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Online Bachelor’s Programs in Anthropology

Updated on: 16/08/2018
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Human societies, their culture and the history of their development are at the heart of anthropology. Bachelor’s-level anthropology courses help students develop the skills needed to study and evaluate human behavior, social organization and the resulting diversity of cultures throughout the world, and thanks to technology, students can now earn a bachelor’s degree in anthropology online. Learn about the schools who offer the best online anthropology programs and which college courses to take, and find scholarships, salary and career information for anthropologists for aspiring anthropologists below.

How Much do People with Anthropology Degrees Make?

Job prospects and salary potential in anthropology-related fields are important factors to consider for many college-bound students. Professional anthropologists often hold master’s degrees or have earned a Ph.D., as their jobs are heavily tied to research, but pursuing a bachelor’s degree in anthropology can lead to a variety of successful careers in research, history, technology industries and more. Here are some ideas:

Job Outlook through 2026: +4 percent
Good Fit For

Anthropology students who are passionate about doing fieldwork or working in laboratories may want to stick with becoming a professional anthropologist or archeologist. A bachelor’s degree in anthropology is a logical stepping stone to the advanced degree that is often required for this work.

Job Outlook through 2026: +23 percent
Good Fit For

Students who are interested in understanding people and their history or tendencies as consumers might consider using their bachelor’s degree in anthropology to develop market research. These analysts are employed in nearly every industry, from retail to tech, after a bachelor’s-level education.

Job Outlook through 2026: +18 percent
Good Fit For

An anthropology degree might be useful for students interested in humanitarian efforts, social services or non-profit work. Social & Community Service Managers work to create and supervise programs that provide aid, education and other services to the public, and entry-level positions are likely to require a bachelor’s degree.

Job Outlook through 2026: +8 percent
Good Fit For

If studying and improving the environment are areas of interest, students with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology may consider working in the field of environmental engineering. If efforts like recycling, pollution control and general public health improvements sound appealing, this may be a career path to explore.

Women outnumber their male counterparts in bachelor’s-level anthropology education by three to one according to statistics from Payscale, and Microsoft and Amazon are among the top employers of anthropologists. To find salary and job growth projections for professional anthropologists in your state, see the list below.

What Courses Should I Take to Become an Anthropologist?

An online bachelor’s degree program in anthropology includes coursework in the origins and history of anthropology, communications, fieldwork, research methodologies, and data gathering in the scientific study of human culture. Some courses will be mandated by the faculty as an essential part of the anthropology degree program, while ; others will be electives that you can choose based on your personal academic interests.

Here are five sample courses you might take as an undergraduate anthropology student:

Cultural Anthropology

A look at work and case studies of cultural anthropologists and an introduction to the cultural diversity of the world.

Environmental Anthropology

Exploring topics from ecology to climate and environmental issues through history, culture and societies.

Marriage, Sexuality and Culture

Studying family values and human sexuality through historical, cultural, economic, and political factors that influence cultures, relationships , and institutions.

Forensic Anthropology

An overview of basic forensic knowledge and the scientific techniques for identifying skeletal remains. Covers the use of forensic science to advance knowledge of cultures and societies.

Human Origins

Examining the biological evolution of primates to homo sapiens, basic genetics and fossil studies. This course builds the foundation for understanding the dawn of humanity.

How to Choose the Best Online Anthropology Program

The reputation of an online bachelor’s degree program in anthropology is the first consideration when choosing a college or university. It is also important to consider other practical factors like the cost of tuition and the degree plans offered. Knowing the requirements for the anthropology degree program and what the faculty expects from students can also help you choose the best anthropology program for your needs. Here are some answers to a few common questions about bachelor’s degree programs in anthropology.

What strategies should I follow in choosing my anthropology courses?

Bachelor’s degree programs in anthropology almost always post their curriculum online. Review a school’s course list for anthropology topics that are most interesting to you. Find out how many options you have for electives, and how many of those relate well to an anthropology major, so you can choose the courses you like best. Remember, many anthropology-specific courses, especially at the foundation level, will be required.

Can all of my anthropology courses be taken online?

This may vary by school, but earning a bachelor’s degree in anthropology likely requires hands-on fieldwork. If you enroll in an online anthropology program at a school that is not within driving distance, be sure the department makes necessary accommodations to complete fieldwork online, such as the “Bones, Stones and Human Evolution” course at Arizona State University. Most schools design their fieldwork locations to be near campus and welcome online students who are interested in participating in-person.

How are required labs or fieldwork assignments completed in online anthropology courses?

Professors may use video uplinks to share lab activities with students. Alternatively, students might use kits delivered to their home to conduct lab work.

Will my school help me find a job in anthropology after I graduate?

Most degree programs include career services assistance with staff experienced in your field of study, as well as prevailing employment conditions. Many anthropology departments will encourage students to participate in an internship or supply apprenticeship programs which students receive class credit for, on top of potentially invaluable career networking experience.

Are study abroad opportunities available for online students earning their bachelor’s degree in anthropology?

Requirements and restrictions vary by school. Some specifically encourage study abroad for their undergraduate anthropology students, offering partnerships with colleges and universities in other countries for anthropology classes. Some schools do require certain anthropology courses to be taken from your home school exclusively.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for Anthropology Programs

Numerous scholarships and financial aid packages are available to anthropology majors. Some are merit-based while others are earmarked for select underserved or economically challenged students, or for students enrolled in anthropology programs at specific schools. Here are some of the best known to give you an idea of what’s available:

Arthur C. Parker Scholarships for Archaeological Training

Established by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in honor of the founding president, the Arthur C. Parker Scholarships for Archaeological Training is presented for up to $5,000 annually to Native American students or employees of tribal cultural preservation programs who are interested in pursuing an archaeological training program. Eligible undergraduate and graduate applicants must be accepted into a four-year accredited U.S. institution with a declared major in archeology or anthropology.

Carrie Hunter-Tate Award for Students in Anthropology

Given in honor of the former officer of the National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA), the Carrie Hunter-Tate Award for Student in Anthropology is bestowed upon undergraduate and graduate anthropology student members who exhibit academic excellence, professional achievement, leadership, community service and enthusiasm for service in the profession. Applicants must submit an essay on research interests, an official college transcript and a current CV or resume on professional experience.

J. Raymond Williams Memorial Scholarship in Public Archaeology

As a two-year graduate tuition waiver program that also provides $500 each year for book costs and other academic expenses, the J. Raymond Williams Memorial Scholarship in Public Archeology is granted to full-time underrepresented minority students who are majoring and researching in public archaeology at the University of South Florida.

John E. Lobdell Undergraduate Anthropology Award

In memory of an anthropologist who specialized in the human biological and environmental history of Alaska, the John E. Lobdell Undergraduate Anthropology Award is granted annually for $1,500 by the Alaska Anthropological Association to members who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in anthropology at any U.S. institution.

Lambda Alpha National Scholarships

As the national honor society for anthropologists, the Lambda Alpha presents annual scholarships for $5,000 each to graduating senior-level undergraduate students with a major in anthropology who are active members on their university’s Lambda Alpha chapter nationwide.