Center.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

No Borders: Global Education

Study pre-colonial cultures in Argentina or the impacts of the digital infrastructure in South Korea. Almost all Anthropology students participate in study abroad and all programs are applicable to the major.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Global Education

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

In exploring, questioning and analyzing human connections and cultures, belonging, equity and diversity are inseparable from the field of Anthropology. You’ll learn to interact with people, cultures and backgrounds you might not otherwise, and develop the skills to humanely engage with other human beings.

Explore all the ways culture impacts humans and humans impact culture.

  • ANTH 208 Archaeology of Japan and China

    Survey the archaeology of East Asia from the Paleolithic through the era of classical civilizations. Study the “underground army” of the first emperor of China, the monumental mounded tombs of early Japan, the extraordinary pottery of the Jomon culture and discuss overall trajectories of China and Japan from a social evolutionary perspective.

  • ANTH 282 North American Indians

    Explore the experiences and sociocultural systems of past and present indigenous American peoples north of Mexico. Study relationships between ecological factors, subsistence patterns, modes of social organization, language, architecture, art, gender relations, ways of knowing, and religious beliefs.

  • ANTH 354 Food, Meaning, Voice

    Unravel the meanings behind food and explore the anthropological approaches to the study of food and cuisine.

If you like the focus of Anthropology and want to add insights from Sociology, consider majoring in Anthropology and Sociology. You’ll get a chance to take courses in both fields and leave with an even stronger holistic understanding of human culture and society.

Alum Impact Addressing Inequities

Denali Minnick ’19
Science Teacher at Nampa High School

Denali’s path led her from an Anthropology major at HWS with a desire to address inequities to becoming a teacher with the Teach for America program.


Companies that employ our graduates

  • American Museum in Britain
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Eastman Kodak Company
  • Houghton Mifflin Publishers
  • IBM
  • Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Microsoft
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • New York Magazine
  • Yale University

Universities where our graduates are studying

  • Boston College of Social Work
  • Case Western University School of Law
  • Columbia University
  • Pace University Law School
  • Rutgers University
  • Simmons College
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Utah Law School