Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode


Find Schools Near

2021 Anthropology Degree Guide

Anthropology is the study of humankind throughout history all around the world. Some of the subjects you will discuss in your classes are similarities and differences between people groups, how different groups live with each other, culture creation, and how human beings evolve and adapt.

Anthropology requires looking at things from new perspectives. You will be exploring how past cultures lived, ate, raised families and created meaning in life. Some courses you can expect to encounter are biological anthropology, human biology, human origins, introduction to anthropology, principles of archaeology, language, and modern human physical variation.

Some of the concentrations available in this major are Physical and Biological Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, or Cultural Anthropology.

Anthropology Degrees Decreasing

#77 Most Popular Major
11.7k Degrees Awarded
-2.6% Increase in Graduates

Anthropology was the 77th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 11,703 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 2.6% reduction in anthropology degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -12,008.

There are 542 schools offering degrees in anthropology in the United States. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Anthropology ranking analyzes 125 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for anthropology students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of anthropology programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Anthropology

Students should have both a scientific inquisitive mind, as well as an interest in people. Develop strong written and oral communication skills in order to write clear papers and present your findings in presentations. Writing and speech should be done in a clear concise manner so that any person can understand the data.

Part of your studies will involve exploring and learning about different cultures, people, and places. An open mind will allow you to objectively compare and contrast various lifestyles and ideas. Critical thinking skills and reasoning will help you piece together historical facts as well as analyze data from research.

Anthropology Degree Program Entry Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most anthropology degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific anthropology careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Anthropology Degrees

Anthropology degree levels vary. Anthropology programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest anthropology degree you can get. Different anthropology degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to anthropology, with approximately 35.5% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to anthropology tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 34.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 34.3%
Master’s Degree 20.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 2.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.1%

58.1% of anthropology workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in anthropology careers have.


This of course varies depending on which anthropology career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Anthropology Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$24.7k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

In order to become an anthropologist you must obtain your Ph.D. Although the employment field of anthropology is predicted to grow, it is a small and competitive field to get into. Anthropologists use their advanced knowledge to research current issues, human life, culture, and history. They are found teaching college classes or working for the government or corporations doing research.

Graduates who do not wish to pursue an advanced degree may find work in a variety of places. Anthropology majors have critical thinking and reasoning skills that make them attractive to many employers. They could find work in human services, sales, business administration, marketing and other fields of interest.

Growth Projected for Anthropology Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your anthropology degree? Anthropology careers are expected to grow 8.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to anthropology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Anthropologists and Archeologists 7,900 3.9%
Anthropology and Archeology Professors 7,800 9.9%

Anthropology Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated anthropology students earned an average of $24,661 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $14,200 to as high as $44,900. As you might expect, salaries for anthropology graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Anthropology Majors

Salaries for anthropology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers anthropology grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Managers $115,590
Anthropology and Archeology Professors $94,080
Anthropologists and Archeologists $65,310

Getting Your Anthropology Degree

With over 1,203 different anthropology degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased anthropology school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Anthropology

Anthropology is one of 13 different types of Social Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
Sociology 37,611
General Social Sciences 19,694
International Relations & National Security 15,207

View All Anthropology Related Majors >


Find Schools Near You