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Top Online Anthropology Degrees For 2024

When you study for an online anthropology degree, you may gain a new appreciation for human societies and cultures.

Anthropologists are scientists who investigate the evolutionary and biological development of humans. Professionals in this field also study people’s ancient and modern behaviors, systems, practices, beliefs, and achievements.

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Whether you want to become an anthropologist or incorporate your knowledge into a different career, a bachelor’s degree in anthropology can help you build a foundation in the field.

Online Anthropology Degrees

To study anthropology is to study humanity. If you’re interested in humans’ history, interactions, developments and achievements, then you might be intrigued by the idea of studying anthropology in college.

Anthropology is a diverse field. It encompasses several branches and subsets, such as archaeology, biocultural anthropology, and evolutionary anthropology. During a bachelor in anthropology program, you’ll likely receive introductions to the whole field of anthropology as well as its various subdisciplines.

You can expect to take classes about evolution, cultural developments, world people groups, and societal conflicts. There may be lessons on ethical issues in anthropology as well.

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Research may be a key focus of your studies. You may need to interpret others’ research and conduct studies of your own. Learning to work with data and statistics will be a critical component of that.

Some online anthropology programs encourage students to select a minor or a concentration to round out their studies. Specializing in a certain field could improve your readiness for jobs or graduate programs. Specialization options can include:

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Political science
  • Sociology

Even if you choose to study anthropology through an online college, you may still have opportunities for in-person fieldwork. Hands-on experiences can enrich your studies and provide a new depth of understanding. Some colleges consider these experiences optional. Others may require that you participate in at least one in-person session.

An anthropology bachelor’s degree can help qualify you for entry-level positions in anthropology or a different field. Graduates tend to become research assistants, museum technicians, writers, or teachers.

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A bachelor’s degree can also be the first step toward more advanced studies. Professionals with a masters or doctorate in the field work as anthropologists, professors, researchers, or museum curators. Earning a degree online in anthropology can also help prepare you for graduate work in a different but complementary field, such as law.

Anthropology Careers & Salaries

Many students who enter college for degrees in anthropology plan to continue on to graduate school. Getting a graduate education can open a number of doors in the field of anthropology.

For example, most anthropologists have at least a masters degree. Many have PhDs. Anthropologists may work for consulting firms, research and development firms, or the federal government.

A graduate degree may also lead to academic opportunities, such as teaching at a postsecondary institution. College faculty members are often researchers, too.

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You may still be able to work in the field of anthropology without a graduate degree. With a bachelor’s, you might qualify to work as a research assistant. Other undergraduates find work as museum technicians.

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Of course, a higher degree might increase your museum prospects. Other museum roles— most of which need at least a master’s degree—include archivists, curators, and conservators.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for jobs in the life, physical, and social sciences is $69,760.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Lawyers $126,930
Postsecondary Anthropology and Archaeology Teachers $89,220
Writers and Authors $67,120
Anthropologists and Archaeologists $66,130
High School Teachers $62,870
Survey Researchers $59,870
Curators $56,990
Archivists $56,760
Social Science Research Assistants $49,210
Museum Technicians and Conservators $45,710

Many of the above careers require additional degrees or training beyond a bachelor’s degree. For instance, some anthropology students end up becoming high school teachers. Common subjects to teach are history and English. A state teaching license is typically required for a teaching position.

Many anthropology majors use their knowledge of human relationships and systems for jobs in other fields. Some professionals pursue careers in publishing. They may work as writers, magazine journalists, or editors.

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Other anthropology majors become survey researchers. This job often requires a graduate degree. Researchers may gather data in the social sciences or another field.

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Finally, anthropology isn’t an uncommon major for future lawyers. This discipline can provide valuable insights into human behavior. Those who enter law school might draw on their anthropological lessons frequently.

Anthropology Curriculum & Courses

Your online anthropology courses will cover a variety of topics within this intriguing field. Here are examples of common anthropology classes:

  • Anthropology Ethics: Studying people groups can lead to ethical questions, so this course will provide a framework to help you evaluate your attitudes and actions.
  • Anthropology for Today’s World: While anthropologists often study peoples and cultures of the past, this course will present ways that anthropology practices can lead to positive changes in today’s society.
  • Archaeology: An introductory archaeology course will cover the role that archaeology plays in anthropology as well as the practices that archaeologists use.
  • Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology: This class will survey the concept of culture and cover various aspects of it, including language, economics, religion, politics, art, and social structure.
  • Geography: As you study topography and political divisions of various parts of the world, you’ll consider the influence that geography has on culture and society.
  • Human Evolution: In a course on biological anthropology, you’ll take a scientific look at the development of humans and related species.
  • Language Studies: This course will address linguistic systems and the role that they play in cultures.
  • Professional Anthropology: Early in your studies, you may explore career paths that are available to anthropology majors so that you can start planning a course progression that leads you closer to your professional goals.
  • Religion and Anthropology: You may receive an overview of various world religions and talk about the ways that religious beliefs and practices have influenced history.
  • Statistics for the Social Sciences: In one or more statistics classes, you’ll learn to collect data and analyze it for research purposes.
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Most bachelor’s degree programs require students to earn 120 credit hours. In addition to major-specific classes, there’s also an assortment of general education courses.

How to Choose an Online Bachelors in Anthropology Program

Online programs for anthropology studies may be more common than you think. To help you narrow down the selection, you can consider various factors that may influence your decision:

  • Accreditation. For a respected degree, it’s strategic to choose a school with regional accreditation. An accredited degree can help you be a stronger candidate for jobs and graduate programs.
  • Class format. Online studies come in all different formats. You might prefer a school with live classes, 24/7 availability, or an accelerated academic calendar.
  • Cost. Tuition prices can vary a great deal between schools, and financial aid offers can vary as well.
  • Field experiences. Hands-on sessions may be optional or required. You might get to choose a particular experience that matches your interests, or all students may follow the same track.
  • Research opportunities. In some programs, students can have the chance to contribute to their professors’ research efforts. Undergrad involvement in research can be especially appealing if the faculty’s research areas are of particular interest to you.
  • Specializations. Because anthropology pairs well with many other fields, minors and concentrations are common. The selection of specialty areas varies from one school to the next.
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These are common considerations for anthropology majors, but you may have other factors that influence your decision as well. The best school to pick for your anthropology degree is the one that best meets your personal goals, interests, and learning style.

Admissions Requirements

Getting into an anthropology program requires going through the admissions process. An online college may ask you to submit materials like those listed below:

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  • Personal essay
  • Transcripts from high school and any previous college work
  • Online application form and fee
  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)

Requirements vary among schools, so it’s strategic to read all instructions closely. Also, it helps to pay attention to application deadlines and to submit your materials well in advance of the cutoff date.

Accreditation

Regional accreditation is a sign of a reputable school. Colleges can receive this distinction by providing strong academic programs and cultivating positive environments for student growth and learning.

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Regional accreditation bolsters a school’s reputation. Credits from accredited colleges are typically easier to transfer. Admissions committees are also more likely to admit grad school applicants who attended accredited universities. In addition, employers often prefer to hire applicants with accredited degrees.

Seven US organizations are authorized to oversee regional accreditation. You can learn more about accreditors and accredited colleges from the US Department of Education.

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