Best Online Bachelor's in Anthropology 2021

Best Online Bachelor's in Anthropology 2021

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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 5% between 2019-2029, which is faster than the national average. Additionally, the BLS reports that anthropologists and archaeologists made a median annual salary of $63,670 in 2019. 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 2021

#1 University of Florida – Online Gainesville, FL
#2 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#3 Arizona State University – Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
#4 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
#5 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
#6 Troy University Troy, AL
#7 University of Houston – Clear Lake Houston, TX
#8 CSU-Global Fort Collins, CO
#9 University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA
#10 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL

Best Online Programs

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4

Southern New Hampshire University 

Manchester, NH Apply Now

About this school

SNHU's 120-credit, experiential bachelor of arts in anthropology, encourages students to explore societal similarities and differences through cultural, biological, archeological, and linguistic viewpoints. Graduates prepare for academic, cultural, social services, and preservationist careers. Learned skills also transfer to corporate, government, and nonprofit areas.

Aside from general education classes and an archeology capstone, program requirements include foundations in archeology, introduction to cultural anthropology, and research literacy in social sciences. Students may also add an environmental sustainability concentration to their program; classes include energy and society, and sustainable communities.

Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
93%
Online Enrollment
68%
5

Oregon State University 

Corvallis, OR Apply Now

About this school

OSU's bachelor of arts/bachelor of science in anthropology provides four focus areas: archeology, biocultural, cultural/linguistic, or general anthropology. Renowned research faculty develops and teaches the classes, while students access resources including success coaching, tutoring, and career guidance.

The online anthropology degree requires 180 credits, of which 27-33 credits focus on the major. Specific courses for all four areas include archeological inference and human evolution. Students may also add an online minor or undergraduate certificate. The BS degree requires 15 credits in the sciences; the BA program requires studies in a second language, including American Sign Language.

Graduation Rate
67%
Percent Receiving Loans
43%
Online Enrollment
43%
6

Troy University 

Troy, AL Apply Now

About this school

Troy's 120-credit bachelor of science in anthropology teaches physical, linguistics, culture, and archeology. Field-experienced instructors prepare students for anthropology careers or to continue anthropology education at the graduate level. While courses are online, students may opt to participate in hands-on fieldwork.

Required major courses include cultural anthropology, language in culture and society, statistics in the social sciences, and physical anthropology. Students may also add an accelerated law program. General degree courses include the sciences, math, literature, and humanities.

Graduation Rate
43%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
Online Enrollment
63%
7

University of Houston – Clear Lake 

Houston, TX Apply Now

About this school

Taught through UHCL's College of Human Sciences and Humanities, the university's online bachelor of science in anthropology fosters fieldwork skills, analytical reading, critical thinking, and strong oral and written communication abilities. Graduates possess unique skill sets that equip them for teaching, healthcare, human resources, or international relations careers.

The 120-credit program's core requirements include public speaking, English, and math. Major studies focus on contemporary cultural anthropology, geographic information systems, mythology, and historical art. Other topics include cultural diversity and psychology.

Percent Receiving Loans
38%
Online Enrollment
35%
8

CSU-Global 

Fort Collins, CO Apply Now

About this school

CSU-Global's online bachelor of arts in anthropology helps students develop an understanding of cultural differences and critical thinking and analysis skills. The cultural relativism-based curriculum provides students with an unbiased perception of other cultures, and their place in the world. Career opportunities include health sciences, archeology, cultural brokers, and education.

The 120-credit program focuses on studies in archeology, geography, biology, and cultural anthropology. Students may also attend one of three summer field schools in person and add a degree minor to the program.

Graduation Rate
69%
Percent Receiving Loans
24%
Online Enrollment
42%
9

University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth 

North Dartmouth, MA Apply Now

About this school

The UMass Dartmouth bachelor of arts in sociology and anthropology examines overall societies and institutions, as well as smaller groups including families, peers, and neighborhoods. The 120-credit online program prepares students for careers in social work, law, politics, and urban planning.

Students select a sociology or anthropology concentration, with a focus on health, race and gender, and urban issues. Participants must also complete a hands-on, three-credit internship at a department-approved institution/location. Students may transfer up to 75 credits from regionally accredited institutions.

Graduation Rate
56%
Percent Receiving Loans
17%
Online Enrollment
70%
10

Western Illinois University 

Macomb, IL Apply Now

About this school

WIU's bachelor of arts in anthropology teaches students to think holistically about human behavior, diversity, and social problems, by studying biology, cultural analysis, linguistics, and past societies. Past graduate job placements include museum curator, renewable energy specialist, park manager, and forensic lab supervisor. Other fields include social work, economic development, and human rights advocacy.

Requirements for the 120-credit degree include core courses in anthropology and languages, as well as instruction in applied anthropological methods, archeology, field methods, and cultural change. Students may also opt for on-site field experience and/or study abroad programs.

Graduation Rate
46%
Percent Receiving Loans
40%
Online Enrollment
68%
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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs - Bachelor's in Anthropology

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.

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 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

Median Salary: $63,670 Projected Job Growth: 5%


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.

Museum Curators

Median Salary: $49,850 Projected Job Growth: 11%


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.

College Professors

Median Salary: $79,540 Projected Job Growth: 9%


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.

High School Teachers

Median Salary: $61,660 Projected Job Growth: 4%


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.

Archivists

Median Salary: $49,850 Projected Job Growth: 11%


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.

Survey Researchers

Median Salary: $59,170 Projected Job Growth: -4%


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.

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.