Graduate Program in Biomedical Anthropology

Biological anthropology is undergoing rapid and significant change in the 21st century. Biological anthropologists are developing broader interests beyond traditional themes in academic departments of anthropology, and finding new job opportunities in and outside of academia. Biological anthropologists can be found in medical schools, schools of public health, many companies producing pharmaceuticals and dietary items, and at major government research organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Biological anthropology draws its students from a wide variety of disciplines that include the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

Biomedical anthropology is an emerging subdisciplinary area within biological anthropology. It represents the interface between biomedicine and the behavioral and social sciences that shape health status. As such, it does more than give lip service to integrating cross-disciplinary approaches. It represents an educational philosophy that has been recommended as part of an innovative graduate training initiative (1995 Reshaping the Graduate Education of Scientists and Engineers, National Academy Press) implemented by the National Science Foundation (NSF Announcement 98:96).

Biomedical anthropology emphasizes biomedical, biobehavioral, epidemiological and evolutionary approaches to understanding the transmission and dissemination of disease, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and the dynamic interaction of biological and sociocultural factors that shape health outcomes.

Last Updated: 6/22/15