Education

Best Online Anthropology Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Anthropology programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Anthropology is the study of human cultures and societies. Anthropologists study the ways in which humans have adapted to their environments, and the ways in which they have organized their societies. Anthropologists also study the ways in which human cultures have changed over time.

Anthropology degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in anthropology, including archaeological research, cultural anthropology, and physical anthropology. Students in anthropology degree programs learn about the different theories and methods of anthropology, and how to apply those methods to the study of human cultures.

How to Choose the Right Anthropology Program

When it comes to choosing the right anthropology degree program, there are a few things prospective students need to keep in mind. The first is that not all programs are created equal. There are many different types of anthropology programs, from those that focus on archaeology to those that focus on cultural anthropology. It is important that students choose a program that aligns with their interests and career goals.

Another important factor to consider is the cost of the program. Tuition rates can vary significantly from school to school, so it is important to research the cost of each program before making a decision. Students should also consider other associated costs, such as room and board, books and supplies, and transportation.

Location is another important factor to consider. Some programs may be located in areas that offer better internship and job opportunities. Additionally, the cost of living in the area where the school is located should be taken into account.

Finally, students need to consider the time it will take to complete the program. Full-time students can usually earn their degree in four years, but part-time students may require more time. Additionally, some programs may offer accelerated tracks that allow students to graduate in less time.

By considering all of these factors, prospective students can find the program that best fits their needs.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology Programs

The best online programs for Anthropology ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Florida is a broad, holistic program that seeks to understand people from earliest times to the present. The program is offered online and provides students with the opportunity to concentrate their coursework in one of four major subfields: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology and linguistics. Students can also pursue a focus in an interdisciplinary track with another major or minor.

Rank 2
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Western Illinois University is a fully online program that provides students with a holistic education in the field of anthropology. The program offers four major subfields of study: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. Students can also pursue a focus in an interdisciplinary track with another major or minor.

The program emphasizes the environment and offers courses in ethnoecology, ethnobotany, anthrozoology, ecofeminism, comparative primatology, and ethnoprimatology. Additionally, the program offers courses in field and laboratory research methods, history of human and primate interactions within environmental contexts, political ecology, sustainable development, and environmental justice.

Rank 3
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Arizona State University is an online degree that focuses on the scientific study of humanity. Throughout the program, students will develop the ability to think critically and write effectively. These skills are useful for a variety of career paths and will benefit students as they advance in their career of choice.

Rank 4
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Colorado State University provides students with the analytical tools needed to study human behavior, culture, and evolution. The curriculum is built on cultural relativism and students learn about people and their cultures (past and present), the similarities and differences that characterize human societies in the world, and key theoretical ideas that anthropologists use to study them. The program also includes coursework in archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Students have the opportunity to participate in optional, hands-on learning opportunities, such as field schools, to enhance their overall learning experience.

Rank 5
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from University of Central Florida is a great way to develop a deep understanding of humanity’s past and present. The program takes a holistic approach to understanding the human condition, with a focus on the subfields of archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics and physical anthropology.

Rank 6
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Oregon State University is a 180-credit undergraduate program that can be completed entirely online. The program offers four areas of focus to prepare students for a broad range of jobs that emphasize cross-cultural awareness, international contacts and management of cultural resources. The four areas of focus are archaeology, biocultural, cultural/linguistic, and general anthropology. The courses are delivered online by OSU Ecampus and students have the opportunity to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program.

Rank 7
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Florida International University is an interdisciplinary degree that focuses on the study of the interconnectedness of cultural, political, economic, and ecological dimensions of social life in an age of globalization. The curriculum provides students with rigorous theoretical and methodological training in social science, preparing them for careers in a variety of fields where understanding of the diversity of people’s cultural backgrounds is critical.

Rank 8
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Washington State University is a 100% online program that provides students with a core base of knowledge in anthropology. The program focuses on cultural anthropology, with students taking courses in a variety of anthropological subfields. Students in the program will gain critical thinking abilities, research experience, cultural sensitivity, and effective communication skills. The program also offers internship and fieldwork opportunities to gain hands-on experience.

Rank 9
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
North Dartmouth, MA

The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth’s Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology is a flexible program that examines societies and basic institutions, as well as smaller groups such as family, peers and neighborhood. Students must select whether to concentrate in sociology or anthropology, depending on their interests and goals. The program includes hands-on work experience through an internship.

Rank 10
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT

The University of Montana’s Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology degree is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of human cultures and the significance of biological evolution of the human condition. The major requires 36 credits in Anthropology, Linguistics, or Native American Studies, 12 of which must be the core offerings. The General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology degree include courses in biology, economics, English, geography, geology, history, communication studies, linguistics and more.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology Program

The coursework for an online anthropology degree revolves around the study of human societies and cultures, both past and present. Classes typically cover topics like archaeology, linguistics, and physical anthropology. Students also learn about research methods and fieldwork techniques.

Most online bachelor’s programs in anthropology require around 120 credits and can be completed in four years of full-time study. Some programs may offer specializations or allow students to choose electives that match their interests.

Anthropology degrees develop critical thinking, research, and writing skills. Students learn to analyze data, draw conclusions, and communicate their findings clearly. These skills are useful in a variety of careers, including social work, marketing, and teaching.

Common Anthropology Courses

A typical undergraduate anthropology degree program includes a variety of courses that introduce students to the field’s sub-disciplines. The following is a list of five courses that are often found in an anthropology degree program.

Varieties of Human Experience

This course examines how humans adapt to and transform their physical and social environments. The course focuses on how humans have responded to the challenges of survival and how they have used their creativity to make sense of their worlds. The course also looks at how different cultures have addressed the human condition and how these cultures have been impacted by contact with other cultures. Upon completion of the course, students should be able to understand and compare the various ways that humans have responded to their physical and social environments and to identify and describe the various factors that have influenced these responses.

Methods in Anthropology

This course covers research methods used in anthropology, including fieldwork, ethnography, and cross-cultural research. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between theory and method, ethics in research, and the design and implementation of research projects. Upon completion, students should be able to apply research methods to the solution of anthropological problems and be familiar with the ethical issues involved in the conduct of anthropological research.

Ancient Civilizations

This course covers the major political, social, economic, and cultural features of selected ancient civilizations. Emphasis is placed on the rise and fall of civilizations, their interaction with other cultures, and their legacies. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze and compare the major features of selected ancient civilizations.

Gender and Social Identity

This course covers the construction of gender and social identity within the context of various cultures. Topics include the socialization of gender, the impact of culture on gender roles and relations, gender as a social institution, and the intersections of gender with other social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the construction of gender and social identity within their own culture and compare and contrast these experiences with those of other cultures.

Human Biology

This course covers the structure and function of the human body with an emphasis on how biological systems work together. Topics include an overview of the body’s major systems, cells and tissues, metabolism, nutrition, and the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems. Emphasis is placed on how human biology is relevant to everyday life and the health sciences. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function of the human body and how the body’s systems work together.

Career Options for Anthropology Graduates

Graduates of anthropology programs work in a variety of industries, including archaeology, education, and research. They may also work in fields such as cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and linguistics.

Anthropologist

Anthropologists study human cultures both past and present. They may focus on a particular region or time period, or they may study a specific group of people, such as immigrants or refugees. Anthropologists typically conduct research by conducting interviews, observing people in their natural environment, and analyzing artifacts. They use their findings to write reports and books, create exhibits, and advise organizations on how to better serve their target audience.

Archaeologist

Archaeologists study human history and prehistory through the examination of artifacts and other physical remains. They work in a variety of settings, including academic institutions, government agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. Their responsibilities vary depending on their employer, but they typically involve conducting fieldwork, overseeing excavations, analyzing data, writing reports, and giving presentations.

Diversity Manager

Diversity managers—also sometimes known as diversity and inclusion (D&I) managers or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) managers—typically work under a human resources or people department. Depending on the organization, diversity managers may be responsible for a variety of tasks, including developing training programs; researching and implementing more inclusive recruiting and promotion practices; identifying barriers employees may face due to racial, gender, and other biases; coming up with strategies to remove those barriers; or resolving discrimination and other D&I-related complaints within the company.

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers are responsible for the recruitment, selection, and training of employees; the development and implementation of employee benefit programs; and the resolution of employee relations issues. They also develop and administer policies governing employee conduct and performance. Human resources managers typically work in an office environment and report to a senior human resources manager or the head of the human resources department.

Public Policy Analyst

Public policy analysts are a subset of policy analysts that focus specifically on policies at the local, state, or federal level and how they affect the public. They may conduct studies on the impact of proposed legislation or existing policy and make recommendations to policymakers. Public policy analysts often focus on specific issue areas, such as education, healthcare, or the environment.

Insights From an Anthropology Graduate

Kaya Bautista is a Social Media Strategist at Golin. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Kaya has over 3 years of experience in social media marketing and communications.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Anthropology degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Kaya Bautista: I made the most of my Anthropology degree program by taking advantage of the research opportunities that were available to me. I conducted research on a variety of topics, ranging from the use of social media in social movements to the effects of globalization on indigenous peoples. This research not only prepared me for my current job, but also helped me develop the critical thinking and writing skills that are essential in any career.

In addition, I took advantage of the opportunity to study abroad in my junior year. This experience not only broadened my perspective, but also made me more marketable to potential employers.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in an Anthropology career?

Kaya Bautista: I think the best type of person for an anthropology career is someone who is passionate about understanding people and cultures. You need to be curious and have a desire to learn about different lifestyles, customs, and traditions. You also need to be patient, as research can often be time-consuming.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Anthropology program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Kaya Bautista: I actually didn’t know what to expect going into my Anthropology program. I knew that I wanted to study human behavior and cultures, but I didn’t know how that would translate into a career.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there are a lot of career options for anthropologists. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed my coursework. I loved learning about different cultures and societies, and I found the material to be very interesting.

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