If you're interested in studying how we as humans live, work, and play today or, for example, how humans as a species develop, then an online bachelor's degree in anthropology may be a good fit for you. At its core, anthropology is the study of humankind, and by learning your anthropology degree online, you'll learn about the development, evolution, and cultural history of human beings. Many anthropology programs also allow you to specialize your studies through concentrations, like medical or biological anthropology.
Right now, growth outlook for anthropology careers is modest yet positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 300 more jobs for anthropologists and archaeologists are expected to be added to the field through 2024. Studying for an anthropology degree online, however, will equip you with strong research, communication, and analytical skills — all of which are applicable to a wide range of career paths.
Accredited Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Programs
University of Florida - Online
Founded over 160 years ago as East Florida Seminary, the University of Florida serves approximately 56,000 students across multiple campuses, including its 2,000-acre flagship in Gainesville. UF also offers more than 20 unique programs entirely online. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top online bachelor’s programs in the country, UF's online anthropology degree enables students to customize their degree plan with a variety of minor and certificate options.
UF’s 120-credit online anthropology degree offers students the ability to focus their studies through one of four distinct concentrations: archaeology, linguistics, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. The program emphasizes research methods, including data management and analytics, and develops students' collaboration and critical thinking skills. Within the major, students take 34 credits of coursework in language and culture studies and complete a capstone course. UF offers opportunities for anthropology students to study abroad and participate in ethnographic and archaeological study experiences.
Transfer students wishing to complete their degree at UF must have completed three anthropology courses, or two anthropology courses and one statistics course, with a cumulative 2.5 GPA. Incoming freshman applicants must submit official SAT and/or ACT scores. Transfer students must complete at least 18 of the required 34 credits in anthropology at UF.
The University of Florida holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
University of Central Florida
Established in 1963 as Florida Technical University, the University of Central Florida has grown exponentially to become one of the largest universities in the nation. Serving over 68,000 students, UCF offers more than 220 academic programs at its campuses in the greater Orlando area and online through an extensive distance learning platform.
Learners in UCF's fully online cultural anthropology degree program can earn their bachelor of arts without visiting campus. The 120-credit curriculum prepares students for careers in fields such as archaeology, conservation, and forensic anthropology. The program emphasizes exploration of topics in cultural and physical anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology. Electives include classes in Mesoamerican studies, Native American religion, magic and rituals, and life and death in ancient Egypt. Research emphases include archaeology and forensics, cultural competency, and medical anthropology.
Students must earn a minimum 2.0 GPA while in the program. All students take a standard exit exam. An undergraduate coordinator in the department will help online students create a degree plan since course availability varies per semester. Transfer students with fewer than 60 earned credits must submit SAT and/or ACT scores for admission. Applicants must have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA on any prior coursework.
The University of Central Florida holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Florida International University
Florida International University opened in 1972 with 5,667 students in its inaugural class. The school has since grown to serve over 58,000 students earning degrees across six campuses and online. Home to some of the largest research facilities in the country, including an underwater ocean laboratory, FIU provides students with high-quality education and opportunities for collaboration and creativity.
FIU's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs allows students to earn a fully online anthropology degree through its joint-track program in sociology and anthropology. The curriculum emphasizes the study of cultural practices globally, exploring the ways people use language and culture to form an understanding of the world. Students learn critical research and analysis skills through ethnography and social statistics sampling.
Core courses in the program include world ethnography, research methods, and social theory. Students take electives in anthropology, geography, and sociology. The degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, with at least 30 upper-level credits taken at FIU.
Incoming first-year applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores for admission. Transfer students must consult with an admissions counselor to determine eligible credits from another institution.
Florida International University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Oregon State University
Located in Corvallis, Oregon State University enrolls approximately 30,000 students in over 200 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs, including more than 55 programs offered entirely online. Consistently ranked in the top 10 for distance learning by U.S. News & World Report, OSU provides over 1,200 online courses to students around the world through its ECampus.
OSU's online anthropology degree, offered as a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, requires learners to complete a minimum of 180 credits. Students can pursue concentrations in archaeology, bioculture, and cultures/linguistics. Archaeology focuses on field and lab analysis of historic materials. Bioculture examines the interactions of health and relationships. The cultural/linguistics track explores arts, rituals, language, and technology.
Alternatively, learners can choose a general track and tailor their degree toward specific interests. Although students largely complete the required coursework online, the archaeology concentration requires a 12-credit field experience.
Incoming first-year students should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must submit official SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students with at least 15 earned credits must demonstrate a minimum 2.25 GPA.
Oregon State University holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
University of Houston - Clear Lake
Established in 1974, the University of Houston-Clear Lake occupies a 524-acre wildlife preserve close to downtown Houston, providing students numerous walking trails and parks. More than 9,000 students at UHCL pursue over 90 academic programs across four colleges. In addition to its on-campus offerings, UHCL also offers an expansive list of online programs including an online anthropology degree program.
UHCL’s online bachelor of science in anthropology requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, which students can complete in as few as two years. The major requires 45 credits including coursework in cultural anthropology, research methods, geography, and cultural diversity. Students take required geographically focused courses and may choose from a wide variety of elective courses to further tailor the degree to their interests. The program prepares students for careers in education, healthcare, human resources, and international relations.
Prospective students must have completed a high school program or similar curriculum as defined by the State of Texas Uniform Admission Policy. Students with under 11 transfer credits must meet freshman admission requirements, which include official SAT or ACT scores in addition to TAKS or STARR test scores for Texas residents.The GPA requirements for transfer students vary based on the number of eligible transfer credits.
The University of Houston-Clear Lake holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Colorado State University
|Fort Collins, CO||
With a main campus in Fort Collins at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado State University opened in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College. CSU still houses a special agricultural campus, which sits with the main, foothills, and mountain campuses on the university’s 5,000 acres of land. CSU serves over 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offers over 40 degrees and numerous professional certifications online.
CSU's 120-credit online anthropology degree encompasses studies in humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences through synchronous and asynchronous classes. The core curriculum explores archaeology, biological and cultural anthropology, and geography, providing knowledge, theories, and frameworks for analyzing cultural differences. Online students can participate in summer field experiences to gain real-world knowledge in paleontology, archaeology, and ethnography. Students pursuing the BS in anthropology also have the option to complete a minor in areas like global and environmental sustainability, political science, and sociology. The program also requires a capstone course in anthropology.
To apply, prospective students must have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA on all previous coursework and must meet CSU’s admissions requirements in mathematics. Applicants with prior college credit use an online tool to assess which classes are eligible for transfer.
Colorado State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University
Serving more than 3,000 students on its home campus in Manchester, Southern New Hampshire University delivers distance learning opportunities to over 90,000 students. Originally a school of accounting and secretarial science, SNHU is a private, nonprofit institution offering more than 200 academic programs at all degree levels, including an online anthropology degree that students complete entirely online.
SNHU's bachelor of arts in anthropology offers specialization options in geospatial technologies and environmental sustainability in addition to a general option, allowing students to explore concentrations or customize their academic experience through electives. All students complete core classes in subjects like archaeology, cultural anthropology, and research methods.
The program provides a foundation in archaeology, ethics, and conservation through courses such as human origins and evolution, anthropology in the contemporary world, and social science research methods. Learners must also take a capstone course.
The anthropology program prepares students for career opportunities in preservation, cultural resource management, and advocacy.
Applicants must submit transcripts from all former schools but do not need to provide any standardized test scores. SNHU sets no minimum GPA for admission. Prospective students may transfer up to 90 earned college credits. SNHU offers multiple start dates each year.
Southern New Hampshire University holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Since opening in 1887 as a teacher's college in Troy, Alabama, Troy University has grown to serve approximately 22,000 students around the world with campuses in seven states and facilities in Asia. Troy has been offering distance learning opportunities since the 1990s and today offers a growing list of fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a bachelor of science in anthropology.
The 120-credit online anthropology degree program includes 48 credits of general education classes and 36 credits of core coursework in archaeology, cultural anthropology, language in culture and society, and statistics. While in the program, students must complete at least one 18-credit minor as part of tailoring their degree to their interests. Learners can participate in on-site archaeology labs at Troy Archaeological Research Center. Local students also have an opportunity for part-time employment at a lab or in the field. The program prepares learners for career opportunities at museums, public- and private-sector institutions, and historic sites.
Troy offers courses in nine-week terms rather than full semesters, allowing students to complete courses at a faster rate. For admission, students must have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA on all previous coursework. Incoming first-year students under the age of 25 must also submit ACT and/or SAT scores.
Troy University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Western Illinois University
With locations in Macomb and Moline, Western Illinois University offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 8,500 students and boasts a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. WIU also provides a wide variety of degree options entirely online.
Learners interested in an online anthropology degree can earn their bachelor of arts in anthropology by taking classes entirely online or through a blend of online and on-campus courses. Offered through the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the degree emphasizes study of applied methods, laboratory analysis, and archaeology. Students have the opportunity to participate in study-abroad experiences in locations like Puerto Rico, Ecuador, and Peru and pursue fieldwork at a museum or zoo. The 120-credit hour program includes 60 required general education credits, 12 credit hours of core courses, and a required minor.
WIU requires prospective students to have completed a high school curriculum with studies in English, mathematics, science, and social science. Transfer students must have earned at least a C average on all previous coursework. Applicants whose grades may not meet admission standards may submit a supplemental letter explaining any extenuating circumstances.
Western Illinois University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth originally opened in 1895 as a textile school. Today, it serves as a vital part of the state college system, with a home campus that hosts over 8,500 students. Ranked as a Tier One research university by U.S. News & World Report, UMass Dartmouth opened a 22,000-square-foot research facility on campus in 2007 and emphasizes research in all academic disciplines.
Learners interested in an online anthropology degree can take advantage of the university's degree-completion program in sociology and anthropology. In total, the degree requires 120 credits; however, the completion program is specifically intended for students who have already earned at least 24 college credits. Learners complete an introductory course in cultural anthropology, sociology, or social and cultural behavior. They proceed to further courses in theory and research methods. The bachelor of arts program includes a required three-credit internship that students complete in their local community.
Prospective students can transfer up to 75 credits towards the online anthropology degree. Individuals with fewer than 13 earned credit hours must submit SAT or ACT scores with their application. For transfer credits to count toward the degree, students must have earned a grade of at least C- in each course. All students must earn at least 45 credits at UMass Dartmouth to meet academic residency requirements.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth holds regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Program?
|Program Costs||$15,000 per year (average for non-residents)|
|Core Courses||Human Evolution, Cultural Anthropology, and Culture and Health|
|Concentrations||Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology, and Archaeology|
|Accreditation||No specific accreditation is required, though the American Anthropological Association (AAA) publishes the AnthroGuide, a comprehensive reference of reputable BA, BS, master's, and PhD programs in Anthropology|
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Anthropology Degree?
With a focus on developing analytical skills, online anthropology degrees prepare graduates for a wide range of career opportunities. Many anthropology majors go on to work for nonprofits and cultural institutions, careers where their skills are particularly valued. Survey and research skills that graduates develop in online anthropology programs may also lead them to private sector jobs, which often boast higher pay and better job growth prospects.
Anthropologist/Archaeologist: Anthropologists and archaeologists study human behavior and the origin and development of humankind. This career often involves fieldwork to uncover archaeological or physical human remains, or analyzing fieldwork samples in an office or lab setting. In order to pursue this career, students would have to augment their online anthropology degree with a master's or PhD.
Historic Preservationist: Historic preservationists work to conserve important or historically significant buildings, objects, or even natural landscapes. They protect historic structures from the threat of demolition or destruction by arguing for their historical significance. Many historic preservationists have backgrounds in archaeology, which makes earning an online anthropology degree with a concentration in archaeology a smart choice for students interested in this career.
Social Service Manager: Social service managers run programs that serve communities within clinics, hospitals, and other outreach centers. The background in human development and analysis that an anthropology online degree provides prepares social service managers to understand and meet community needs. Many social service managers start out as social workers before transitioning into a management role.
Social and Market Researcher: Social and market researchers conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gather data about consumer habits and preferences and stances on social issues. Earning an online anthropology degree with a focus on research will prepare you for an entry-level position within this field.
|Position||Projected Growth Rate|
|Social Services Manager||10%|
|Social and Market Researcher||12%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
While a bachelor's degree alone can prepare graduates for some careers in fields related to anthropology, certain career paths may require a master's degree or higher. In fact, 21% of anthropology students go on to pursue graduate studies, studying areas such as law, counseling, sociology, and/or, of course, anthropology in more depth. Pursuing a master's degree in a related field allows you to tailor your career prospects to your specific interests and may help you advance in your career more quickly.
- Master's in Medical Anthropology: Through a master's in medical anthropology, students explore the intersection of biology and culture — and how they influence one another. This master's prepares students for careers in global or public health.
- Master's in Visual and Media Anthropology: In a master's in visual and media anthropology program, students explore problems in media representation, how the digitization of visual media affects certain cultures, and the influence of the internet on visual media. Graduates of this program often go on to work in film, media, museums, and galleries.
- Master's in Economics: Students who pursue this master's degree will learn both economic theory and its practical applications. Anthropology degree graduates may want to earn this master's to further career prospects in the fields of surveying and market research.
What Will I Learn in My Bachelor's in Anthropology Program?
- Human Evolution: Consider the scientific evidence for how humans have evolved over the millennia. Explore the fossil record, our genetic ancestry, and the development of humankind.
- Archaeology: Understand the past by examining physical evidence left behind by humans. Learn about dating techniques, excavation methods, and how to interpret historical man-made artifacts.
- Cultural Anthropology: Learn about popular theories within the study of human societies and cultures, and how cultures develop and evolve.
- Biological Anthropology: Examine the field of anthropology from a biological perspective by studying the behavioral and genetic aspects of humans. You'll look to humankind's closest living relatives — primates — to glean insights into how we've biologically evolved.
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Anthropology Graduates
Bachelor's in Anthropology SALARY
While not especially lucrative, careers in fields related to anthropology will appeal to professionals who seek to apply their passions to their jobs on a daily basis. Many careers available to anthropology degree graduates support lifelong learning and exploration of concepts and questions central to the field. You'll find the average median salaries for five careers popular with anthropology graduates below:
|Profession||Median Annual Salary|
|Social Service Manager||$64,680|
|Market Research Analyst||$62,560|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Anthropology Licensure and Certification
Most careers related to anthropology don't require licensure or certification. Some professionals, however, may choose to pursue a certification if it's common in their specific field or if it may help them stand out among other applicants for jobs. Some higher level positions within fields relating to anthropology do require certification or licensure.
American Board of Forensic Anthropology Certification: The ABFA certification recognizes qualified professionals in the field of forensic anthropology, which encompasses the application of biological anthropology to the field of law.
Certified Archivists credential: The Academy of Certified Archivists certifies professional museum archivists, who must pass the Archival Certification Examination and meet educational and experience standards to become certified.
Professionals in the field of anthropology may opt to join one of the handful of professional associations related to anthropology — though students are often allowed, and encouraged, to join as well. These organizations connect professionals to one another through conferences and events, job boards, and informal networking opportunities. Some organizations may also grant certifications to qualified professionals or administer certification exams.
- Register of Professional Archaeologists: The RPA has established moral and professional guidelines for the field of archaeology. Members agree to abide by a code of conduct and are listed in the organization's searchable register.
- American Anthropological Association: Boasting more than 10,000 members, the AAA is the premier professional organization for anthropologists. The association holds events, provides career resources, and sponsors field schools and internships.
- Society for Medical Anthropology: A section of the AAA, the SMA supports medical anthropology students, practitioners, and activists around the world through policy initiatives, a published journal, and a job board.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Program
Most likely, you'll want to draw from a variety of sources to finance your online anthropology degree. Your search for financial resources should begin with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Completing a FAFSA form will show you what federal funding opportunities you're eligible for, like scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study positions. Be sure to check scholarship opportunities at individual schools as well — some colleges earmark scholarship funds for certain majors, like anthropology.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the FAFSA is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
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