The Best Online Bachelor's in Anthropology

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Anthropology students examine the historical, political, and biological factors that affect society, studying in areas like science, history, linguistics, and religion.

Graduates of online bachelor's in anthropology programs enjoy strong job prospects.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that anthropology jobs will grow 10% between 2018-2028, which is faster than the national average. Additionally, the BLS reports that anthropologists and archaeologists made a median annual salary of $62,410 in 2018. However, salaries vary significantly by degree level, location, and job type.

Anthropologists can work in settings like research agencies, consulting firms, and museums. An anthropology bachelor's degree prepares graduates for both entry-level positions and more advanced degrees.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Programs 2020

#1 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
#2 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
#3 Florida International University Miami, FL
#4 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#5 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA
#6 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#7 Troy University Troy, AL
#8 Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ
#9 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
#10 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL

Best Online Programs

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4

University of Central Florida 

Orlando, FL

About this school

University of Central Florida serves 68,000 students through 13 colleges annually. The university has 11 regional campuses and an online division, which offers 90 degree programs, including a bachelor's in anthropology degree

The 120-credit program covers core anthropology topics like linguistics, archaeology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Students can choose from electives like life and death in ancient Andes; Native American religions; Florida archaeology; and mummies, zombies, and vampires. Graduates can find work as conservationists, product developers, and public policy analysts. They can also pursue graduate study.

The fully online degree offers full- and part-time enrollment options. UCF accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. However, degree candidates must earn at least 30 credits of upper-level courses from UCF. Students who enroll in exclusively online courses can waive many fees that on-campus learners incur.

Applicants with fewer than 30 transfer credits must submit SAT scores. Candidates with more than 30 transfer credits must demonstrate success in specific areas of study, as determined by the number of credits they hold.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
73%
Percent Receiving Loans
34%
5

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 

North Dartmouth, MA

About this school

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth opened in 1895 as the New Bedford Textile School, joining the UMass system in 1991. As part of its continued growth, UMass Dartmouth now offers many of its degrees online, including a bachelor of arts in sociology and anthropology.

The anthropology bachelor's degree requires 120 credits and includes general education, sociology, and anthropology courses. Students take courses on topics like health and healing; urban issues and policies; and food, feast, and famine. Students must also complete a three-credit internship. They can fulfill this requirement at approved sites near their homes.

Graduates can work in areas such as law, urban planning, public administration, and education. They can also seek graduate degrees in anthropology. Students have access to one-on-one academic advising, online tutoring, and a writing center. UMass Dartmouth allows learners to transfer up to 75 credits from other regionally accredited colleges and universities toward the degree.

All applicants must submit official transcripts. Candidates with fewer than 13 transfer credits must also submit SAT or ACT scores and a 500-word personal essay.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
56%
Percent Receiving Loans
78%
6

Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH

About this school

Southern New Hampshire University hosts 3,000 on-campus students and more than 90,000 online learners annually through its undergraduate and graduate programs. The school's online bachelor's in anthropology degree focuses on experiential learning.

The curriculum includes 42 general education credits, nine arts and sciences credits, 24 required major credits, 12 elective major credits, and 33 free elective credits. Students can take the required anthropology courses online, including anthropology in the contemporary world, ethics in anthropology, and social science research methods. Degree candidates can pursue a general track or a concentration in either environmental sustainability or geospatial technologies.

All students must complete experiential learning courses or internships. To meet this requirement, remote students can intern with organizations near their homes. The rest of the program coursework is fully online. Accelerated, eight-week courses and asynchronous learning allow degree candidates to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Learners can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree.

Candidates fill out a free online application, and SNHU automatically retrieves transcripts from previously attended schools. Candidates typically receive admission decisions within a few days after the university receives all required documents.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
7

Troy University 

Troy, AL

About this school

Founded in 1887, Troy University has an expansive online learning division. Students can choose from 71 online undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an anthropology bachelor's degree that emphasizes archaeology and cultural anthropology.

In addition to general education courses and electives, students take required anthropology courses like anthropology of kinship and social structure, language in culture and society, statistics in the social sciences, and anthropology theory. Students must also choose a minor or additional major.

Degree candidates who do not live near Troy can complete their studies entirely online. Local learners enjoy opportunities to work in the Troy Archaeological Research Center. The program uses accelerated, nine-week courses.

Candidates who are under the age of 25 and hold fewer than 24 college credits must submit ACT or SAT scores. Troy considers these scores alongside each candidate's high school GPA or GED score to determine eligibility. For example, learners with GPAs between 2.0 and 2.5 must earn at least a 20 on the ACT or 1030 on the RSAT. Transfer students with at least 24 semester credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
43%
Percent Receiving Loans
81%
8

Arizona State University 

Scottsdale, AZ

About this school

Arizona State University offers a variety of online undergraduate and graduate programs. ASU's largest college, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, offers an online anthropology bachelor's degree.

Students gain skills in critical thinking, scientific examination, and communication. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses like buried cities and lost tribes; bones, stones, and human evolution; and Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas. Students must also fulfill a practicum requirement through an internship or advanced online courses.

ASU accepts transfer credits, but degree candidates must earn at least 30 credits from ASU to graduate. Students may enroll full or part time. Online ASU courses span eight weeks and include a mix of asynchronous and synchronous learning formats.

Applicants with fewer than 12 transfer credits apply as freshmen and need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Arizona residents must score 22 on the ACT or 1120 on the SAT for admission. Required scores are higher for non-residents. Transfer applicants must hold at least 12 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
48%
Percent Receiving Loans
49%
9

University of Florida 

Gainesville, FL

About this school

University of Florida offers respected degrees and relatively low tuition rates. The university's 24 online bachelor's degrees include one of the best online anthropology programs in the country.

Coursework for this program includes general education courses, one statistics course, and 11 anthropology courses. Required anthropology courses include introduction to world archaeology, cultural anthropology, and introduction to biological anthropology.

Learners can choose from one of four concentrations: linguistics, archaeology, biological anthropology, or cultural anthropology. Alternatively, degree candidates may choose an interdisciplinary degree with a minor or additional major in another field. Learners culminate the degree with a capstone course where students demonstrate their skills in analytics, critical thinking, and collaboration.

UF offers three start dates per year, but candidates may apply at any time. The university offers admission decisions on a rolling basis. Applicants with fewer than 12 transfer credits must submit high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Students with 12-59 transfer credits may also need to submit test scores, depending on their age. Students with at least 60 transfer credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
18%
10

Western Illinois University 

Macomb, IL

About this school

Western Illinois University offers 48 programs of study and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13-to-1. The school's online bachelor's in anthropology degree emphasizes environmental anthropology.

The program examines ethnoecology, linguistics, archaeology, and comparative cultural studies. Students can tailor the degree to their interests through concentrations in cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and environmental issues.

Students can complete all requirements online or take some courses on campus in Macomb, Illinois. Some learners can also take advantage of short study abroad and field work opportunities in Puerto Rico, India, Germany, the Mississippian Orendorf village excavation site, or the Rice Lake Terrace site.

First-year applicants with a GPA below 3.3 must submit SAT or ACT scores. Graduates from accredited high schools in Illinois who are in the top 10% of their classes earn automatic admission. Candidates with at least 24 transfer credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
46%
Percent Receiving Loans
76%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the following degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation, including the school's reputation for effectively providing online programs.

What Is Anthropology?

Anthropology explores the social, cultural, and biological development of humans, incorporating areas like history, religion, biology, geography, politics, art, literature, and economics. The study of anthropology began with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Ancient historians traveled from country to country, describing the cultures and practices they saw. The Greeks and Romans used this information to better understand the roots of regional conflicts.

Anthropology explores the social, cultural, and biological development of humans, incorporating areas like history, religion, biology, geography, politics, art, literature, and economics.

Anthropology expanded in medieval times with the growth of trade. Accounts from explorers like Marco Polo gave insight into the cultural development of faraway lands. Modern anthropology started with the Age of Enlightenment, which emphasized the use of reason and the scientific method.

Today, professionals can find anthropology jobs in areas like education, government, museum curation, and law. Many anthropologists work in an office, but some professionals — such as researchers and archaeologists — may work in the field.

What Is a Bachelor's in Anthropology Degree?

Students pursuing an online bachelor's degree in anthropology gain skills in research, critical thinking, organization, communication, and problem-solving. They typically take general education, anthropology, and elective courses. The best anthropology programs offer concentrations that allow students to specialize in an area of anthropology such as archaeology, cultural anthropology, or forensic anthropology.

Archeology examines the discovery and preservation of historical artifacts. Students learn how materials found during archaeological excavations lead to a better understanding of specific periods, places, events, or cultures.

Cultural anthropology — a sub-section of anthropology — studies the development of human culture. Learners examine how factors like art, war, politics, and literature impact human growth. Forensic anthropology studies human remains to determine things like cause and time of death. Many forensic anthropology graduates find work in law enforcement.

Choosing an Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Program

When researching prospective online bachelor's in anthropology programs, students should consider factors like a program's length, cost, and graduation requirements. Most anthropology bachelor's degrees take four years of full-time study to complete. However, many anthropology programs also offer accelerated learning tracks that allow students to graduate faster.

Tuition costs vary by institution. Typically, public schools cost less than private schools. Additionally, some schools offer different tuition rates for in-state versus out-of-state students, while other schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition regardless of residency.

Online students should research all of a prospective program's requirements. Some online programs have in-person requirements, such as internships or on-campus residencies. Students should ensure that they can meet all requirements before committing to a program.

Prospective students can learn more about online anthropology degrees through this link.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Program?

Students taking anthropology courses online study topics like archeology, history, sociology, and religion. Classes vary by program, but the following list outlines common bachelor's in anthropology courses.

Introduction to Anthropology

This class explores the main pillars of anthropology, including linguistics, archeology, biology, and history. Students gain a foundational understanding of cultural and societal development, studying the diversity of human thought and language. The class can help students determine which anthropology subdiscipline most interests them.

World Geography

World geography examines current and historical events through a geospatial lens. Students learn about the impact of geographical borders on cultural and linguistic development. They may also explore regional surveys of physical environments and participate in research projects.

Religions of the World

This course examines the origins and beliefs of various religions, including how different religious beliefs intersect. Learners study the role of religious belief in shaping history and culture. Many professors incorporate testimonials from current religious practitioners.

Archaeology

Archaeology courses examine foundational tools and techniques for unearthing artifacts. Students learn about dating and preserving archaeological discoveries. Most archeology courses explore principles of stratigraphy, carbon dating, and cross-dating. Some courses include a lab, giving students practical experience with archaeological practices.

Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropology explores evolutionary theory and human adaptability. Potential topics include genetics, paleontology, and comparative anatomy. Students may examine fossils to study human development through history.

Anthropology Jobs

The best anthropology programs prepare students for careers in education, museum curation, and research. Some advanced positions require a master's or doctoral degree. We cover several common anthropology jobs and potential salaries below.

Anthropologists and Archaeologists

Anthropologists research the social and cultural development of humankind, working to recover and preserve artifacts and structures from the past. They may work in postsecondary institutions, museums, consulting agencies, or out in the field. Archaeologists working in the field often travel or live abroad.

Anthropologists and archaeologists typically need a master's degree. More advanced positions may require a doctorate.

Median Annual Salary

$62,410

Projected Growth Rate

10%

Museum Curators

Museum curators manage current museum exhibits, design new exhibits, and create educational displays. They may also oversee the buying and selling of artwork and authenticate historical artifacts. Museum curators need exceptional organizational skills. These professionals often manage teams of people and oversee exhibit installations.

Most museum curator positions require a master's degree. However, some museums might hire professionals with a bachelor's degree and significant experience.

Median Annual Salary

$48,400

Projected Growth Rate

9%

College Professors

College professors create curricula, present material, and assess student learning. They may teach introductory or advanced classes. Many professors also conduct research. After finishing their research, professors may publish their findings in books or scholarly articles. They may also present their findings at academic conferences.

College professors typically need a doctoral degree in their field. Junior or community colleges may accept instructors with a master's degree.

Median Annual Salary

$78,470

Projected Growth Rate

11%

High School Teachers

High school teachers instruct high school students on particular subjects, like math, political science, and English. They must plan lessons aligned with administrative, state, and national curriculum objectives; support students with academic strengths and weaknesses; and assess student learning through exams, projects, and other learning materials.

High school teachers typically need at least a bachelor's degree. Public school educators and some private school teachers also need a teaching certificate to practice. Those with an anthropology degree likely teach humanities subjects, like history or political science.

Median Annual Salary

$60,320

Projected Growth Rate

4%

Archivists

Archivists research and maintain historical documents. They need attention to detail, extensive knowledge of history, and meticulous care when handling old manuscripts. Archivists may work for museums, libraries, governmental agencies, or educational institutions. They may work behind the scenes, researching and preserving documents, or with the public, providing educational instruction or tours.

Most archivists need a bachelor's degree. Some employers require a master's degree and certification.

Median Annual Salary

$48,400

Projected Growth Rate

9%

Survey Researchers

Survey researchers design and conduct surveys to take a statistical sampling of public opinions on a specific issue. They may create questionnaires; conduct in-person, phone, or online interviews; or assemble focus groups. These professionals often use software to analyze their results and draw conclusions.

Entry-level positions may only require a bachelor's degree. More advanced positions may require a graduate degree.

Median Annual Salary

$57,700

Projected Growth Rate

1%

Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Anthropology Degrees

When researching prospective schools, students should look for accreditation. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, academic rigor, and student learning outcomes. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, vocational and technical schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For example, only students at accredited schools qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools only recognize and accept credits from accredited institutions. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire candidates with an accredited degree.

Programs within a school, such as social work, business, and nursing programs, may also receive accreditation. At this time, no programmatic accrediting agency exists for anthropology programs, so students should look for regionally accredited schools.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee accrediting bodies. Students can find a school's accreditation status through the ED accreditation database and the CHEA accreditation directory.

Anthropology Professional Organizations

Anthropology students and professionals benefit from joining professional organizations, which offer resources like career development opportunities, continuing education services, and scholarly publications. Professional organizations also provide networking, certification, and financial aid opportunities. We cover several professional anthropology organizations below.

American Anthropological Association

With more than 10,000 members, AAA is the world's largest association for professional anthropologists. Members have access to an annual conference, prizes and fellowships, career services, and 22 academic journals.

Society for Applied Anthropology

Founded in 1941, SfAA promotes the investigation and application of human behavior when addressing contemporary issues. SfAA serves 2,000 members and sponsors two journals: Human Organization and Practicing Anthropology. The association also awards several prizes to students and professionals.

American Association of Physical Anthropologists

Formed in 1930, AAPA serves more than 1,700 members throughout the world. AAPA provides job listings, publishes the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and hosts annual conferences for students and professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology studies the cultural and social development of society, examining topics like archeology, biology, history, and linguistics. Anthropologists often aid in historical preservation and environmental conservation efforts.

What is a Bachelor's in Anthropology Degree?

Anthropology bachelor's degrees examine societal development from scientific and humanistic perspectives. The degree includes a mix of general education and anthropology courses and typically takes four years of full-time study to complete.

What Degree is Needed for Anthropology?

Degree requirements vary by career. Entry-level anthropology jobs in geography and environmental science typically require a bachelor's degree. Postsecondary educators and museum curators often need a master's degree in anthropology.

How Much Money Can You Make With an Anthropology Degree?

Salaries differ by career, degree level, and location. According to the BLS, anthropology salaries ranged from $48,400-$104,340 in 2018.

Where Is the Best Place to Study Anthropology?

The best place to study anthropology depends on a student's needs and goals. Prospective learners should consider factors like cost, available specializations, degree length, and online resources when searching for the best anthropology programs.

What Can I Do with a BS in Anthropology?

An anthropology bachelor's degree prepares students for entry-level jobs in government, business, education, and human services. Graduates can work in roles such as grant writer, archivist, high school teacher, and public policy analyst.

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