The Department of Anthropology offers one of the most diverse disciplines in the university, spanning human evolution, the development and heterogeneity of language and culture, human history, and the diversity of cultures past and present. The department's broad scope addresses basic issues about human origins and human life, and maintains commitment to understanding social life and using this understanding to improve society. Cornell's unique structure, which joins the private university to the land-grant university, provides students with the opportunity to gain substantial training in a broad range of theoretical and practical applications of the discipline.
Cornell's McGraw Hall Museum houses over 20,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects whose origins span the globe and represent over 500,000 years of human history. Cornell's libraries also offer extensive holdings of special anthropological interest, including the world-renowned Wason-Echols Collections on South, Southeast, and East Asian history, cultures, and languages in the Kroch Library.