Anthropology is a broad and diverse discipline that seeks to better understand the
human species in terms of our cultural, behavioral, and biological development through
time. Towards this end, the field of anthropology includes comparisons with our closest
living relatives - the lemurs, monkeys and apes that, together with us, constitute
the zoological Order Primates. The wide scope of anthropology has resulted in the
emergence of four sub-disciplines: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological
anthropology, and linguistics. Cultural anthropology concentrates on the cultural
behavior of modern humans. Archaeology represents the study of human cultural and
behavioral variation over time investigated through the material culture of past people.
Biological anthropology examines humans as biological organisms in an evolutionary
framework. This, itself, encompasses a very broad range of topics, including human
biology, the study of the behavioral ecology and anatomy of living non-human primates,
and the fossil record for primate and human evolution. Linguistics is the study of
language and its structure (see Department of Linguistics).
The Department of Anthropology has 16 core (full-time) faculty and a number of associate
faculty, covering the areas of cultural anthropology, paleolithic archaeology, Southwest
Asian archaeology, zooarchaeology, the behavioral ecology and conservation of living
primates, evolutionary morphology, brain evolution, primate paleontology, and human
The department maintains close ties with faculty in Stony Brook's Department of Anatomical Sciences (Renaissance School of Medicine) and of Biomedical Engineering (College of Engineering and Applied Sciences), as well as the Departments of Africana Studies, Ecology and Evolution, History, and Geosciences (College of Arts and Sciences). As such, research opportunities abound for undergraduate
students as well as for graduate students in anthropology!
This is an extremely exciting time for anthropology, and Stony Brook is at the forefront
of anthropological research in the 21st century. Our faculty is diverse, our commitment is high, our research is cutting-edge, and our facilities are unique. Come and join us!
We encourage you to explore our site and hope that you find Stony Brook University
and our department to be both exciting and friendly. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.