York houses one of the largest socio-cultural anthropology departments in Canada, offering comprehensive and engaging programs of study.

Anthropology is the study of different societies around the world — their origins, development and cultural similarities and differences. The goal of anthropology is to advance knowledge of who and what we are, how we came to be, and where we might be going in the future.

York's Anthropology program focuses on the theories and methods of anthropology to explore how people in the world are subjected to, participate in and contest the processes of living in a world that is interconnected by new and powerful economic, cultural and technological forces.

Our students think critically and productively about how concepts such as class, race, gender and ethnic identities are produced and expressed in shifting local and global contexts of power. These themes are explored in a wide variety of courses and engage such topics as:

  • Development and the environment,
  • Media and popular culture,
  • Health,
  • Illness and disability,
  • Gender and sexualities,
  • Tourism,
  • Religion and science,
  • Diasporic communities and displaced peoples,
  • Violence and conflict, and the colonial process.

Other courses focus on processes of change in the prehistoric and historic past. Our overall goal is to prepare you to ask questions about contemporary, past and future social life and to provide you with the critical analytic tools to understand our place in the social and cultural diversity of the world, past and present.

  • Gain the critical analytic tools to understand our place in the social and cultural diversity of the world, past and present.
  • Take courses that engage in topics such as development and the environment in local and global contexts; media and popular culture; health, illness and disability; gender and sexualities; violence and conflict; religious movements.
  • Study with faculty members who have worked with national and international organizations including the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the World Health Organization.

Internationalize your degree

Earn an international Bachelor of Arts (iBA). The iBA degree program reflects York's commitment to internationalization and requires you to acquire an international language and to gain international experience on exchange at one of York University's partner institutions abroad. You will benefit from enhanced interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge, which are important components of the department's academic focus. Visit the International program page for more information.