Dig into the mysteries of the past to discover the present and future with one of the best online bachelor’s in anthropology.
It’s hard to explain anthropology in one sentence, because well, anthropology is the study of…everything! Seriously, think about what makes us human. Where did we come from? How do we live? How do other cultures live? Where are the similarities and differences? Perhaps our top-ranking school said it best, “Anthropology is a broad, holistic field that seeks to understand people, from earliest times to the present.” (UF)
Through an online bachelor’s in anthropology, you will study humans and cultures from the past to the present to fully understand and appreciate the diversities.
What Is an Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology?
A bachelor’s in anthropology covers subjects involving people and cultures from earliest times to today, so basically everything you can imagine. Overwhelmed yet? Some bachelor’s programs allow you to choose a concentration in cultural, forensic, or biological anthropology (just examples; there are more!), while other programs provide a well-rounded background in general anthropology.
On average, an online bachelor’s in anthropology is 120 credit hours with approximately 36 credits devoted to core classes. Sample classes include Foundations in Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Anthropology in the Contemporary World. The remaining courses are electives, and get ready for some fun ones. Seriously, check out our #7 ranking (ASU, we are looking at you)!
The best part about online anthropology programs is the flexibility. You can enroll either full or part time and complete your degree on your schedule. However, you won’t be missing out because our schools in this ranking offer an unparalleled anthropology program. You may as well be taking courses on campus because you will feel supported and part of an inclusive community.
Careers for Anthropology Majors
You may wonder if anthropology careers are growing or not. Well, good news: they are. BLS reports that anthropologists and archaeologists are growing by 5%, faster than average. Anthropologists and archeologists are common career paths that involve studying cultures, languages, people, and archeological remains all over the world. Many positions require a master’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree is where you would start.
Other career options are archivists, curators, or museum workers. These professionals oversee collections of history while preparing and preserving them for the public. Perhaps becoming a geographer or historian appeals to you. Both of these careers can be achieved through a bachelor’s in anthropology. If you’re interested in telling others all about the rich subject of anthropology, you could become a high school or college instructor.
A great perk of earning an anthropology degree is that you will have developed critical thinking, analytical, and research skills, all attractive (and necessary) for future employers. While in some cases you may need to further your education with a graduate degree, you can also pursue meaningful careers in anthropology with a bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor’s in Anthropology Salary Potential
As with most fields, the salary potential for those with anthropology degrees varies depending on the job, experience, education, and location. The good news is that you can earn a great salary with room for growth in this field.
Anthropologists and archeologists earn a median of $63,670 per year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 percent earn more than $97,950, and the lowest 10 percent bring in less than $39,460. Those who work for the federal government earn the highest salary, with an average of $77,560. Those who work for research and development earn less, around $55,950 per year.
Archivists, curators, and museum workers earn an average of $49,850 annually, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $87,760 and the lowest 10 percent less than $28,330. Geographers make $81,540 each year, with the highest making over $113,140 and the lowest-earning less than $52,280.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Anthropology?
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University of Florida
Average Net Price
Join a nation of more than 400,000 Florida Gators through UF Online, a dynamic, unparalleled online community, offering top-notch academic programs to students across the globe. Ranked #3 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report, UF Online features the same accredited degrees you would receive on campus.
Our top-ranking UF’s Bachelor of Arts in anthropology provides a strong anthropology background while opening up opportunities for careers in “government, private business, community organizations, education, health organizations, research institutions and the media,” (UF program page). You can choose a concentration in cultural anthropology, archaeology, or biological anthropology and linguistics or pursue an interdisciplinary track. Of the 120 credit hours, you will complete at least 34 in anthropology courses.
Through this program, you will build critical thinking, research, data management, and collaboration skills, paving the way for a myriad of anthropology careers. You can earn your degree at your own pace by enrolling either full-time or part-time. Check out admission details here.
University of Central Florida
Average Net Price
From the bustling city of Orlando, the University of Central Florida is also bustling with opportunities. More than 72,000 students call UCF home, and with more than 230 degree programs spanning across 13 colleges, it’s no surprise! UCF Online offers a top-ranked Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, one that will “take you through the entirety of human history!” (UCF program page).
Through UCF’s BA in anthropology, you can focus on archeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, or physical anthropology. You will gain an understanding of language, religion, and culture across the world while armed with research and fieldwork skills. Notable classes include The Human Species, Archaeology and the Rise of Human Culture, and History of Anthropology Thought.
Whether you want to want to pursue exciting careers after graduation or dive into graduate students, UCF BA in anthropology will take you there. Check out this video posted from UCF’s anthropology department to see if this program is right for you. Check out application details and apply online here.
Florida International University
Average Net Price
Miami’s first and only public research university, FIU boasts many top rankings, including Positive Impact (Times Higher Education), National Public University (Washington Monthly) and Top Performers in Social Mobility (U.S. News & World Report). Through FIU Online, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology with an anthropology track.
FIU’s combined anthropology/sociology program provides a deep global perspective of culture and language. You will obtain “investigative skills to decode simple, traditional and non-industrialized societies” and be able to dig into the past to reconstruct cultures, both literally and figuratively! From 120 required credit hours, you will take core classes in World Ethnography, Research Methods, Anthropological Theories, and Social Theory. This online program is rigorous yet flexible and supportive.
As a student, you will be paired with a success coach and become part of a dynamic online community of peers and devoted faculty. Interested in FIU? You can apply online in just 20-30 minutes. Even better: applications are accepted for fall, spring, and summer semesters, so join the FIU community any time of the year.
Oregon State University
Average Net Price
As far as online learning, many universities dim in comparison to Oregon State University. Oregon State Ecampus is one of the best online universities in the nation, currently ranked #4 by U.S. News & World Report. OSU offers both a Bachelor of Arts or Science in anthropology, ideal for those “who are fascinated by people and interested in answering big questions about what makes us human” (OSU program page).
OSU’s program requires a minimum of 180 quarter credits and offers four areas of focus: archeology, biocultural, cultural/linguistic, and general anthropology. Choosing a specialization includes an additional 12 credits of site-based field experience. Hands-on learning? Yes, please! You can also choose from a lengthy list of minors or undergraduate certificates to tailor your degree further.
Sample course topics include the evolution of people, global conflicts, wealth and poverty, biological and cultural constructions of race, North America after the ice age, and more! OSU utilizes a holistic approach to the admission process and looks at a combination of items, including past grades, class rank, personal statement, essay responses, and test scores (although test scores are optional).
Colorado State University Online
Fort Collins, Colorado
Average Net Price
Colorado State University Online goes way back when online learning was, well, just learning! Students would watch VHS tapes (anyone remember those?), complete assignments, and (snail) mail them back to their professors. A lot has changed in 50 years, but CSU has always been at the forefront of online learning! CSU and CSU Online feature the exact same faculty, academic standards, and education.
Through CSU Online, you can earn a BA in anthropology through a curriculum based on cultural relativism. Specifically, you will learn how to understand other cultures without letting your experience influence your perceptions. This 120-credit program includes required courses such as History of Anthropological Thought, Archaeology of North America, and Human Ecology. Additionally, online students have the option to add a degree minor, anything from agricultural business or gerontology to creative writing or media studies.
This program may be online, but it’s incredibly interactive. Some of your learning experiences will be based on videos, readings, research, online discussions, group projects, and labs. Check out application details to CSU Online here.
Average Net Price
Founded in 1187, Troy University, known as TROY, is known for offering top-notch, affordable education both on campus and online. In fact, for 15 years straight, TROY has been on Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” rankings. To date, TROY Online has awarded 22,188 degrees to online learners all over the globe, and of course, that number continues to rise.
Through TROY Online, you can earn a BS in anthropology, a comprehensive program that leads to a handful of anthropology careers or serves as a pathway to graduate school. Along with general education courses and electives, you will take 36 credit hours in core classes, like Cultural Anthropology, The Anthropology of Kinship & Social Structure, and Language in Culture & Society. One of the best parts of the BS at TROY is the hands-on experience available.
While this program is online, you can complete fieldwork throughout the southeastern and southwestern United States. In addition, many students are offered part-time jobs in the archaeological field and lab. Check out this video of TROY students unearthing Native American artifacts that are potentially 1,500 years old!
Arizona State University
Average Net Price
While Arizona State University is consistently ranked as a top school, it is also recognized as the country’s most innovative school (U.S. News & World Report). ASU is a place where students work with NASA to advance space exploration, Nobel laureates and Pulitzer prize winners serve as faculty members, and where the next generation of world changers begin their journey!
ASU’s online BA in anthropology is a comprehensive, 120-credit hour program where you can choose classes based on your interests. Seriously, some of these classes are incredibly intriguing. Imagine taking courses like Buried Cities and Lost Tribes; Bones, Stones, and Human Evolution; and Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries. In addition, you will learn from world-class researchers like Anne Stone, a Geneticist who helped unlock Neanderthal DNA and discovered the Lucy fossil, Donald Johanson and William Kimbel.
To apply for ASU’s anthropology program out of high school, you need to rank in the top 25% of your high school class, hold at least a 3.0 GPA, or meet the qualifying ACT/SAT scores. Transfer students, read about your application requirements here.
University of Houston-Clear Lake
Average Net Price
The Clear Lake branch of the University of Houston System has been operating since 1974 and continues to grow and thrive. In 2019, UHCL opened four new buildings, including the STEM building, a state-of-the-art 121,000 square-foot facility with 13 research labs! Across four colleges, UHCL offers more than 90 degree programs to over 9100 students.
Among these programs is an online BS in anthropology, which “merges quality with convenience” and focuses on understanding diversity within Houston, the nation, and the world. A perk of UHCL’s program is that you complete this degree in as little as two years through taking ten online classes a year. However, you complete this degree at your own pace, whether it takes two years or five, you are in control!
In addition to general education courses and electives, you will take 42 credits of major requirement courses like Contemporary Cultural Anthropology, Applied Quantitative Methods, and Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems. Because of the emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism, graduates of this program excel in all types of industries, including education, healthcare, human resources, and international relations.
Western Illinois University
Average Net Price
Western Illinois University is known for its flexible and affordable academic programs that are innovative and student-centered. “Best Bang for the Buck,” reports Washington Monthly, and indeed, WIU is committed to making education affordable for all students. Check out WIU’s online BA in anthropology with four areas of specialization: cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, archaeology, or linguistics.
WIU describes its anthropology as “holistic, which is the basis of anthropology itself” (WIU program page). Additionally, WIU focuses on the environment and is currently the only university in the state to offer a concentration in environmental issues. Along with general education requirements, you will complete four core classes, two courses in directed electives, and 15 hours of anthropology electives.
While this program is offered online, you can take advantage of study abroad opportunities in Puerto Rico, Germany, Ecuador, India, and Peru, along with an archaeological field school. WIU also has connections with the Field Museum of Natural History, the Dickson Mounds Museum, as well as the Hensen and Niabi Zoos. If you’re thinking WIU’s anthropology program sounds like you, apply online here.
Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Average Net Price
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit academic institution with more than 135,000 online students across 200+ programs! Awarded the 21st Century Distance Learning Award for Excellence in Online Technology by the USDLA, SNHU is committed to innovative, high-quality online education. SNHU features an online BA in anthropology with a unique concentration option.
SNHU’s online BA in anthropology features both a general track and a concentration in environmental sustainability. This concentration emphasizes a perspective on human actions and environmental processes. Sample courses include Conservation Biology, Environmental Issues, Energy and Society, and Sustainable Communities. Even though this program is online, you will feel involved through SCHU’s innovative virtual environments.
SNHU anthropology graduates pursue anthropology careers in education, corporate and business, government, and nonprofit community-based settings. Sample job titles include historic preservationists, cultural resource managers, and human rights advocates. Conveniently, you can apply to SNHU’s anthropology program any time of the year, as courses start every six weeks. SNHU also offers generous transfer credit policies, so if this is you, even better!