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Solving the planet’s most pressing challenges through innovation

Innovation at ASU's School of Human Evolution and Social Change

We offer an array of degrees, but all of them share a belief in three basic principles that build great careers.

  • First, we believe skills are crucial. Our graduates know how to do things, and have the resumes to prove it. We take our students into the field with us, we teach lots of methods, we run a wildly successful research apprenticeship program across our 40 labs, we publish with our students and we model collaboration and mentorship in everything we do. Grad students get the chance to learn to teach in multiple modalities, and undergrads can work with our graduate students and faculty as assistants on their projects and in their classes.
  • Second, the scale is a major asset. Being big isn’t a bad thing. By being large and in the largest research university, a vast array of classroom and experiential options are available to everyone when they need them. Scale helps students find a wide array of collaborators, training and experiences that enrich their resumes.
  • Third, we collaborate with each other as part of our basic DNA. This extends to faculty working with grad and undergrad students in all aspects of our scholarship, and everyone working across disciplines to get at the most interesting questions. You can read more about some of our major collaborative projects that link faculty, graduate students and undergrads here.

For undergraduates, we offer a huge array of courses, almost all of which are taught directly by our world-leading faculty. Our faculty also teach award-winning online versions of our most popular classes, providing working students with scheduling flexibility as needed.

All our undergraduates have the chance to work directly in labs with – and travel into the field with – our faculty. They also have access to the thousands of classes in other schools, and enough electives in our degrees to be able to take advantage of them.

Our award-winning advisors help students craft their own pathway to the career they want. Our bachelor degree graduates are extremely successful is getting into grad school or medical school, many with full scholarships.

For graduate students, we are committed to supporting and mentoring everyone individually. Each program of study is created with the student to allow unique training programs. Each faculty mentors only a few graduate students so they can do so intensively.

We are one of the largest and most diverse anthropology programs in the country, and we have smaller boutique programs, too, that enrich everyone, as students can take classes with and work with faculty in any part of the school, and beyond, easily.

Historically we have funded almost all our graduate students through research assistantships and teaching assistantships, both great CV builders. We also have graduate student governance of the school, meaning our students play a role in shaping our decisions and how we operate.

We have extremely high retention rates, with most of the students who start with us going on to finish their degrees. Most have published with at least one faculty.

Half of all our PhD graduates go on to traditional academic appointments, while the rest are driven to take their skills into a wider world to make a difference, such as working for government agencies and international corporations.

Hands-On Opportunities

Museum studies students at ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory

Our students train not only in the classroom but also in a variety of unique field and lab settings, like the ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory, located outside the ruins of the ancient Mesoamerican metropolis. 

Student Success

photo of Lea Gleason

Spotlight on Lea Gleason

Gleason is interested in gene-culture co-evolution and large-scale cooperation. She plans to investigate how cooperation “scales up,” especially in high-stakes scenarios like warfare. She is also interested in the evolution of post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to her incredible work ethic and dedication to research, Gleason received the Alumni Award for Undergraduate Academic Achievement in Anthropology and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. After graduation, Gleason plans to remain at Arizona State University for graduate school and work with Mathew, as well as SHESC Professor Robert Boyd. One day, she would like to become a professor.


Take your research to the next level with the school's extensive ethnographic, archaeological and paleoanthropological holdings.

Student Carson Moore measuring a pot

Get an insider's look at some of the unique Southwestern specimens housed in the Center for Archaeology and Society's Repository, courtesy of ASU Now.

Our Societal Impact

Whether working with midwives in Guatemala to improve maternal and infant health or providing local policymakers with research results on human vulnerability to urban heat, our projects and programs make a difference. We encourage – and equip – our faculty and students to find ways to benefit our community, locally, nationally and globally.


Our School by the Numbers


Ranking in the U.S. for NSF anthropology and archaeology awards


Our collections comprise nearly 2 million specimens


We house 40+ labs devoted to a range of subjects, from geo-archaeology to genetics

Learn from and Work with the Best

World-Class Faculty

Our renowned faculty members specialize in a range of fields related to understanding and improving the human condition. They serve as talented professors, researchers and mentors. Our faculty are published in all the top scientific outlets, expanding the reach and impact of our scholarship.

Problem-Driven Research

At the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, we believe that research should lead to improving the human condition. With a wide range of program areas – from anthropology and applied math for the life and social sciences to global health and museum studies – the potential for our graduates to make a difference in the world is unlimited.

Community Engagement

The School of Human Evolution and Social Change has a variety of community engagement opportunities for our students to explore. Whether it’s joining the Tanzania: HIV/AIDS and public health education service-learning internship or conducting comparative studies on community engagement through various research projects, we encourage all students to get involved and find ways to benefit their community, locally and nationally.