Anthropology and Applied Archaeology

Anthropology, the study of humanity past and present, has four subdivisions:

  • Archaeology: The study of past cultures
  • Biological Anthropology: The study of human diversity and the evolution of the human family
  • Cultural Anthropology: The study of living humans and their culture
  • Linguistic Anthropology: The comparative study of the relationship between language and culture

Utilizing these many viewpoints, the discipline brings together various studies of peoples into a meaningful whole. Because of this orientation, anthropology is steadily growing in importance in education, industry, business and national and international government service.

Research plays an important role in the department. Heavy emphasis is placed upon prehispanic Native American archaeological studies and the Southwestern United States. The university's location provides a unique vantage point to study America's earliest cultures. Faculty members of the department are involved in both qualitative and quantitative research within their disciplines, including archaeology, lithic technology, biological anthropology, ceramic analysis, cultural anthropology, historic preservation and cultural resource management.

Anthropology classes are taught in a new building with dedicated labs for osteology, forensic anthropology, geoarchaeology, ceramics, cultural anthropology, curation, and imaging. Instruction is supplemented by an anthropological research division known as the Agency for Conservation Archaeology as well as the Blackwater Draw Museum and National Historical Landmark site (the Clovis archaeological type site) and the Miles Anthropological Museum.

Field schools are held during selected summers, at a variety of locations. Each year the department brings in a notable individual to speak on some aspect of the field of anthropology for the annual Cynthia Irwin-Williams Lecture. The Mu Alpha Nu anthropology club provides a variety of social and professional opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.


Undergraduate Majors

Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology

  • Archaeology is the study of past human cultural behavior through the analysis of material remains. As such, it contributes to the larger anthropological endeavor of understanding culture by providing access to the diverse range of cultures, behaviors, and adaptations that have existed in the many thousands of years of the human past.
  • The archaeology emphasis combines coursework focused upon developing skills to analyze and interpret the record of the past, including concepts from archaeology and geology, with coursework oriented toward effectively interpreting and communicating results.
  • In addition to general education requirements, this major requires 58 hours of classes in anthropology and other fields (no minor is required).

Anthropology with an emphasis in Cultural Anthropology

  • This emphasis contributes to the holistic endeavor of anthropology by offering students a well-rounded liberal arts background with a comprehensive understanding of the world's varied systems of visual representation and communication. This curriculum allows students to apply the approach and perspective of cultural anthropology (and potentially other areas of study) toward the study and practice of visual communication.
  • The courses in this emphasis draw on social sciences, humanities and media arts. Students in this avenue will develop technical skills that will prepare them to communicate effectively and across all audiences (different cultures, classes, jobs, nations, genders, etc.).
  • In addition to general education requirements, this major requires 57-59 hours of classes in anthropology and other fields (no minor is required).

Forensic Science with an emphasis in Forensic Anthropology

  • Forensic science is the field of study involved in solving crimes and the identification of human remains. Most students with a major in forensic science can expect to work in a laboratory setting as a lab technician.
  • Because forensic science is such a diverse field, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science recommends that students specialize in a particular branch of investigation. Students majoring in forensic science will need to take a set of core courses plus the courses required for one of three specialized tracks.
  • In addition to general education requirements, this major requires 72-73 hours in anthropology and other fields (no minor is required).



  • Anthropology


Graduate Major


Contact Us

Anthropology and Applied Archaeology
113 Art and Anthropology Building
ENMU Station 53
1500 S Ave K
Portales, NM 88130
575.562.2291 (Fax)

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