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Top Online Anthropology Schools

Top Online Anthropology SchoolsAnthropology, the study of humanity, examines cultural differences with a focus on understanding behavioral diversity and identifying universal human characteristics and ethics. Anthropology studies can provide insights and tools to evaluate social systems and human diversity.

Online schools, colleges and universities offer degrees in anthropology at various levels, including bachelor's and master's degrees. Graduate programs typically offer in-depth concepts of cultural and behavioral theory as well as designs and methods for anthropological research.


The National Research Council released its assessment of anthropology programs throughout the United States in 2010. Their assessment methodology included an S-Rank, which ranks programs if they meet criteria deemed important by scholars, as well as an R-Rank, which ranks programs if faculty members believe the program has “top-notch” features. Based upon this report, the following five schools have the top five anthropology programs based upon S-Rank:


1.  Duke University
2.  Pennsylvania State University
3.  Harvard University
4.  Stanford University
5.  Northwestern University

The following five schools can be considered the top five schools for anthropology based upon their R-Rank score:


1.  Harvard University
2.  University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
3.  University of Chicago
4.  University of California at Berkeley
5.  University of Arizona

The American Anthropological Association recognizes the best publications in environmental/ecological anthropology with the Julian Steward Awards. The following schools have published research honored with this prize:

1.  2011: Yale University
2.  2011 (runner-up): University of Washington
3.  2009: Louisiana State University

Learn more about anthropology studies and courses

The curriculum for anthropology studies can vary widely and include specializations like linguistic anthropology. Seminars may cover globalization, cultural dynamics, prehistoric societies or specific regions of the world. Students use ethnographic materials to evaluate social systems and typically learn quantitative research methods involving statistics.

Anthropology bachelor's degree programs offer basic courses such as sociology and biology, along with methods for identification and analysis of social structures, patterns and problems. Students may specialize in large-scale or small-scale studies on topics such as historical and ancient cultural influences on the present, modern cultural systems, cultural effects of technology and so on. Master's degree programs in anthropology explore diverse influences on culture -- for example, geography, immigration, forensics, ecology, politics, economy, religions or evolution.

Outlook for careers in anthropology

Anthropologists and archeologists need a master's degree or Ph.D. for most positions, according to the

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012). The US employment rate for this profession is projected to increase by up to 21 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is faster than the national US average (BLS.gov, 2012). Nationally in 2011, anthropologists and archeologists earned an annual wage of $56,070 median, with the lowest 10 percent earning $32,160 nationally and the highest 10 percent earning $89,840 nationally (BLS.gov, 2012).

Anthropology graduates can seek employment in professional fields encompassing social science research, administration, counseling, developing services, managing and consulting for a wide range of employers. Incomes vary, depending on education and the employer.

Learn more about online anthropology schools

Prospective students can browse through available online programs, request information from schools, compare course descriptions and decide on the anthropology school that suits their needs. Online anthropology schools and colleges typically offer convenient features such as allowing students to work at their own pace. Potential students should check that their school has been accredited by professional accrediting organizations that are approved by the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both.



American Anthropological Association: Julian Steward Awards

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Anthropologists and archeologists (OES)

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Anthropologists and archeologists (OOH)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Chronicle of Higher Education (Doctoral Programs by the Numbers, 2010)

Online Anthropology Schools

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    5 Program(s) Found
    • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
    • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
    • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
    • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
    • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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    Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

    • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
    • No set class times or locations
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    • Accelerated eight-week terms
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    • Ranked #12 in the 2015 Best Graduate Schools in Social Work by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Offers more specialization opportunities than any other social work program, with 10 concentrations and sub-concentrations and 8 dual-degree programs.
    • The first elite researching university to offer a Master of Social Work degree online.
    • Has 4,000 field internship opportunities that give students real-world experience.
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    • Ranked 33rd among the Best Grad Schools for Social Work in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
    • Founded in 1904 as the nation’s first institute of higher learning to offer training for clinical social workers.
    • Provides a rigorous education, including a nationally accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) Program and PhD in Social Work.  
    • Offers inventive programs with hands-on experience.  
    • Incorporates social justice values and multicultural perspectives into curriculum. 
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    • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
    • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
    • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
    • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
    • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
    • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
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    Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.

    Learning in Community: An Academic Vision

    The story of Iowa Wesleyan University is a story of community; its founding, an act of community; its long history, an affirmation of community. Its defining vision draws on a community of memory even as it forges a dynamic future.

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    • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
    • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
    • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
    • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
    • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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    • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
    • Scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.
    • Offers more than 70 majors and programs, as well as several off-campus internships.
    • 94% of students in the 2014-2015 academic year qualified for financial aid.
    • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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    • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
    • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
    • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
    • Take advantage of four start dates per year
    • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
    • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
    • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
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    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
    • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
    • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
    • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
    • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
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