Vision & Mission

The School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona is a large, diverse community of faculty, students, and staff engaged in the teaching and application of knowledge in every major area of the discipline.


Our vision is to meet the diverse educational needs of our students, to provide them with an informed understanding of human universals and human differences, so that they may become capable, contributing members of their diverse communities.

Missions and Aspirations

We believe that teaching anthropology involves giving students the means to understand and respect the variety in human experiences and to develop a critical perspective on their own society and on current public policy and reform. Anthropology is unique and effective among fields that examine human behavior because of its particularly intensive techniques of participant-observation research, its use of both qualitative and quantitative methods, and its ability to bring together a comparative and global perspective and the time depth of five million years of prehistory to the investigation of human problems.

As a science, anthropology is the only discipline that effectively examines humans as a species, including all past and modern human cultures and physical adaptations. The anthropological perspective is unequalled in its command of both diachronic and synchronic evidence in investigations of human evolution and the origins of modern human diversity because of its conceptual coordination of research on human ancestors (pre-modern culture and hominid biology during the last five million years) with inquiry on modern humans (language, modern cultures, modern human biology). The four-subfield representation of our School of Anthropology embodies this ideal, perhaps more than any other program in the nation. Additionally, many research projects here in some way link information from linguistic anthropology, archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and biological anthropology.