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 bachelors 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.
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.
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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:
- Cultural anthropology
- Environment and sustainability
- Political science
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.
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.
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.
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|
|Postsecondary Anthropology and Archaeology Teachers||$89,220|
|Writers and Authors||$67,120|
|Anthropologists and Archaeologists||$66,130|
|High School Teachers||$62,870|
|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.
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 the 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.
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.
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.
Getting into an anthropology program requires going through the admissions process. An online college may ask you to submit materials like those listed below:
- 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.
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.
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.
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Seven US organizations are authorized to oversee regional accreditation. You can learn more about accreditors and accredited colleges from the US Department of Education.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
As you get ready for college, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) could be the key to obtaining tuition help for your anthropology studies.
The FAFSA determines your eligibility to receive financial help from the state or federal government. Many students receive government loans with low interest rates. Some are able to get free grant money, too.
Your school may also offer institutional aid. Based on need or merit, you might even receive a scholarship for one or more years of your program. Other groups, such as professional associations and community clubs, also give out scholarships. If you’re still in high school, you can ask the guidance department to suggest scholarship programs.
Some workplaces have programs in place to contribute to college costs for their employees, so being in the workforce may offer an additional funding opportunity as well.
What Is Anthropology?
Anthropology is a branch of study that focuses on human beings. It encompasses human relationships, societies, and cultures. Anthropologists explore the development of the human species and the factors that have influenced that development.
This field doesn’t focus only on ancient history, though. Anthropological research can also be helpful when seeking solutions to modern problems. Anthropology involves several subdisciplines. For example, archaeology falls within the field of anthropology. Other branches of anthropology include sociocultural anthropology and bioanthropology.
Can You Get an Anthropology Degree Online?
Yes, many schools offer online degrees in general anthropology, cultural anthropology, or other branches of this field.
Online programs usually include a variety of online courses that you can complete from home. There may be digital labs to complete, virtual field trips to take, and online libraries to explore.
Some colleges also offer in-person opportunities for online students. You might be able to travel to a paleontology dig site or spend time abroad to learn about other cultures.
What Can You Do with an Anthropology Degree?
A bachelor’s degree in anthropology can help you build a foundation for further study in the field.
Qualifying for positions as an archaeologist or an anthropologist typically requires a graduate degree. On average, anthropologists who work for the federal government make a median salary of $79,270 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
With an undergraduate degree, you might qualify for work as a social science research assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this job usually pays between $31,090 and $81,280 per year. Archaeology graduates may qualify for museum positions. The median annual salary for museum technicians and conservators is $45,710.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology Online?
A bachelor’s degree usually takes 4 years to complete. You’ll generally need to earn around 120 credits, which can often be done in 8 semesters of full-time study.
Quicker completion is sometimes possible, though. Some colleges use accelerated academic calendars so that students can attend school year-round and graduate sooner. In addition, transferring in credits from other colleges may reduce how many courses you need to take at your current university.
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On the other hand, part-time enrollment may add to the length of your program. Part-time studies can be a helpful option for students who are balancing a variety of responsibilities.
What’s the Difference Between a BA vs. BS in Anthropology?
Depending on the school, you can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology or a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. These two academic tracks are comparable but have some differences:
|Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology||Bachelor of Science in Anthropology|
Some colleges offer only one of these degree programs, but others offer both. Certain minors or concentrations may pair with only one of the programs.
Is an Anthropology Degree Worth It?
Yes, an anthropology degree is worth it for many students. Anthropology studies can contribute to many fields. Graduates may pursue careers in anthropology as academics, writers, or museum workers. Alternatively, an anthropology degree could inform work in education, law, business, or medicine.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for archaeologists and anthropologists are expected to grow at a 5% rate over the next decade. Museum jobs are growing at an 11% rate. A bachelors degree in anthropology can also act as a stepping stone to grad school to further study archeology, anthropology, or another field.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors in Anthropology Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. To graduate, students must complete 39 online classes. Each course is 7.5 weeks long. Those interested in the program must apply online and have either ACT or SAT scores and a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Colorado State University offers an online program for a Bachelor’s in Anthropology. To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours. The program is designed to allow students to complete a minor of their choice. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and must have completed the required math credits to be eligible.
Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
Florida International University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Global Studies. To graduate, students must complete 120 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Those interested in the program must submit an online application with SAT or ACT scores and high school transcripts.
Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Oregon State University offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. Both programs typically take 4 years to complete and require students to complete 180 online credits. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0, SAT or ACT scores, and an admission essay.
Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Southern New Hampshire University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. Students must complete 120 credit hours to graduate and may transfer in up to 90 qualifying credits.
A concentration in Environmental Sustainability is available for interested students. The school offers rolling admission. Those interested in the program may submit an online application.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Troy University offers a Bachelor’s in Anthropology. The program requires students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate.
Classes are 9 weeks long, and the program can typically be completed in 4 years. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a high school GPA of 2.0 or higher and need to submit their ACT or SAT scores.
Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Central Florida offers a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. The online degree requires students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. Those interested in the program may apply online with an application essay, SAT or ACT scores, and a small application fee.
The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology program. Students must complete 120 credit hours, including a final capstone project in Anthropology, to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher, ACT or SAT scores, and a record of good conduct.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University of Houston—Clear Lake offers a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. The online program requires students to complete 120 semester hours to graduate and can typically be completed in 2 years. Those interested in the program must submit an online application with their SAT or ACT scores and high school transcripts.
The University of Houston-Clear Lake is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Western Illinois University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology program. Students must complete 120 credit hours, with 33 semester hours in Anthropology. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher. SAT and/or ACT scores are not required but are accepted.
Western Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your Anthropology Degree Online
Anthropology is the study of people. This field deals with both ancient and modern societies, cultures, and relationships. As you learn more about anthropology, you can learn more about humanity.
When you’re ready to pursue a degree in anthropology, you might think about the benefits that an online program can provide. In addition to bachelors degrees, a growing number of universities also offer online masters in anthropology and, more and more commonly, doctorates.
With online classes, you can study fascinating topics on a schedule that works for you. You may even be able to participate in virtual field trips, digital artifact examinations, and in-person dig experiences.
If you’re ready to begin your educational journey, you can start by taking a look at online anthropology programs. There are accredited options available that offer innovative approaches to distance learning.