Anthropology is a science which encompasses the study and evolution of man in totality, against the backdrop of society. It traces not only the evolution of man from primitive to contemporary times, but also the physical and cultural diversity of human living in different environments. It is believed in India because of the interest of the colonial rulers. While establishing their rule in the country they made attempts to study the living habits of the people which were compiled in the form of books. However, it was formally introduced as a subject in 1920 by Calcutta University which started a Master's programme in the same year. Unfortunately, even though so many years have passed, Anthropology remains one of the lesser known and less popular subjects, its potential yet to be explored to the fullest.

Course Requirements:
A Science background at the +2 level is preferred for a B.Sc. programme in Anthropology. One must have a M.Sc. degree in order to get an entry level job in the field. If you want to work with international development agencies as an advisor you got to have a Ph.D. degree in the subject.

Almost all established universities in India offer B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Anthropology. These include the Universities of Delhi, Allahabad, Garhwal, Kolkata, Vishwabharti, Vidyasagar, Sambalpur, Manipur, Dibrugarh, etc.

Nearly all universities abroad offer courses in Anthropology. Cambridges has a faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, commonly known as "Archanth", which offers undergraduate programmes in the three main branches of Anthropology. Oxford offers programmes (M.Anthropology, such as Medical Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, Material Anthropology, etc.

Branches of Anthropology:
since Anthropology studies the various dimensions of man's existence and it is a broad subject, it encompasses specialised branches. These branches are Sociocultural Anthropology, Prehistoric Anthropology(Archaeology), Physicalor Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology and Applied Anthropology.

Socio-cultural Anthropology:
This branch deals with various aspects of socio-cultural behaviour of people like how people form groups and communities, how cultures develop, etc. It studies socio-economic changes, cultural differences among different communities and regions and the reasons for such differences, as also cross-cultural communication, evolution of languages, evolution of technology and patterns of change in different cultures.

Prehistoric-Anthropology (Archaeology):
The branch tries to reconstruct history on the basis of relics, bones or other artifacts, coins, stone carvings, statues or remains of urban structures that are dug up. Such findings help to understand the chronological sequence of events. On the basis of these, archaeologists try to investigate and analyse early human activity. Archaeologists also explore recorded documents that might be found in historical sites, palaces and elsewhere.

Physical or Biological Anthropology:
This branch is concerned with the physical and biological characteristics of the primate order, for example, humans and their past links with other primates (like chimpanzes, gorillas, monkeys, etc). It also studies the physical differences between races, human genetics, modes of physiological adaptation and reactins to different physical environments. This branch in turn includes various subdisciplines such as primate biology, osteology (study of bones and skeletons), paleoanthropology (old deed primates of ancient times), forensic anthropology (to understand the course of death due to homicide, suicide, accident or otherwise), etc.

Applied Anithropology:
The basic information and reports obtained from work in the other specialisations are put to use in Applied Anthropology in government services such as birth control, medicine, treating malnutrition, helping growth, juvenile delinquency, labour unrest in industries, agricultural practices, tribal welfare and regabilitation, etc.

Linguistic Anthropology:
This branch deals with origin and construction of unwritten as well as written languages. Some anthropologists may choose to take a cross disciplinary approach to the field and study two or more branches such as linguistics, nutrition or behavioural science and then apply the their respective ongoing study of say Cultural Anthropology.

List of Institutions offering B.A/B.Sc./M.A./M.Sc in Anthropology in India :
  • Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam - 530 003
  • Bangalore University, Bangalore - 560 056
  • Berhampur University, Bhanja Bihar, Berhampur, Distt, Ganjam, Orissa - 760 007
  • Dibrugharh University, Dibrugarh, Assam
  • Dr.Hari Singh Gour Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gour Nagar, Sagar, MP
  • Guwahati University, PO, Gopinath Bordili Nagar, Guwahati, Assam
  • Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh
  • Karnataka University, Pavate Nagar, Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana
  • B. Sc. Tech (after B.Sc) Nagpur University, Nagpur 440001
  • Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal, Manipur
  • Nagarjuna University, Nagarjuna Nagar - 522 510
  • North Maharashtra University, Jalgaon - 425 002
  • Pt.Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur-492 010
  • Pune University, Pune - 411 007
  • Punjab University, Paliala - 147 002
  • Punjab University, Sector 14, Chandigarh, Punjab
  • Ranchi University, Ranchi, Ranchi - 834 001
  • Ranchi University, Ranchi, Ranchi - 834 001
  • University of Delhi, Delhi - 110 007