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2020 Best Colleges for Anthropology

Approximately 12,008 anthropology degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Anthropology ranking analyzed 260 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in anthropology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 colleges for Anthropology students.

Choosing a Great Anthropology School

Best Colleges for Anthropology The anthropology program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality anthropology program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 7% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 15%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 115 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

A anthropology degree from colleges on this list typically results in higher than average wages after graduation. While the average anthropology bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $24,323, graduates of colleges on this list average $27,286.

Starting Salary  ( 20823 to 32576 )
$0
$39,500

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Anthropology students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other anthropology students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized anthropology related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Anthropology students.

Best Schools to Study Anthropology in United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for anthropology majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 260 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Anthropology Colleges

Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MO
8.1% Growth in Graduates

It's hard to beat Washington University in St Louis if you want to study anthropology. WUSTL is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Saint Louis. A Best Colleges rank of 19 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means WUSTL is a great school overall.

There are roughly 135 anthropology undergraduates studying this degree at WUSTL.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NY
$35,100 Median Starting Salary

It is hard to beat Columbia University in the City of New York if you want to pursue anthropology as a major. Located in the large city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great college overall.

There are roughly 94 anthropology undergraduates studying this program at Columbia. Anthropology students from Columbia University in the City of New York get a earnings boost of about $7,814 above the typical earnings of anthropology graduates.

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#3

Yale University

New Haven, CT
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CT
15.4% Growth in Graduates

Yale University is among your best bets if you want to study anthropology. Located in the medium-sized city New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 4 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Yale is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Yale also offers 3 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MI
9.0% Growth in Graduates

It's difficult to beat University of Michigan - Ann Arbor if you want to study anthropology. U of Michigan is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 35 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means U of Michigan is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of Michigan also offers 2 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Graduates of the anthropology program earn an average of $23,600 in the first couple years of their career.

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#5

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MA
22.4% Growth in Graduates

Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Harvard also offers 2 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CA
$20,100 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city Riverside, UCR is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 214th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 143 students enrolled, University of California - Riverside is one of most popular schools to study anthropology in United States. Graduates of the anthropology program make an average of $20,100 in their early career salary.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CA
$29,000 Median Starting Salary

UCLA is a fairly large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. This college ranks 49th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 261 anthropology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UCLA. Soon after graduating, anthropology students usually make about $29,000 at the beginning of their careers.

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#8

Brown University

Providence, RI
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In RI

Brown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Providence. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Brown is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Brown also offers 2 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In CA
14.0% Growth in Graduates

UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the city of Berkeley. This college ranks 65th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 129 undergrads, University of California - Berkeley is one of most popular colleges to study anthropology in United States. After graduation, anthropology students usually earn about $25,500 in the first five years of their career.

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#10

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In IL

Located in the city Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 8 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great school overall.

University of Chicago is one of the most popular college to study anthropology in United States with over 41 graduates last year.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
22.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 84th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are approximately 267 anthropology undergraduates studying this program at UW Seattle. After graduating, anthropology students usually make an average of $29,000 in their early careers.

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#12

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In PA

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great school overall.

A popular major for anthropology undergrads, there are about 28 students enrolled in this degree at UPenn.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CA
$26,400 Median Starting Salary

UC Santa Cruz is a large public school located in the small city of Santa Cruz. This school ranks 259th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

University of California - Santa Cruz is a fairly popular college to study anthropology in United States with over 140 graduations last year. Graduates of the anthropology program make about $26,400 in the first couple years of their career.

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#14

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
34th Most Popular In CA

Stanford is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great college overall.

A preferred choice for anthropology undergrads, there are about 20 students enrolled in this program at Stanford.

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#15

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In NC

Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Duke is a great school overall.

With 37 students enrolled, Duke University is one of most popular schools to study anthropology in United States.

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#16

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In GA
14.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Atlanta, Emory is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 27 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Emory is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Emory also offers 2 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students who graduate from this degree report average early career earnings of $17,100.

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#17

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
1st Most Popular In NH
6.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the remote town Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great school overall.

There are roughly 33 anthropology undergrads enrolled in this program at Dartmouth.

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#18

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In MA
14.0% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small city Waltham, Brandeis is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. This college ranks 68th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A favorite major for anthropology undergrads, there are about 50 students studying this degree at Brandeis. Brandeis University anthropology students make $6,314 more than the standard anthropology student.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In CA
11.4% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Irvine, UC Irvine is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 81st out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

University of California - Irvine is a fairly popular college to study anthropology in United States with over 114 graduates last year. After graduation, anthropology students generally make about $27,400 in their early careers.

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#20

George Washington University

Washington, DC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In DC

GWU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Washington. This college ranks 105th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There are approximately 49 anthropology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at GWU.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In TX
$25,500 Median Starting Salary

UT Austin is a very large public school located in the large city of Austin. This college ranks 78th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the most popular school to study anthropology in United States exceeding 67 graduations last year. After getting their bachelor's degree, anthropology students usually earn about $25,500 at the beginning of their careers.

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#22

Tulane University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In LA

Located in the large city New Orleans, Tulane is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. This school ranks 94th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Louisiana.

There are approximately 47 anthropology undergraduates enrolled in this program at Tulane.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In CA
$27,000 Median Starting Salary

UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Santa Barbara. This school ranks 125th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular major for anthropology undergraduates, there are roughly 124 students enrolled in this program at UCSB. After getting their bachelor's degree, anthropology students generally earn around $27,000 in the first five years of their career.

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#24

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In FL
11.7% Growth in Graduates

Located in the midsize city Gainesville, U of F is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 73rd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of F also offers 2 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Grads of the anthropology program report average early career wages of $23,200.

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#25

New York University

New York, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In NY
$39,500 Median Starting Salary

NYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This college ranks 129th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, NYU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in anthropology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students from the anthropology degree program at New York University make $12,214 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Anthropology

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Anthropology students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Anthropology award.

Rank College Location
40 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
41 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
42 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
43 University at Albany Albany, NY
44 Kenyon College Gambier, OH
45 Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME
46 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
47 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
48 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
49 Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
50 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
51 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
52 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT

Anthropology by Region

View the Best Colleges for Anthropology for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 13 majors within the Social Sciences area of study, Anthropology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Anthropology

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
Sociology 37,615
General Social Sciences 19,123
International Relations & National Security 14,908

View All Anthropology Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Deror avi.

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