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Biological anthropology

Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 02/02/2015 - 2:31pm

What is biological anthropology?

Biological anthropologists (also known as physical anthropologists) study the fossil remains of our human ancestors, the living primates, as well as the adaptation of living humans to different environments. Students investigate the origins of our species, variation and adaptation in modern human populations, and the behaviour and ecology of other primate species. 

A unique place to study

We offer a wide range of courses on primate behavior, evolution, ecology, cognition, and conservation that is one of the best in Canada. The department has a laboratory with casts of fossils from the earliest primates through to modern humans.

Our department offers a rigorous and comprehensive training and research program for undergraduates and graduates alike. Through field schools and faculty-driven or independent projects, students are encouraged to engage in research and gain valuable experiences outside of the classroom setting. We practice a methodology that includes long-term field research with primates living in the wild, where we engage in direct observation. Our commitment to long-term engagement with populations, closely related primate species and environments, is a hallmark of our understanding of the contemporary world and the forces that have created it.

Learn more about enhancing your degree with an honours or cooperative education program.

At the University of Calgary, there are many ways to get involved and enjoy student life during your degree.

Field schools

Field schools are a great way to gain hands-on experience and see your degree in action. The department regularly offers field schools that can count towards your degree. Field schools offered by other institutions can sometimes be credited towards your program. Students considering this option must consult with the undergraduate advisor before enrolling.  > Learn more

Put your degree to work

Our graduates from the biological anthropology stream have worked in forensic sciences, health sciences, epidemiology, museums of natural history, and zoological gardens, among other careers. > Browse helpful links

Degrees offered:

Degree requirements:

  • BSc in Anthropology
  • BSc honours in Anthropology
  • Minor in Anthropology
  • High school students: There are no high school courses required for admission to the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology other than those required for admission to the Faculty of Arts. Prospective students should direct their high school coursework towards the sciences or arts depending on which direction they would like to see their archaeology degree proceed. Talk to our program advisor for more detailed information about recommended high school courses.

First-year courses


Dr. Chris Holdsworth
Undergraduate Program Director

Monika Davidson 
Program Advising