A major in anthropology serves the needs of at least three kinds of students:
- those who wish to specialize in anthropology or one of its subfields:
- ethnology and related sociocultural subjects,
- physical anthropology;
- those who seek as part of their liberal arts education to gain a broader understanding of human behavior; and
- those whose professional or career interests require insight into otherwise unfamiliar peoples and cultures.
Collaborative research projects involving faculty and undergraduates are one of the strengths of the program. Opportunities for undergraduates to be directly involved in hands-on learning include arranging internships with a faculty supervisor and/or an on-site supervisor, for example at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Faculty-led research programs include primate research in South Africa; archaeological field projects in Peru and Central America; and an archaeological field school in the Great Lakes region. Under the auspices of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) program, students have participated in archaeology projects in the US, Mexico, Peru, and Europe. Many students also have been involved in the Milwaukee County Cemetery Research Initiative inventorying and analyzing a large collection of human remains.