The Best Anthropology Programs in the US

November 26, 2022
By AdmissionSight

The Best Anthropology Programs in the US

Students who major in anthropology, on the other hand, do not often find themselves in a position to transition easily into a career that is closely connected to their field of study. In point of fact, anthropology majors at many of the best anthropology programs of different colleges and universities go on to get graduate degrees in a wide variety of subfields. You will gain an understanding of how biological, cultural, and social factors have impacted groups of people throughout history and in the modern day if you choose to study anthropology at the best anthropology programs. You have access to a wide variety of specialization areas, such as biological anthropology, archeology, sociology, and linguistics, from which to make your selection.

Students who earn a degree in Anthropology like those from the best anthropology programs in the country will be better prepared for professions in a wide variety of fields, such as public health, market research, linguistics, teaching, tourism, and archaeology, in addition to a number of other varied professional paths.

What do you Study in Anthropology?

So, what do you study in Anthropology? Anthropology is the study of human behavior and characteristics, with sociology placing a greater emphasis on the role of social forces. Even though the two fields, sociology, and cultural anthropology, focus on particular aspects of human society, there are many parallels between the two. The study of people, including their actions, physical traits, and the ways in which they react to social institutions, often known as their culture, is the primary emphasis of anthropology.

The completion of a bachelor’s degree program like those in the best anthropology programs in the world can provide access to a wide variety of professional opportunities. The research, critical thinking, and communication skills that you will develop in this major can be applied in a broad variety of job contexts in the disciplines of education, science, and social services.

Some examples of these settings include archaeology and the curation of museums. You will be in a position to become an innovator and a leader in this dynamic subject if you attend one of the top colleges that offers anthropology programs.

Today, the most influential people in the field of anthropology who also graduated from the best anthropology programs are shedding fresh light on a variety of themes, including the uses of anthropology in the military, the cultural influences on economies, the trafficking of human organs, and many more.

Is Anthropology a Good Major?

Having been acquainted with what Anthropology is, as a student, you might wonder if is Anthropology a good major. A good choice for students interested in a multidisciplinary study is anthropology.

From the best anthropology programs in the country, the curriculum for this degree often covers a wide variety of diverse but connected academic areas, such as history and languages, as well as studies on world religion and race, in addition to science-driven topics like evolutionary biology, archaeology, and forensics. As an undergraduate student majoring in anthropology, you will have the opportunity to hone your skills in both scientific inquiry and critical evaluation.

What are the Best Anthropology Programs?

Students who desire to work in the field of social science are typically required to acquire a master’s degree. For this, what are the best Anthropology programs in the country? Cultural anthropologists fall into the category of social scientists.

When looking into schools for undergraduate study, it is a good idea to find out if the schools in question also offer master’s degree programs in anthropology or cultural anthropology, as well as any coterminal degree programs that may be available. Students who participate in a coterminal program are given the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree simultaneously.

If you want to improve your research experience, another item to think about is whether or not the program provides studies in the field or in the lab. The best anthropology programs can also be able to help students find teaching or internship positions with local museums or groups that share their interests.

Princeton University

Additional education is accessible through cross-lists, cognates, and special presentations by guests; the Anthropology Department at Princeton routinely provides courses and advising in sociocultural and biological anthropology. The study of human evolution, culture, and change over time and around the globe is the focus of the academic discipline known as anthropology.

Princeton building hidden by trees.

Anthropology can also assist us in imagining and designing futures that take into account the complexity of both humans and the natural world. Archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology are the four subfields that make up the subject of anthropology. The focus that anthropology places on context are what allows the discipline to be so all-encompassing.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Faculty members in the Anthropology department at MIT carry out research not just in the United States but also in locations ranging from Mexico to Mongolia. MIT students and researchers live and work among the people they investigate, taking part in daily activities and rituals, conducting interviews, and collecting data using various multimedia technologies such as photography and videography.

Aerial view of MIT building.

The Anthropology program provides students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with a wide range of course options. Students in MIT’s anthropology program receive instruction in field methodologies and social theory, as well as training in critical thinking abilities and an appreciation of other cultures.

Harvard University

The program in Anthropology at Harvard encourages more in-depth research of behaviors that we might believe we completely understand, but which actually have histories and intricacies that are only revealed when a rigorous investigation is conducted. Students endeavor to gain an understanding of the complete context of people’s behaviors and everything that is impacted by those acts.

A building inside the Harvard campus where legacy admission is still being practiced

Through the contextualized study of society, culture, and civilization, students who major in anthropology are better prepared to address global concerns. This major can also lead to careers in global health and medicine, law, government, museums, education, the arts, cultural and environmental management, business and entrepreneurship, and other fields, not to mention academics.

Stanford University

Archaeology, ecology, environmental anthropology, evolution, linguistics, medical anthropology, political economy, science and technology studies, and sociocultural anthropology are just some of the areas of study that can be pursued through the Anthropology Department at Stanford. Other areas of study include environmental anthropology, political economy, science and technology studies, and sociocultural anthropology.

center plaza of Stanford University

By utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies as teaching tools, students learn the methodology for the study of both micro and macro-level social phenomena. In order for students to be able to pursue graduate study in any of the aforementioned subfields of anthropology, the department provides students with exceptional training in both theoretical and methodological frameworks.

Yale University

The Department of Anthropology at Yale University is home to approximately thirty faculty members, affiliates from a wide variety of different parts of the University, and a large number of graduate students. The academic fields of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, in addition to the entire world and many millions of years of prehistory and history, are the focus of research and instruction at Yale.

Front view of Yale University

Graduates of Yale’s Doctor of Philosophy program go on to teach at universities located all over the world and conduct research in a diverse range of academic and non-academic settings. It’s undergraduate major attracts students who have a strong interest in the study of mankind, both in the most general terms as well as in the specific social, cultural, historical, and/or biological settings that have molded human pasts and now and that will shape humans’ collective futures.

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago’s Department of Anthropology has a long and proud heritage of intellectual quality and leadership in the field. This tradition dates back to the early days of the department. We are steadfast in our commitment to preserving the department’s long-standing advantages while simultaneously cultivating newly emergent theoretical interests within the field and beyond.

Front building of University of Chicago partially covered by trees

Semiotic approaches to culture; postcoloniality; human rights and indigenous rights; globalization; critiques of neoliberalism; the politics of race, gender, and sexuality; the analysis of place and space; mass media and visual culture; history and the historical imagination; and the anthropological study of religion are some of the areas that are currently enjoying particular attention by faculty and students in archaeology as well as linguistic and sociocultural anthropology.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Anthropology focuses on socio-cultural anthropology, which is the study of social and cultural aspects of human life via the use of ethnographic, historical, and comparative approaches. The relevance of ethnographic research methodologies, which can be carried out through extensive fieldwork at a single site or in a network of sites, is emphasized by the Department of Anthropology at this university.

Johns Hopkins University Hospital

The ethnographic research conducted at Johns Hopkins University has featured both forward-thinking involvement and a firm footing in a variety of anthropological traditions. Researchers from the faculty and graduate students have combined quantitative and qualitative methods, investigated novel approaches to archival research, conducted longitudinal studies through multiple visits to the field, and tracked networks as well as the movement of individuals, institutions, and ideas across multiple locations.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Anthropology has a lengthy and illustrious past to go along with its reputation. When it first opened its doors in the latter half of the 19th century, the department quickly established itself as one of the oldest examples of an academic program committed to the all-encompassing and expert scholarship of what it means to be human.

View of school building made of concrete.

Individual research topics at UPenn engage a wide variety of contemporary issues, such as corporations and finance, media and communication, migration and demographics, science and technology, health and environment, heritage and identity, race and gender, violence and social control, poverty and rights, and political and economic development.

Duke University

The Anthropology Department at Duke University is dedicated to the study of humans in all of their myriad forms, including as individuals, as products of society, and as creators of history and culture. To live within structures of symbol, belief, and power that we have fashioned ourselves is inherent to the human condition.

The university flag of Duke University

These structures can be found in areas such as religion, art, gender, war, ecosystems, race relations, embodiment, kinship, science, colonialism, language, nations and states, play, subsistence strategies, mass media, illness, pain, and pleasure. To put it simply, culture. In addition to all of this, anthropologists also investigate other things.

The primary goal of teaching at Duke University is to assist students in the development of their intellectual abilities, fluency in other cultures, and a sense of civic and moral participation. They have high expectations for their majors, believing that they would emerge from the school with improved analytic and critical thinking skills with which to approach the world.

Northwestern University

Since it was established in 1938, the Department of Anthropology at Northwestern University has been home to a distinguished community of professors who have contributed their knowledge to the department’s courses, academic programs, and research opportunities.

Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology are the four subfields that make up the discipline of anthropology, and the department encourages an approach to the study of anthropology that takes a more comprehensive view of the subject.

Northwestern building covered in vines.

Within the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS) as well as the rest of the University as a whole, the department plays an important role that crosses disciplinary and academic boundaries. Our research regularly overlaps with the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, the Geography Program, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University.

Is an Anthropology Degree Worth it?

The study of anthropology requires a great deal of specific knowledge. So, is an Anthropology degree worth it? Those who eventually work in the fields of anthropology or archaeology often have a master’s degree in their respective disciplines. Because of this, you will be qualified for a broad variety of jobs in the field of anthropology, archeology, or history, including undertaking fieldwork, providing consultations, or teaching. However, the degree program in anthropology is extremely flexible.

A bachelor’s degree from one of the best anthropology programs will not only prepare you to pursue an advanced degree program in anthropology, but it will also prepare you for a wide range of opportunities in forensics, education, biology, and many other fields. Should you decide to make a profession out of anthropology, the following are some of the most desirable positions that can be obtained with an anthropological degree:

  • Anthropologists and Archaeologists
  • Anthropology and Archeology Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers
  • Historians
  • Forensic Science Technicians
  • Geoscientists

Critical thinking, advanced research abilities, and cultural understanding are probably the three that are the most significant. There are, of course, a variety of other skills and areas of expertise that make graduates of Anthropology programs excellent candidates for employment.

Want to learn more about getting into one of the best anthropology programs in the country? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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