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Anthropology student conducting an ethnographic interview with flashcards in Peru.

Why Major in Anthropology?

Anthropology is a 21st century major. The skills and knowledge you learn as a student anthropologist form a solid base for a career as an anthropologist, as well as successful careers in any number of fields in today's ever-globalizing market. Employees in any field today need to be able to navigate diverse workplaces, be comfortable in international settings, and have a multi-cultural perspective. Anthropologists learn to bridge human differences with respect and understanding.

Anthropology provides the information and skills necessary to succeed in research, teaching, business, advocacy, and public service**.
..... "global information and thinking skills critical to succeeding in the 21st century in business, research, teaching, advocacy, and public service." - bu.edu


In addition to anthropological knowledge, you will learn many useful skills which can be applied to to any line of work. These skills include:

  • Data analysis
  • Quantitative Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Critical thinking
  • Attention to detail
  • Presentation skills
  • Cultural competency
  • Written Communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Problem solving
  • Perspective
  • Observation
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Participant observation

You will also walk away with subject-specific knowledge, such as the peoples and traditions of a certain geographic area, interfaith competence, biological traits, the relationship between human and environment, globalization, bone and artifact identification, archaeology dig experience, museum display construction, etc.

 

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Anthropologists draw upon the social sciences and humanities, as well as the biological and physical sciences, to understand the complexity of cultures through all of human history.

Anthropologists study a breadth of topics, such as how humans lived in the past, biological and genetic makeup, human evolution and our non-human primate relatives, and the people living today and what their culture means to them or how society shapes their life.

A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems. Historically, anthropologists in the United States have been trained in one of four areas: sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. Anthropologists often integrate the perspectives of several of these areas into their research, teaching, and professional lives.

What can I do with a Degree in Anthropology?

The most frequently asked question, second only to "What is Anthropology?" is "What can I do with Anthropology?"
The answer truly is "Anything!" But how you figure out what that "anything" depends on your skills, interests, and desired education level.

Archaeologists might be surveyors, cultural resource managers, archivists, museum directors, or an artifact specialist.

Biological Anthropologists might work as a forensicist, criminal scientist, primatologist, medical doctor, cognitive psychologist, or neuroscientist.

Cultural Anthropologists might find work as an activist, nutritional anthropologist, global health practitioner, ethnic studies specialist, refugee resettlement worker, social worker, documentarian, or business anthropologist.

Careers in Anthropology

Is Anthropology Right for Me?

Anthropology graduates work directly with communities on a wide range of topics including religious views, health concerns, and social justice issues. Our graduates also find careers in museums and in cultural resources management with federal agencies like the National Park Service or the BLM, private sector environmental consulting firms, or continue to graduate school.

Anthropology is a launchpad for your career path. Whether you want to work in management, criminal justice, education, healthcare, government, art, or advocacy, anthropology is a step in the right direction.

You may need a Masters or PhD. Roughly 46% of graduates with a bachelor's degree in anthropology will continue to a graduate degree program.

Make Anthropology Your Own

Because Anthropology is an broad field, you have the opportunity to tailor it to your specific interests. For example, if you are interested in:

  • Medical Anthropology, you could major in cultural or biological anthropology and minor in public health.
  • Egyptology, you could major in archaeology and minor in history.
  • Biological Anthropology, you could  minor in biology.
  • Business Anthropology, you can major in cultural anthropology and minor in business.
  • Cognitive Anthropology, you can minor in psychology.
  • Archaeology, you could minor in geography or history, or earn a Museum Studies Certificate.
  • Cultural Anthropology or Applied Anthropology, you could minor in sociology, social work, religious studies, public health, or many others.

If you have a career in mind, you can tailor your major, minor, and classes to that as well. For help doing this, reach out to your advisors.