Anthropology at MIT

Anthropology is the comparative study of human cultures, how customary ideas, actions, and institutions shape individual and collective experience. MIT Anthropology faculty conduct research all over the world, from Colombia to Mongolia, and within the United States. We live and work among the people we study, participating in daily activities and rituals, conducting interviews, and using multimedia tools such as photography and videography to collect data. We analyze how social identities and hierarchies are established or contested, cultural values are transmitted and transformed, and community and state organizations operate. We bring together expertise in such topics as myth and ritual, ethnicity and race, bioethics and health politics, family and gender, games and play, law and human rights, science and technology, energy, food, language, and the environment. Our program provides students with training in field methods and social theory, critical thinking skills, and cross-cultural understanding.

The Anthropology program offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. For details about our undergraduate offerings, including resources for majors, minors, and concentrators, please visit our Undergraduate page. For graduate offerings, please visit our Graduate page.

MIT Anthropology is dedicated to diversity and inclusion for our students, faculty, and staff with regard to their backgrounds and opinions. We applaud MIT's nearly-met 2004 goal of doubling the percentage of underrepresented minority faculty over ten years and we vigorously endorse the as-yet-unmet 2004 aim of tripling the percentage of underrepresented minority MIT graduate students over the same period.

Still from Doing Anthropology video

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MIT Anthropology Mola

Professor Erica James

Learn more about MIT Antrhopology—who we are and what we do—through the images above.