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History, Anthropology & Classics

In Butler History, Anthropology, and Classics courses, you will learn about citizenship, politics, war, gender, race, class, sexuality, language, economics, religion, art and architecture, and many other things. Our study of History works to contextualize past events and understand their relevance for the present as well as the future.  In a similar fashion, Cultural Anthropology explores present-day human practices and events to grasp how people organize themselves socially and create meaningful lives. 

Butler has the only undergraduate department in the United States that integrates cultural anthropology and history in its curricula, connecting common topics, research methods, and theories—much like graduate studies do. Our students learn to think critically and write effectively. Most study away from Butler, either abroad or in Washington, DC, gaining a taste of our increasingly global world. With a History, Anthropology, or Classics degree, you’ll be equipped to carefully investigate issues and creatively solve problems on your own—essential skills for many career directions and graduate studies. 

Faculty Expertise

History, Anthropology, and Classics faculty include experts in a wide range of historical areas, including the United States, Latin America, East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. They will be your teachers and your mentors as you pursue your academic interests as well as passions beyond the classroom. You can preview their knowledge and expertise in these recently recorded talks.

Hands-on Learning

Butler’s Indianapolis location offers ready access for internships and other hands-on learning experiences with such institutions as the Indiana State Museum, Indiana State Archives, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Indiana Historical Society, as well as area non-profits. 

Study Abroad

Want to research historical records in a British archive, or dig for artifacts in an archaeological fieldsite in Greece. Would you like to do anthropological field research at sites in Latin America, Africa, or the Caribbean? 

Butler Distinctions

Alumni Success

Our graduates enter top-level graduate programs and enjoy careers in law; field archaeology, international relations; journalism; library sciences, museums, and archival work; intelligence services; market research; education; and political and government work. Read about Anthropology graduate Caitlin Gill ’08, whose Butler education helped her stand out in her field, and combined major Jimmy Rick ’15, who strove to make the most of his time at Butler.

Combined Majors

Butler’s combined History/Anthropology major lets you focus your studies on distinct global geographical areas of your choice. We also offer combined majors in History/Political Science and Anthropology/Psychology.

Washington, DC Semester

Spend a semester living, earning credits, and interning in the nation's capital through our Washington, DC, Learning Semester. Butler participants have interned with the Smithsonian Museums, the White House, Congress, Amnesty International, and many more organizations. 


Response to Immigration Policies

When founded in 1855, Butler University admitted women and African Americans when others thought them unsuitable or dangerous and excluded them from higher education. Embracing the vision and values of Ovid Butler, we, the faculty and staff of the History and Anthropology Department at Butler University, wish to state clearly our opposition to the Executive Order dated January 27, 2017 issued by President Donald J. Trump, which suspends all resettlement of refugees and bans entry to all nationals, potentially including U.S. green card holders, from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Read more.