Anthropology studies the physical evolution, culture, and behavior of humans. Anthropologists seek to understand how the human species has evolved over time, how different groups adapt to different environments, and why people behave in particular ways. As an anthropologist, you might study ancient primate fossils, Celtic wedding rituals, or modern nightclub dancing—anything that involves the human body or human behavior.
Anthropologists are trained observers who understand the importance of collecting data and listening to others.
A Buffalo State bachelor's degree in anthropology prepares students for a number of jobs in the anthropology field, along with the fields of law, social work/counseling, and public administration with additional graduate study. Our alumni have gone onto graduate school in anthropology, biology, social work, counseling, higher education administration, art conservation and museum studies, and library science. Some job titles acquired by anthropology graduates include:
- Archaeological Field Technician
- Cultural Resource Analyst/Manager
- Curriculum Designer
- Forensics Specialist
- Grant Writer
- Human Resources Manager
- International Aid Worker
- Nonprofit Coordinator
- Police Officer
- Public Policy Analyst
- Tour Guide
- Travel Writer
- Tribal Liaison
- University Professor
Anthropology Society: A campus organization of undergraduate students interested in various aspects of the discipline. The society has its own lounge and organizes field trips to anthropological and archaeological sites, invites experienced guest speakers to campus, and conducts various other social and educational programs.
New York State Archaeological Association: The NYSAA is the primary organization for professional and avocational archaeologists in New York. Over the years, the association has been involved in the excavation of some of the most important sites in Northeast prehistory.
Summer Archaeological Field School: The Anthropology Department conducts an archaeological field school each summer. Students may choose between a site at Beaver Island State Park in Grand Island or a site at Old Fort Niagara in Lewiston, New York. Students learn how to map a site using a laser transit, establish excavation units, and excavate stratigraphically.
Undergraduate research is one of the most powerful ways for students to learn. Working with a faculty member who is a practicing scientist, Buffalo State students can gain experiences not offered by regular courses and can learn first-hand the demands of anthropology research. Our students have presented projects at national and regional conferences as well as at Buffalo State's annual Student Research and Creativity Conference, which highlights the results of undergraduate research.
Anthropology students also are encouraged to pursue internships before graduation. Our students also have landed internships with sites throughout Western New York, including:
- AIDS Community Services of Western New York
- American Red Cross (Affiliate Offices)
- Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village (Amherst Museum)
- Broadway Market
- Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
- Buffalo City Mission
- Buffalo History Museum/Historical Society
- Buffalo Zoological Society
- Burchfield Penney Art Center
- Catholic Charities
- Compass House
- Forest Lawn Cemetery
- Habitat for Humanity
- Journey's End Refugee Services
- Mental Health Association of Erie County
- Old Fort Niagara Museum
- Preservation Buffalo Niagara
- Rochester Museum and Science Center
- Roycroft Campus Corporation
- SPCA Service of Erie County
- West Side Ministries
- Young Audiences of WNY
Are you fascinated by human culture and behavior? Do you want to learn more about cultures that lived long ago, as well as ones that exist today? Our anthropology program might be perfect for you.
Susan Maguire at Old Fort Niagara
Our faculty members have deep ties to myriad cultural institutions in Western New York. Two faculty members have earned Fulbright grants for their research projects, both locally and internationally. One faculty member serves as the vice president for the New York State Archaeological Association and has worked with the American Anthropological Association on literature to bring anthropology to the masses.
Two archaeological field schools—Beaver Island State Park and Old Fort Niagara—provide space for student exploration and research each summer. Students learn how to map a site using a laser transit, establish excavation units, and excavate stratigraphically. The field school are well-received and frequently draw students from other New York universities.
Small Class Size
Classes geared toward anthropology majors typically have 20 or fewer students meaning students receive plenty of individualized attention from faculty.
The Buffalo State campus boasts a large, well-equipped laboratory for archaeology and physical anthropology study. Holdings include human and primate skeletal material; fossil man casts; surveying, excavating, and photographic equipment; and osteometric and anthropometric instruments.
The Niagara Frontier Folklore Archive contains more than 4,000 student collections, filed by collector and cross-referenced by genre and by ethnic, religious, age, occupational, and interest group.
Eaton Archaeological Collection
An archaeological housed in the Anthropology Laboratory is the result of 17 field seasons of excavation directed by Professor Emeritus Bill Engelbrecht. The excavation site is located in West Seneca, New York, and contains a long history of occupation, from the archaic period through the nineteenth century.
Our alumni have gone onto graduate school in anthropology, biology, social work, counseling, higher education administration, art conservation and museum studies, and library science in organizations such as the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Coalition for Economic Justice/Jobs with Justice, Planned Parenthood, and the Buffalo History Museum.