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Anthropology Degree

Anthropology is the study of human beings; past and future. This encompasses everything from the origins, biological characteristics, cultural and physical development, social customs, and the various beliefs of mankind throughout history.

A degree in anthropology is interdisciplinary in nature and involves intense coursework, fieldwork, and lab work.

Anthropology is a complex science which focuses on the study of human beings. It draws upon elements from biological and social sciences, as well as humanities and physical sciences.

This interdisciplinary field of study enables students to gain an understanding of a variety of complex issues, all of which affect human beings. Some of these issues include:

  • The origin of mankind
  • Linguistics
  • Population migration
  • Human-environmental interactions

Anthropology Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology

A four-year bachelor’s degree in anthropology offers students the chance to gain a strong basis for continuing education in the field. It introduces students to modern day anthropological practices, teaches them how to carry out cultural research and the various cultural research methods, and allows them to engage in field work.

Entry Requirements
To gain admission into an undergraduate program in anthropology, students must have the following:

  • A high school diploma or suitable equivalent
  • Minimum GPA determined by program and university
  • Acceptable SAT scores
  • Some universities may require students to have taken a foreign language, history, and social sciences course prior to admission

The courses included in these programs provide students with a suitable foundational understanding of anthropology. These include:

  • Biological anthropology
  • The history of anthropology
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Anthropological research methods
  • Anthropological linguistics

Master’s Degree in Anthropology

At this stage, students can choose a particular area within the larger field of anthropology on which to focus their studies on. Accordingly, their entire curriculum will revolve around their area of interest.

Entry Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in anthropology or related discipline
  • Minimum GPA (this will be determined by the educational institute)
  • Letters of recommendation

Specific curriculums are determined according to a student’s specific area of focus. However, the following courses are offered at the master’s level:

  • Forensic pathology
  • Osteology
  • Museum studies
  • Economic anthropology
  • Contemporary anthropological studies

Ph.D. in Anthropology

A Ph.D. in anthropology is the highest award or classification that students could achieve in this field. Students who wish to gain a Ph.D. will be expected to carry out an original piece of research for their thesis which is likely to involve a substantial amount of field-work and hands-on training. Furthermore, those individuals who wish to teach anthropology must have a doctorate.

Entry Requirements

  • Master’s degree in anthropology or related disciple
  • Minimum GPA determined by program and university
  • Letters of recommendation

At this level of study, students have the option of choosing from a wide range of elective courses to take in order to meet their specific career objectives. Examples of courses that could be chosen include:

  • Artifact conservation
  • Paleoanthropology
  • Gender in contemporary cultures
  • Ethnographic analysis
  • Primate behavior and biology

Cultural Anthropology Degree

Cultural anthropology is a specific branch of anthropology which focuses on the cultural relationships between different societies throughout time. Differences in cultures can manifest themselves in everything from specific beliefs, languages to practices, institutions, and symbols.
A master’s degree in cultural anthropology offers students the opportunity to undertake intensive study of the myriad issues of cultural differences between societies. Students will have their own laboratory space and can expect to take courses in cultural and sociocultural anthropology,people and cultures, prehistory, cultural theory, evolutionary anthropology, ethnography, biological anthropology, and linguistics. Towards the end of the program, students would be expected to carry out an original research project or thesis.
A Ph.D. in cultural anthropology is usually pursued by those individuals looking for more opportunities for research in ethnographical and historical practices. Students normally focus on areas such as race, nationalism, social movements, psychology, linguistics, and sociology. This program culminates with the completion of an original piece of research.
Those individuals who choose to pursue cultural anthropology typically seek out work in research, academia, as well as in scientific and professional services.

Job Prospects and Salary

There are a wide variety of employment opportunities for individuals with a degree in anthropology. The specific jobs available will be determined according to your level of education as well as the amount of professional experience you have.
For instance, with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, an individual may seek out work as an anthropology research assistant, archeological field worker, journalist, or a policy analyst.
An individual who holds a master’s degree in anthropology may choose to pursue a career in forensic investigation, teaching (at the high school or community college level), non-profit management, or social services.
Ph.D. holders have the option of going into academic research and writing, teaching at college and university level, archeological fieldwork, or in cultural commentary and critiquing.
The data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in 2012, the following professionals earned the following annual median salaries:

  • Anthropologists and Archeologists - $57,420
  • Postsecondary Teachers - $68,970
  • Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers - $44,410

Anthropology is a challenging interdisciplinary science of human beings. It involves understanding a number of different issues and processes from the origin of mankind to the future of mankind. For those interested in pursuing anthropology as a career, degree programs are offered at the bachelor’s, masters, and doctoral levels.


States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What sort of different anthropology graduate programs are available?

A:If you are looking for a graduate program in anthropology, there are several paths you can take. You could go for a doctoral program in archaeology, a doctoral program in biological anthropology, a doctoral program in sociocultural anthropology, a master in human skeletal biology, doctoral program in linguistic anthropology and so on.

Q:Give me a few examples of online anthropology courses?

A:If you are thinking of going for education in the field of anthropology, there are a large variety of courses available for you. You could go for anthropology of religion, adventures in forensic anthropology, anthropology of computing, anthropology of war and peace, culture, embodiment and the senses, gender, sexuality and society, interpersonal, organizational and global dimensions and primate behavior. This is not an exhaustive list of courses available.

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