In Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, the British tradition of social anthropology tends to dominate. In the United States, anthropology has traditionally been divided into the four field approach developed by Franz Boas in the early 20th century: biological or physical anthropology ; social , cultural , or sociocultural anthropology ; and archaeology ; plus anthropological linguistics . These fields frequently overlap, but tend to use different methodologies and techniques.
The department’s emphasis on applied and engaged learning makes anthropology a unique discipline in which majors conduct their own fieldwork and research and are encouraged to take advantage of the many available experiential learning opportunities. Laboratory facilities are available for each of the specialized subdisciplines, and students can participate in small group field classes that focus on anthropology in Puerto Rico and Hawaii during the winter and archaeology and service learning with Native American communities during the summer.