Human origins, development through history, and behavior patterns are all part of the curriculum for an Anthropologist. If you enjoy studying the traditions, languages, and cultures of people groups around the world, the field of anthropology may be your career of choice. Within the field there are a variety of options as well.
Some will find more research oriented positions for entities such as research firms, government organizations, or consulting firms to be the right fit.
Here the job may require forming and testing hypothesis about human behavior, collecting and recording findings, and preparing and presenting research reports.
Others may look for laboratory or field positions which may require extended periods of travel, and provide more hands-on experiences by analyzing laboratory samples, or collecting artifacts from an archaeological dig.
10 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Anthropology
1. Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR)
Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts offers an online Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. Both programs require 180 total credits with tuition currently set at $288 per credit. There are four areas of focus for students to choose:
- Archaeology option
- Bio-cultural option
- Cultural/linguistic option
Credit requirements are comprised of:
- 48 credits of the Baccalaureate core courses
- 15 credits Liberal Arts core
- 15-24 credits of B.A. or B.S. requirements
- 60 credits for the Anthropology major
- Electives as needed
Courses will cover a range of topics such as:
- Peoples of the world
- Cultures in conflict
- Wealth and poverty
- Forensic anthropology
- North America after the ice age
2. Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester NH)
The online Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology program at Southern New Hampshire University emphasizes a multi-disciplinary curriculum with a strong foundation in ethics, conservation, and archaeology. Students have the opportunity to specialize in the areas of:
- Environmental Sustainability – Focuses on environmental and cultural challenges and adaptations connecting past events to current and future consequences. This specialization may lead to a career as an Environmental Solutions Manager or a Waste and Energy Management Specialist
- Geo-spatial Technologies – Uses tools to map and analyze human societies, cultural trends, and the movement of people groups. This may lead to careers in Cartography, Economic Development Analyzing, or Project Management.
The 120 total required credits consist of:
- 45 credits general education classes
- 45 credits degree courses
- 30 credits free electives
Class topics may include:
- Earth System Science
- Discovering the Past: Foundations in Archaeology
- Human Origins and Evolution: Biological Anthropology
- Anthropology in the Contemporary World
Tuition rates are currently set at $320 per credit hour, one of the cheapest in the country.
3. Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
Colorado State offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. This 120 credit degree emphasized a curriculum of cultural relativism integrating ideas from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students will enroll in classes such as:
- Human Ecology
- Gender and Anthropology
- Cultural Geography
- Human Origins and Variation
This Anthropology degree offers a unique opportunity for all of the enrolled students, that is, the option to attend a summer field school in person. (This is completely optional and not mandatory for online students). These field schools are:
- Paleontology Field School in Greybull, Wyoming
- Archaeology Field School in Northern Colorado
- Ethnographic Field School in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota
4. University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology is offered through the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Florida. As such this degree has a broad-based liberal arts background exposing students to a variety of subjects including:
- Political science
The 120 total course credits required for this degree includes 34 credits of anthropology coursework. Students have the opportunity to specialize in one of four areas:
- Cultural Anthropology
- Biological Anthropology
Online students may take advantage of tuition rates as low as $129.18 per credit hour, which includes additional fees, if they are Florida residents. Non-residents may pay up to $552.62 per credit hour.
5. Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
Arizona State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology program through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This four year degree requires 120 total credits, or 39 classes, covering a variety of topics. The curriculum emphasizes using statistics and the scientific method to gather and analyze qualitative and quantitative data. Some class examples include:
- Global History of Health
- Medical Anthropology: Culture and Health
- Bones, Stones, and Human Evolution
- Urban and Environmental Health
Apprenticeship programs are available across 40 different laboratories. Classes run for 7.5 weeks with a current tuition rate of $584 per credit. Students are expected to maintain a Major GPA and Cumulative GPA of 2.0.
6. University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
At the University of Central Florida, the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology program is offered through the College of Sciences and the Department of Anthropology. The curriculum is comprehensive in scope with all enrolled students being exposed to a variety of sub-fields including:
- Cultural Anthropology
- Physical Anthropology
A total of 120 credits are required for graduation. Tuition is currently set at $179.19 per credit hour for in state students or $383.86 per credit hour for out of state students. The University also offers an online undergraduate certificate program in Anthropology with a concentration in Native American studies.
7. Ashford University (San Diego, CA)
The Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology program at Ashford University requires a total of 120 credits for graduation. Students may transfer in up to 90 credits from other approved institutions to help reduce tuition. Credit requirements consist of:
- 43 General education requirements
- 45 Major course requirements
- 35 elective credits
Students may be able to use three credits from the major to fulfill general education requirements. Classes cover a diversity of topic from gender studies to war and linguistics. Some sample classes may include:
- Human Origin and Prehistory
- Material Culture: Archaeology and the Human Condition
- Anthropology of War
- Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Ritual
- Native American Anthropology
8. Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology program at Northern Arizona University offers two areas of emphasis: Archaeology or Sociocultural Anthropology. The curriculum focuses on a holistic cross-cultural approach to education with students participating in research, fieldwork, and service. For online students fieldwork is optional, but highly encouraged. The 120 total required credits include:
- 33-34 credits of major courses
- 16 credits of languages
- 18-21 credits in a minor or an emphasis area
- Elective courses as needed
Up to nine credits of major courses may be used towards general education requirements. Upon graduation students may be eligible for an entry level position in the job field or may continue their education with the Master of Arts in Anthropology, also offered at Northern Arizona University.
9. Thomas Edison State University (Trenton, NJ)
The Heavin School of Arts and Sciences at Thomas Edison State teaches the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from a liberal arts perspective. This comprehensive over-view of the subject requires a total of 120 credits for graduation comprised of:
- 60 credits general education classes
- 33 credits major courses
- 27 credits electives
There are seven required major courses in addition to a final capstone course. These include:
- Cultural Anthropology
- Physical Anthropology
- Social Organization
- Ethnographic courses
Other possible electives and topical courses are:
- Cultures of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean
- Aging and Death in Cross Cultural Perspective
- Medical Anthropology
- Peasant Societies
- Urban Anthropology
10. Florida International University (Miami, FL)
The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology. Both tracks require 120 credits with tuition currently set at $212.71 per credit for in-state residents or $329.77 per credit for out-of-state residents.
The Anthropology track makes a detailed study of the influence of language, the creation and organization of government and other social structures, and how cultures create meaning. There are 15 credits of required core courses:
- World Ethnography
- Research Methods
- Anthropological Theories
- Social Theory
- One other adviser-approved research methods course
Additionally, students must take 30 credits of electives with a minimum of nine credits taken outside the major.
Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Anthropology Ranking Guidelines:
Successful Student has ranked the 10 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Anthropology, according to ranking factors determined by Successful Student. This ranking is designed for students, to make sense of online bachelor’s programs in Anthropology, using ranking factors that are important to students. These factors are academic reputation, variety of coursework, and online resources.
Anthropology Career Information:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for an Anthropologist in 2016 was $63,190 per year. For the majority of positions, employers will look for Master’s or Doctoral level knowledge, both of which will require an undergraduate degree in the subject.
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