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Anthropology, General

Program Description

Just the Facts

Anthropology, General. A program that focuses on the systematic study of human beings, their antecedents and related primates, and their cultural behavior and institutions, in comparative perspective. Includes instruction in biological/physical anthropology, primatology, human paleontology and prehistoric archeology, hominid evolution, anthropological linguistics, ethnography, ethnology, ethnohistory, socio-cultural anthropology, psychological anthropology, research methods, and applications to areas such as medicine, forensic pathology, museum studies, and international affairs.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

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See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

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Related Programs

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Additional Information

If the idea of unlocking the keys to our future by studying the past interests you, consider studying anthropology. You could be studying anything from Latin American politics to forensic anthropology to ethnicity and aging.

Anthropology is the study of both the biological and cultural aspects of the human race.

Students pursuing an anthropology degree can study towards either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science, which will take four or five years.

But if you want to work as an anthropologist, you can't stop there. You'll need a master's and probably even a PhD to work in the field. It can take as many as eight years to receive your PhD.

Studies are broken down into two primary fields -- cultural anthropology and physical anthropology. These two fields are further broken down into a number of other subfields such as linguistics, archeology and biological anthropology.

First-year students get a general overview of the field before they choose a specialization.

Some universities also provide the option of allowing students to start their studies at the community college level before transferring to the university to complete their degree.

High school students interested in a career in anthropology should develop a firm background in social studies and history, math, science, biology and languages. Computer skills are also important.

Studying other languages and achieving a good understanding of grammar will give students a great competitive edge, says Jim Wilce. He is an assistant professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University.

Volunteering in local museums or on archeological projects is also a good idea.

Wilce adds that you don't have to wait until university to start learning about different cultures and customs. "Consider spending a year as an exchange student or encouraging your family to host an exchange student," he says. "Either one would be very helpful preparation for an anthropology major."

In addition to tuition and books, you may want to be prepared to pay to attend a field school.

"If the student is majoring in archeology, they should set aside time and money to go to field school at some point in their studies," says Louise Senior. She teaches anthropology.


Expeditions, Research in Applied Anthropology
A growing worldwide independent network of scholars in the human sciences, offering anthropological fieldwork and studies

American Anthropological Association
Check out the careers section

Fascinating reviews of anthropological discoveries happening around the world


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