Appreciate the nuance.

The Anthropology Brochure

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The problems facing the world are complicated. People see these problems differently, influenced by their location, background, psychology, socioeconomic status, and a myriad of other factors. We look at things in a nuanced, empirically rigorous, and interdisciplinary way in order to develop uniquely informed solutions that will make a real difference.


At UC Santa Cruz, we don’t study vanishing cultures – we study emerging worlds. We span the subfields of our discipline, including biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology. We look to primate anatomy for clues to the course of human evolution; we investigate the cultural borderlands performed in Mexican folkloric dance; we study the bones of long-dead sea creatures to learn how European colonialism transformed Monterey Bay and the lives of its indigenous inhabitants.

Anthropology by the numbers

• 3,236 students enrolled
• 563 undergraduate majors
• 49% of majors are first-generation college students
• 49 Ph.D. candidates
• 28 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships
• 25 Wenner Gren Dissertation Fellowships
• 23 Institute of International Education Fulbright Fellowships
• 8 Fulbright-Hayes Fellowships
• 4+ major faculty awards including the NRI Welfare Society’s Gandhi Pravasi Medal, the Guggenheim Award, and the MacArthur Genius Award
• 6 current presidencies of major professional associations

We share a concern with real-life issues, from the plight of ethnic minorities to the spread of genetically modified organisms.

Our primary areas of strength range from environmental anthropology to food studies, archaeological sciences, feminist anthropology, and the development of entirely new research methods. Unlike at many other institutions, specialists in each of our subfields work together to develop multi-faceted anthropological theory and research. By studying past and present cultures and ways of life, we expand our ability to imagine alternative futures.


To best support our students while producing high-quality research with real-world resonance, we are focused on these specific goals:

• Enhance the undergraduate experience by:

• Expanding field study opportunities
• Establishing internships overseas at field sites
• Growing the writing tutoring program
• Creating smaller class sizes to promote more direct
engagement in cutting-edge research

Increase resources for attracting and retaining top Ph.D. students and funding their research

• Build new, state-of-the-art research labs to develop techniques to support our work

• Establish endowed chairs in each of our three core subfields

• Establish endowments for naming and expanding anthropology’s public-facing entities, including:

• Building a new Archaeological Research Center (ARC)
• Expanding the Center for Emerging Worlds

Through noticing, describing, and imagining, we renew the conversation about life on earth.


It’s that simple. Your donation will help fund the vital work happening here in the UC Santa Cruz Anthropology Department. Please help us continue to provide outstanding opportunities for students while achieving our research and infrastructure goals.
Your gift makes all the difference.

Call Anne Hayes at 831-502-7274