Anthropology as a discipline is said to be the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. Meaning that anthropology spans from prehistory to the contemporary and research in the humanities, the social sciences and the sciences. The Department of Anthropology at McGill is a world-class department within a world-class university with faculty who study human beings from every time period and in every way possible. The Department was founded in 1966 by Richard Salisbury, who served as the first chair and who pioneered the field of development anthropology. A few years later he and his students helped the James Bay Cree reach a historic treaty with the Québec government that now serves as a model for reconciling indigenous autonomy with economic development. Archaeologist Bruce Trigger championed the rights of Canada's First Nations and made advances in the theory of archaeology and the effect of research context on the interpretation of archaeological data. In the 1980s, the innovative work of Margaret Lock and Allan Young helped to establish McGill as one of the world's premier centers for the study of medical anthropology. These central figures and their colleagues built a strong tradition of original research that transcends disciplines and reaches beyond the university gates.
Today, our Department continues to recognize and grow from these roots and now has four main specializations - archaeology, development, medical and sociocultural anthropology. We also have a small program in primate ecology and behavior headed by Primatologist Colin Chapman. In all four sub-disciplines we provide training grounded in anthropological theory and our unique program provides our graduates with a combination of disciplinary competence and interdisciplinary perspective.
Degrees Offered: Anthropology PhD, MA (MA Medical Anthropology), BA/BS major/honors, minor.