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50 Most Affordable Master’s Degree Programs in Anthropology for 2020

Great Value Colleges - Most Affordable

Although much of the coursework for a master’s degree in anthropology will center on the past, this credential can unlock many future opportunities for graduates. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for anthropologists and archaeologists is growing faster than the average occupation. In addition, positions in anthropology can be quite lucrative. In this ranking, we’ll identify the top 50 master’s in anthropology programs currently accepting new students.

Types of degrees covered in this ranking include the following:

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology
  • Master of Science (MS) in Anthropology
  • Master’s in Applied Anthropology
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Historical Archaeology
Methodology

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, writing/technology support, etc.)— 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Campus Diversity Support Network – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point (anything that would mark a program as unique. Special qualities that make a program “stand out from the crowd.

Ranking the 50 Best Great Value Master of Anthropology Degree Programs

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are 164 colleges and universities in the United States that offer a master’s in anthropology degree. To narrow this initial pool, we applied a tuition filter, eliminating schools with yearly costs of over $25,000. We then applied the rating and ranking methodology above, using data from College Navigator and Payscale.com. We also consulted each school’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school was awarded the higher ranking.

#50—Kent State University

Kent, Ohio

Master’s Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,565
Points: 4

The anthropology master’s degree program from Kent State University approaches the study of anthropology from a holistic perspective. Core courses required for the degree include Problems in Cultural Anthropology, Principles of Biological Anthropology, and Problems in World Prehistory. A thesis is also required prior to graduation. Kent State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award a graduate degree in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the top public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $17,552

#49—Western Washington University

Bellingham, Washington

Anthropology MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 951
Points: 4

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Western Washington University offers a master’s in anthropology from the school’s College of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Department of Anthropology. Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree in anthropology or a closely related discipline. Once enrolled, students will take courses such as Essentials of Graduate Study in Anthropology, Research Design and Method, and Theory in Anthropological Research, for instance. Elective offerings include Intercultural Education, Applied Cultural Resource Management, Nutritional Anthropology, and Global Migration, for instance. WWU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer the master of anthropology degree. The university has been recognized as a top public school by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $17,403

#48—University of Mississippi

University, Mississippi

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,449
Points: 5

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi offers a 30-credit hour master’s in anthropology degree from its Department of Sociology and Anthropology. The curriculum for the program is comprised of required courses such as Anthropological Theory and Methods, Seminar in Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology, Quantitative Anthropology, and Seminar in Research Design and Methodology, for instance. A thesis is also required prior to graduation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Mississippi to award a graduate degree in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has identified the university as a leading best value school in the United States.
Net Price: $14,459

#47—University of Massachusetts-Boston

Boston, Massachusetts

MA in Historical Archaeology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,450
Points: 5

The anthropology master’s degree program from the University of Massachusetts-Boston is a MA in Historical Archaeology. Offered through the school’s College of Liberal Arts, the program requires that students take graduate seminars in Archaeology and Historical Archaeology as well as a course in Archaeological Methods and Analysis. Students enrolled in the program will also choose from elective offerings such as Materials in Ancient Societies, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. History and Culture, Historical Landscapes and Geographic Information Systems, and Introduction to Public History and Popular Memory, for example. A thesis is also required. UMass- Boston is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award the master of anthropology credential. The university has been called a top public school by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $12,412

#46—University of Houston

Houston, Texas

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,976
Points: 6

University of Houston

The Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Houston is offered through the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies. The 30-semester hour program is comprised of three required courses: Foundations of Anthropological Theory, Research Methods in Anthropology, and Computer-Assisted Data Analysis in Anthropology. A thesis and comprehensive examination are required prior to graduation. The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master’s in anthropology degree. Its been called a top national university and best value school by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,002

#45—University of Nevada-Reno

Reno, Nevada

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,533
Points: 6

The University of Nevada-Reno offers a 31-credit hour MA in Anthropology. Required courses for the degree include seminars in Physical Anthropology, Archaeology and Prehistory, Linguistics, and Cultural Anthropology. Students must also pass a comprehensive examination and complete a thesis prior to graduation. The university is home to a research museum featuring rotating exhibits and laboratories. The University of Nevada-Reno is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master of anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the nation’s top public schools.
Net Price: $15,723

#44—Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Anthropology MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,396
Points: 6

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Florida Atlantic University offers a comprehensive master’s degree in anthropology program from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters and the Department of Anthropology. Core requirements for the 30-credit hour program include course titles such as Anthropological Theory, Quantitative Reasoning in Anthropological Research, Cultural Anthropology, and Social Anthropology, for instance. A master’s thesis is also required for graduation. FAU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master of anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the leading public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $9,486

#43—Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, Illinois

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,381
Points: 7

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The master’s in anthropology from Northern Illinois University features an interdisciplinary graduate certificate in museum studies. The program also features both a thesis and non-thesis track leading to the graduate degree. Course titles comprising the curriculum for the program may include Applied Anthropology, Anthropology of Gender, Fundamentals of Cognitive Anthropology, and Anthropological Research Training, for instance. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the university to award the anthropology master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has listed the school among the country’s leading national universities.
Net Price: $22,686

#42—Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Master’s in Applied Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,484
Points: 7

mississippi-state-university

Mississippi State University offers a master’s in anthropology degree from its Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. The program features specialties in Applied Archaeology and Applied Cultural Anthropology. Courses required for the degree include Anthropological Theory, Professionalization in Applied Anthropology, and Quantitative Methods in Anthropology. An internship and master’s thesis is also required prior to graduation. Mississippi State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master of anthropology. The university has been recognized as one of the top public schools in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $16,670

#41—University of Texas-San Antonio

San Antonio, Texas

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,276
Points: 7

Top 10 Online Schools in Texas: San Antonio, Texas

The Master of Arts in Anthropology option from the University of Texas at San Antonio features three distinct specializations: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology. Offered through the school’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts, the program is comprised of graduate courses such as Anthropology of Material Culture, Human Adaptability, Civilizations of Mexico, and Medical Anthropology, for instance. A formal thesis is also required prior to graduation. UTSA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master’s anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a top national university.
Net Price: $13,064

#40—Eastern New Mexico University

Portales, New Mexico

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 1,305
Points: 7

The master’s in anthropology degree from Eastern New Mexico University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology features an emphasis in archaeology. Coursework for the program covers topics such as lithic technology, cultural resource management, Paleoindian studies, and zooarchaeology, for instance. Students enrolled in the program are invited to join the school’s anthropology club, Mu Alpha Nu. Eastern New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master’s in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as one of the best regional universities in the West.
Net Price: $10,918

#39—Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Master’s in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,380
Points: 8

Washington State University

The master of anthropology from Washington State University features concentrations in Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Evolutionary Anthropology. Graduate courses offered through the department include Theory in Archaeology, Quantitative Methods in Anthropology, Evolutionary Cultural Anthropology, Historical Ethnography, and Medical Anthropology, for example. A master’s thesis is also required for degree completion. Washington State is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the leading schools in the nation in terms of value.
Net Price: $17,297

#38—Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,371
Points: 8

iowa-state-university

The Master of Arts in Anthropology from Iowa State University is offered through the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of World Languages and Cultures. The program requires two core courses: Biological Anthropology & Archaeology and Theoretical Dimensions of Cultural Anthropology. Additional classes associated with the degree include Community & Regional Planning, Anthropology Research, and Anthropology for Global Professionals, for example. A scholarly thesis is required, and graduate teaching assistantships are available. Iowa State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the anthropology master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a top national university and a best value school.
Net Price: $14,643

#37—San Diego State University

San Diego, California

MA Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,717
Points: 8

san-diego-state-university

The master’s anthropology option from San Diego State University features tracks in both general anthropology and applied anthropology. Students enrolled in the general program will take core seminars in Linguistics, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, and Ethnology, for instance. Students in the applied track will take an additional seminar in applied anthropology. A thesis is required for both tracks. SDSU is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the anthropology master’s credential. The university has been listed among the top best value schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,568

#36—East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

MA Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,647
Points: 8

The master’s of anthropology from East Carolina University features both thesis and non-thesis tracks. Core requirements for the degree include Cultural Anthropology, Anthropological Research Design, Physical Anthropology, and Archaeology. Students will also take classes like Advanced Ethnographic Methods and Theory, Advanced Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology, and Advanced Physical Anthropology Methods and Theory. Internships are available to interested students. ECU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the anthropology master’s degree. The university has been listed among the top public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,746

#35—Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,533
Points: 8

Florida State University

The master’s in anthropology program from Florida State University boasts strengths in archaeology, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. As a requirement for this graduate degree, students must take core seminars in each of these subdisciplines in anthropology. Both a comprehensive examination and master’s thesis are also required prior to graduation. The university is a host site for the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC). FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 60 national universities in the United States.
Net Price: $13,318

#34—University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 30:1
Graduate Enrollment: 9,654
Points: 8

university-of-central-florida

The 30-credit hour master’s in anthropology program from the University of Central Florida features both thesis and non-thesis tracks. Courses required for the degree include Writing in Anthropology, Seminar in Cultural Anthropology, Archaeological Theory and Method, and Seminar in Biological Anthropology. Students will also choose from elective offerings such as Problems in Forensic Anthropology, Nutritional Anthropology, Advanced Human Osteology, and Quantitative Research in Anthropology, for example. Independent learning opportunities are also available to interested students. UCF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the anthropology master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has identified the school as a leading national university.
Net Price: $13,016

#33—Utah State University

Logan, Utah

MS in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,052
Points: 8

Utah State University’s master of anthropology degree program is a Master of Science in Anthropology offered through the school’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology Department. The program features a required specialization in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management (CRM). A graduate certificate in Museum Studies is also available. To fulfill degree requirements, students will take core courses such as Archaeological Theory, Writing for Archaeologists, Cultural Resources Management Policy, and Archaeology of the Desert West. A thesis is also required prior to graduation. Utah State is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the anthropology master’s degree. The school has been ranked among the leading national universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $12,738

#32—San Jose State University

San Francisco, California

MA in Applied Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Graduate Enrollment: 8,073
Points: 9

sjsu how to go to college for free

The master’s degree in anthropology from San Jose State University is an MA in Applied Anthropology. Core courses required for the degree include Advanced Theory, Applications Core I and II, Advanced Research Methods, and Quantitative Methods, for instance. In addition to this core requirement, students must also take two upper-division anthropology courses approved by their advisor. A fieldwork experience is also required. San Jose State is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the anthropology master’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 25 regional universities in the West.
Net Price: $14,519

#31—Georgia State University

Atlanta, Georgia

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduate Enrollment: 7,085
Points: 9

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The MA in Anthropology from Georgia State University features an optional concentration in Museum Anthropology as well as a graduate certificate in Ethnography. Courses required for the degree include Anthropological Theory and Praxis, Seminar in Applied Anthropology, and Graduate Professionalization Seminar. Students will take additional classes like Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology, Archaeological Methods, and Methods and Theories in Biological Anthropology, for instance. Internships in anthropology are also available to graduate students. Georgia State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master’s in anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has identified the university as the second most innovative school in the country.
Net Price: $14,501

#30—Brigham Young University-Provo

Provo, Utah

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,058
Points: 9

best mormon college

Brigham Young University-Provo offers a master’s degree in anthropology from its Department of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The 30-credit hour program consists of required courses such as History of Anthropology, Quantitative Methods for Anthropology, Current Archeological Methods & Theory, and Heritage Resource Management, for instance. A comprehensive examination and master’s thesis is required. BYU- Provo is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award this graduate credential in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 80 national universities and the top 15 best value schools in the country.
Net Price: $13,120

#29—University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,452
Points: 9

university-of-wyoming

The University of Wyoming offers a two-year master’s in anthropology degree program with both thesis and non-thesis options. Courses required for the degree include 20th Century Anthropology Theory, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Archaeological Theory and Method, for instance. Internship and research opportunities are available. The University of Wyoming is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the graduate degree in anthropology. The school has been placed among the top public schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $12,999

#28—University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

Master’s in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,866
Points: 9

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The master of anthropology from the University of North Texas is a Master of Applied Anthropology that can be completed on campus or online. The on-campus option includes both an MA and MS track as well as a dual degree in applied anthropology and public health. Courses associated with the degree include Anthropological Thought, Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods, Anthropology of Stuff and Things, and Urban Anthropology, for instance. UNT is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the anthropology master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has identified the university as one of the country’s best public schools.
Net Price: $12,600

#27—Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Anthropology Master’s Degree

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,471
Points: 9

The graduate program for anthropology at Boise State University includes two master’s in anthropology degree offerings: the Master of Arts in Anthropology and the Master of Applied Anthropology. A graduate certificate in User Research is also available. Graduate course titles include Human Evolutionary History and Development, Archaeological Methods and Theory, Adaption and Human Behavior, and Fundamentals of Design Anthropology. Boise State is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 45 most innovative schools in the nation.
Net Price: $12,558

#26—California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, California

MA Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,776
Points: 9

California State University-Long Beach offers two master’s in anthropology programs: a general MA in Anthropology and a MA in Applied Anthropology. Offered through the university’s College of Liberal Arts, the 33-unit MA program is comprised of courses such as Current Trends in Anthropological Theory, Ethnographic Research Methods, and Basic Computer Research Applications in Anthropology, for example. Students pursuing the Applied Anthropology option will take additional classes like Practicing Anthropology and The Anthropological Perspective. Cal State-Long Beach is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 20 regional universities in the West.
Net Price: $9,477

#25—Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Master’s in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 6,252
Points: 10

texas-tech-university

The master of anthropology degree program from Texas Tech University features specialization options in ethnology, physical anthropology, and archaeology. Enrolled students can also choose either a thesis or a non-thesis track towards the degree. Graduate courses offered through the department include Method and Theory in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnolinguistics, Current Debates in Bioarchaeology, and Social Anthropology, for instance. Texas Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master’s in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the leading public schools in the country.
Net Price: $15,531

#24—University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Master of Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,675
Points: 10

The master of anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a unique MS in Anthropology with an optional graduate certificate in Museum Studies. Students may also concentrate their studies in Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, or Biological Anthropology. A dual degree in anthropology and library information science is also available through the department. Students enrolled in the graduate anthropology program will take classes like Violence and Warfare in Prehistory, European Archaeology, American Indian Societies and Cultures, and Cultures of Online Games and Virtual Worlds, for instance. UW- Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer this graduate degree in anthropology. The school has been identified as a top national university by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,555

#23—University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

MA Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,656
Points: 10

montana colleges

The University of Montana offers a MA in Anthropology degree program with optional foci in Forensic and Biological Anthropology, Cultural Heritage, and Linguistics. Thesis and non-thesis tracks are also available. Offered through the school’s College of Humanities and Sciences, the program features course titles such as Public Anthropology, Advanced Anthropological Statistics, Evolution and Genetic Variation in Human Populations, and Culture and Identity, for instance. Career-focused internships are available to interested students, and a thesis is required. The University of Montana is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master’s in anthropology degree. It’s also been ranked among the nation’s top best value schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,186

#22—California State University-Chico

Chico, California

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Graduate Enrollment: 1,095
Points: 10

California State University-Chico

The master of anthropology program from California State University-Chico is offered through its College of Behavioral & Social Sciences and the Department of Anthropology. The 30-unit MA program requires continuous enrollment and features an optional emphasis in Museum Studies. Course titles for the degree may include Human Behavioral Ecology, Origins of Early Civilizations, Medical Anthropology, and Archaeology of North America, for instance. Students pursuing the Museum Studies concentration will take additional classes like Museum Administration, Museum Collections Management, and Museum Education, for instance. Internships are available, and a master’s project or thesis is required. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 30 regional universities in the West as well as the top 10 public schools in the country.
Net Price: $14,156

#21—University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Master’s in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,589
Points: 10

The master’s in anthropology from the University of Southern Mississippi is offered through its College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Social Sciences and Global Studies. In addition to the traditional MA program, the school also offers dual degrees in Library and Information Science, Public Health, and History. Core requirements for the anthropology degree include seminars in Ethnology, Archaeology, and Biological Anthropology. Internships and research opportunities are available to interested students. The university has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award this MA in Anthropology. It’s been listed among the best national universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,773

#20—University of Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee

Master of Applied Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,225
Points: 10

The anthropology master’s degree program from the University of Memphis features an optional concentration in Medical Anthropology. Several graduate certificates are also available, including programs in Museum Studies, Geographic Information Systems, and Women’s Studies. Students enrolled in the program will study topics such as environmental anthropology, human rights, anthropology of work and organizations, and feminist anthropology, for instance. The University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master of anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the nation’s top public schools.
Net Price: $13,174

#19—University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Master’s in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,175
Points: 10

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas offers an MA in Anthropology that emphasizes experiential learning through lab and fieldwork. The program features an optional track in Archeological Heritage Management, and thesis and non-thesis options are available. Course requirements include Quantitative Methods in Anthropology; Core Concepts in Anthropology; and Research Design, Professional Ethics, and Grant Writing for Anthropologists. Students in the Archeological Heritage Management Track will take additional classes like Archaeological Theory, Computer Applications for Anthropologists, and Seminar in Archaeological and Historic Preservation. An internship and master’s thesis are required for graduation. UNLV is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master’s in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top national universities in the United States.
Net Price: $11,693

#18—North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota

MA in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,371
Points: 11

North Dakota State University offers a versatile master of anthropology programs with both MA and MS tracks. Students enrolled in the program can choose to specialize in either cultural anthropology or archaeology. Students enrolled in the program will take courses such as Archaeological Research Methods, Human Origins, Medical Anthropology, and Peoples of the Pacific Islands, for example. The school is also home to an active anthropology club. NDSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the graduate degree in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has placed the university among the nation’s top public schools.
Net Price: $15,472

#17—Minnesota State University-Mankato

Mankato, Minnesota

Master of Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 1,882
Points: 11

minnesota-state-university

Minnesota State University-Mankato offers a unique Master of Science in Anthropology. Courses related to the degree include Cultural Resource Management, Agricultural Systems and Environmental Change, Bioarchaeology, and Human Osteology, for instance. Internship and individual study opportunities are available, and a thesis or alternative plan paper is required prior to graduation. Minnesota State University-Mankato is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the anthropology master’s degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 100 regional universities in the Midwest as well as the top 20 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $14,519

#16—Humboldt State University

Arcata, California

Master’s in Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduate Enrollment: 653
Points: 11

Humboldt State University

The master’s in anthropology from Humboldt State University is a flexible offering that enables students to concentrate their studies in a traditional or modern area of anthropology. The program is offered via a hybrid format, combining in-class meetings and online courses. Core courses required for the program include Methods in Applied Anthropology, Anthropology Careers & Management Strategy, Research Project Design, and Theory in Applied Anthropology, for example. Students will also choose from among elective classes like Cultural Resources Management, Anthropology & Globalization, and Applied Biological Anthropology. Students will participate in an internship, pass a comprehensive examination, and complete a thesis prior to graduation. Humboldt State is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the master’s in anthropology. The school has been ranked among the top 40 regional universities in the West as well as the nation’s 50 best value schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,506

#15—Wichita State University

Wichita, Kansas

Anthropology MA

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,772
Points: 11

Wichita State University offers a comprehensive 36-credit hour master of anthropology program featuring three distinct tracks: a project track, a thesis track, and an internship track. A graduate certificate in Museum Studies is also available. Students enrolled in the MA program will take courses like Ancient Civilizations of the Americas, Medical Anthropology, Women in Other Cultures, and Current Research in Archaeology and Ethnohistory, for example. Graduate assistantships are available, and many students participate in the school’s chapter of Lambda Alpha, the international honors society in anthropology. Wichita State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the anthropology master’s degree. The school has been listed among the country’s leading national universities by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $14,256

#14—University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Master of Anthropology

Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,698
Points: 11

The master’s in anthropology program from the University of New Mexico features tracks in Archaeology, Public Archeology, Ethnology, and Evolutionary Anthropology. The graduate department at UNM is one of the largest in the country, offering course titles such as Paleoanthropology, History and Theory of Archaeology, Practicum Museum Methods, and Anthropological Genetics, for instance. Study abroad and field research opportunities are available. The school has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the master of anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has identified the university as one of the nation’s leading public schools.
Net Price: $11,620

#13—University of West Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Master of Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,114
Points: 11

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The University of West Florida offers an MA in Anthropology with specialization options in Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Biological Anthropology. An MA in Historical Archaeology is also available. Core courses required for the anthropology degree include Contemporary Cultural Anthropological Theory, Research Design in Anthropology, Evolutionary Theory in Biological Anthropology, and Advanced Method and Theory in Archaeology. A thesis is also required for degree completion. UWF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the anthropology master’s degree. The school has been ranked among the top 40 regional universities in the South as well as the top 60 best value schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $9,091

#12—California State University-Northridge

Northridge, California

Master’s in Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,161
Points: 11

California State University-Northridge offers a 33-credit hour master’s in anthropology with both a thesis track and a comprehensive examination track. Requirements for the degree include course titles like Problems in Physical Anthropology, Advanced Quantitative Methods in Anthropology, and Anthropological Research Design, for instance. Cal State- Northridge is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 50 regional universities in the West and the top 20 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $8,549

#11—Texas State University

San Marcos, Texas

Anthropology Master’s Degree

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 4,457
Points: 12

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Texas State University’s master’s in anthropology program features specializations in Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology. Requirements for the degree include seminars in each of the three subfields of anthropology. Students will also choose from elective offerings such as History of Evolutionary Thought, Anthropology and Art, Latin American Cultures, and Theories and Issues in Anthropology, for instance. The university is home to several different research centers, including the Center for Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America, the Center for Archaeological Studies, and the Forensic Anthropology Center. Internship opportunities are available, and students may choose to participate in the school’s chapter of Lambda Alpha. Texas State is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the graduate credential in anthropology. The school has been named a top national university by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,729

#10—University of Alaska-Anchorage

Anchorage, Alaska

Anthropology MA

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduate Enrollment: 759
Points: 12

The University of Alaska-Anchorage offers a Master of Arts in Anthropology with both a general and an applied track. Students enrolled in the degree program will take courses such as Advanced Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology, Field Methods in Archaeology, Advanced Evolution of Humans and Disease, and Culture and Globalization, for instance. A master’s thesis is also required. UAA is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master’s degree in anthropology. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 65 regional universities in the West as well as the top 25 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $13,288

#9—University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

MA in Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Graduate Enrollment: 975
Points: 12

The master’s anthropology degree program from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks features an optional specialization in Linguistic Anthropology. Graduate courses offered through the school’s Department of Anthropology include Geoarchaeology, Discourse in Society: Analyzing Language in Social Context, Political Anthropology, and Anthropologic Background for Resilience and Adaptation. Students must also complete a master’s thesis or a research project prior to graduation. UAF is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the master of anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the top public schools in the United States.
Net Price: $10,458

#8—University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Master’s Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduate Enrollment: 11,606
Points: 13

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The master’s in anthropology degree program from the University of South Florida features four optional concentrations: Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, Bio-cultural Medical Anthropology, Cultural Resource Management, and Heritage Studies. A concurrent degree in public health is also available as are graduate certificates in medical anthropology and crime scene investigation. Courses offered through the department include Foundations of Applied Anthropology, Public Archaeology, Theory and Methods in Medical Anthropology, and Advanced Quantitative Methods, for example. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited USF to award the master of anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 60 best value schools nationwide.
Net Price: $10,460

#7—California State University-Sacramento

Sacramento, California

Master of Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,089
Points: 13

California State University-Sacramento offers its master’s of anthropology degree program through the university’s College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies and the Department of Anthropology. Students enrolled in the program will choose to emphasize their studies in one of four subfields: physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Sample course titles offered through the department include Comparative Early Civilizations, The Nature of Culture, Physical Anthropology, and The History of Anthropology, for instance. Sacramento State University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award this degree in anthropology. The school has been ranked among the top 60 regional universities in the West and the top 25 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $9,885

#6—New Mexico State University

La Cruces, New Mexico

Anthropology MA

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduate Enrollment: 2,602
Points: 13

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The master’s in anthropology from New Mexico State University is a versatile program, offering graduate minors in Archaeology, Food Studies, and Native American Studies as well as graduate certificates in Museum Studies and Cultural Resource Management. Students enrolled in the program may take courses such as Archaeology of the American Southwest, Anthropological Linguistics, Introduction to Museology, and Food and Culture Around the World, for instance. Internships are available, and a master’s thesis is required. The university has been recognized as a top public school by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $9,462

#5—California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

Master’s in Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,813
Points: 13

California State University-Los Angeles offers a versatile MA in Anthropology with options in General Anthropology, Archaeology, Sociocultural Anthropology, and Biological Anthropology. Sample course titles include Development of Archaeological Theory, Forensic Anthropology, Primate Behavior, and Ethnographic Field School. A comprehensive examination or thesis is required prior to graduation. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited the school to offer this master of anthropology credential. U.S. News & World Report has placed the school among the top 35 regional universities in the West and the 15 best value schools in the country.
Net Price: $4,403

#4—California State University-Fullerton

Fullerton, California

Anthropology MA

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,420
Points: 14

The Master of Arts in Anthropology from California State University-Fullerton offers three specialization options: Archeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Evolutionary Anthropology. Offered through the school’s Division of Anthropology, the 30-credit hour program consists of course titles such as Theory and Method in Biological Anthropology, Ethnographic Field Methods, and Theory and Method in Archaeology, for instance. Students must complete a master’s thesis, project, or exam prior to graduation from the program. Cal State-Fullerton is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to award the MA in Anthropology. The school has been ranked among the top 20 regional universities in the West and the top 30 best value schools nationwide.
Net Price: $8,274

#3—San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California

Anthropology MA

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduate Enrollment: 3,247
Points: 16

The highly selective MA in Anthropology program from San Francisco State University features specializations in Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, and Visual Anthropology. The 30-credit hour program is designed to be completed within 2-3 years and culminates in a final thesis or creative project. Featured course titles include Anthropological Writing, Graduate Seminar in Cultural Anthropology, Human Osteology, and Teaching Anthropology, for example. The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited SFSU to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 35 regional universities in the West and the top 15 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $14,964

#2—University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

MA in Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,323
Points: 17

The 33-credit hour Master of Arts in Anthropology program from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has tracks in both General Anthropology and Applied Anthropology. Thesis and non-thesis options are also available as is a dual degree in Public Health. Moreover, students may pursue a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management, Africana Studies, Management, and Gerontology, for instance. Required courses may include History of Anthropology, Language and Culture, Issues in Archaeological Practice, and Ethnographic Methods, for instance. Interested students may also pursue an internship. UNC- Charlotte is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the master of anthropology degree. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the university as one of the nation’s top public schools.
Net Price: $14,987

#1—CUNY-Hunter College

New York, New York

Master’s Anthropology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduate Enrollment: 5,990
Points: 17

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The anthropology master’s degree program from CUNY-Hunter College features three distinct specialization options: Evolutionary Primatology, Archaeology of Global Change, and Cultural Anthropology. The 30-credit hour plan of study can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis and completed within 2-4 years. Graduate courses offered through the university include Medical Anthropology, History of Anthropological Theory, Human Evolutionary Adaptations, and Language and Body, for instance. CUNY-Hunter College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the master’s in anthropology. The school has received a number of accolades from U.S. News & World Report, including a top 25 ranking among the best regional universities in the North as well as a top 5 ranking among the best public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $4,332

About Master’s in Anthropology Programs

Overview

Anthropology is a broad academic discipline in the field of humanities. Students pursuing this graduate degree typically have an undergraduate degree in anthropology or a related field and a desire to specialize in one of the various subfields of the discipline.

In its broadest sense, anthropology is the study of humanity, including culture, language, human behaviors, and psychology.

Types of Anthropology Master’s Degrees

As a graduate student pursuing a master’s in anthropology credential, you’ll have a fair amount of choice when it comes to selecting a degree type and even customizing it to suit your academic interests and career goals. In this section, we’ll address various degree types in the field of anthropology.

General Anthropology Master’s Vs. Applied Anthropology Master’s

Although specializations, concentrations, and areas of emphasis exist within degree programs in anthropology, they typically take one of two forms: a master’s in general anthropology and a master’s in applied anthropology.

General anthropology degree programs train students in anthropological theory. These programs of study introduce students to existing research in the broad field of anthropology and address its implications on current practice.

Graduate degree programs in applied anthropology, on the other hand, are more practice-oriented. In these programs, students conduct new research in the field and apply their findings to existing problems in the field.

Although students enrolled in both types of programs have options to enter the field of employment or a PhD program in anthropology, students who plan to work after graduation may be better served by a master’s in applied anthropology.

Thesis Vs. Non-Thesis Degrees in Anthropology

Many master of anthropology degree programs allow students to choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks. These programs are usually nearly identical in terms of coursework, but they differ in some noteworthy ways.

A thesis-based master’s in anthropology is typically much more research-focused than a non-thesis offering. Once enrolled in these plans of study, students will select a research focus and begin planning their scholarly paper. Many hours of research and writing are required to prepare a thesis in anthropology, so these degrees often take longer to complete compared to a non-thesis option. They’re also more suitable for students who plan to continue their studies in a doctoral program in anthropology.

Non-thesis tracks, on the other hand, are often good choices for students who plan to work in anthropology immediately upon graduation. Students enrolled in these programs are often asked to pass a comprehensive exam or another form of culminating element in lieu of the thesis.

Online Vs. On-Campus Master’s in Anthropology Degree Programs

Increasingly, colleges and universities across the country are implementing distance learning technologies that enable them to offer their degree plans online. This trend toward online education in the higher education space has paved the way for numerous master’s degree in anthropology programs that can be completed without the need for campus attendance.

Online master’s degree programs in anthropology are ideal for busy students who require some flexibility while working towards their graduate degree in the field. These programs are often just as high-quality as their on-campus counterparts. Many offer opportunities for interactive study via streaming class sessions, live teleconferences, and other distance learning tools. Others are asynchronous, offering students the maximum amount of flexibility and convenience when scheduling study sessions and working on assignments.

Whether synchronous or asynchronous in nature, online degree programs in anthropology are so convenient that many prospective students question their credibility. These efficient paths to graduate credentials in the discipline just seem too good to be true! Not to worry, though. The quality of instruction characteristic of online degree programs has greatly improved over the last decade. Many of these programs are just as effective (if not more effective) than their traditional counterparts. Still, it’s important to check for the school’s accreditation status prior to enrolling in an online master of anthropology degree program.

Master’s in Anthropology Degree Programs: Admissions

The admissions requirements you encounter when applying to a master of anthropology degree program are similar to those you would expect with any graduate-level application process. This means you’ll need a bachelor’s degree credential at a minimum. Some schools require that this undergraduate degree be an anthropology degree while others will accept a major in another liberal arts or humanities subject area.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, you’ll also need to demonstrate a minimum undergraduate GPA. This number will vary from school to school as some institutions are more competitive than others. In addition, you’ll likely be asked to submit graduate school admission exam scores like GRE scores, for instance.

Some colleges and universities have additional requirements for admission into their anthropology master’s degree programs. These extra criterion could include personal references, statements of intent, writing samples, and even interviews.
Anthropology Master’s Programs: Curriculum

Though they will vary based on departmental strengths, the curricula for master’s degree programs in anthropology will typically center around the subfields of anthropology. These include biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology.

Core Anthropology Courses

No matter what type of anthropology master’s degree you pursue or what concentrations or specializations you elect, you will invariably be required to take core courses in anthropology. These classes are designed to provide you with a solid foundation for graduate-level study in the field. The titles of these classes will vary depending on the school you attend. Even so, we’ve listed some examples below for your reference:

  • Anthropological Thought
  • Quantitative Methods in Anthropology
  • History of Anthropological Thought
  • Contemporary Issues in Anthropology

Anthropology Electives

In addition to core courses, most master’s programs in anthropology allow students to choose from a range of anthropology electives. These offerings reflect classes in specific anthropological topics that may be of particular interest to students but are not required for the degree. Students may choose a cluster of elective classes to fulfill a concentration or area of emphasis, or they can opt to take specific electives based on pure interest. Some sample elective titles are listed below for the sake of example, but keep in mind that course offerings will vary by school and program:

  • Human Impacts on Past Environments
  • Nutritional Anthropology
  • Anthropology in Public Health
  • Gender Cross-Cultural Perspective

Culminating Element

Towards the end of an anthropology master’s degree program, you’ll be asked to prepare or participate in a culminating element or experience. The specifics of this requirement will vary depending on the program you’re enrolled in, but could include a master’s thesis, scholarly research project, comprehensive examination, or internship/practicum, for example.

Master’s in Anthropology: Concentrations and Specializations
A large number of available master of anthropology programs allow students to choose a formal concentration or specialization. In these cases, the concentration selection will depend on the student’s academic interests and/or career goals and will shape their degree plan and coursework. Some of the most versatile master’s in anthropology programs give students the opportunity to design their own concentration or specialization. Below, we’ve listed some of the more popular concentration options in anthropology:

  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Environmental Anthropology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Evolutionary Anthropology

Frequently-Searched For Master of Anthropology Degree Programs

University of Colorado- Boulder — Master’s in Anthropology: UC- Boulder offers a master of anthropology degree program with specialization options in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology. These programs are offered through the university’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Georgia State University- Master of Arts in Anthropology: Georgia State University offers a comprehensive MA in Anthropology from its College of Arts & Sciences. The program features an optional concentration in Museum Anthropology as well as a certificate in Ethnography.

Harvard University—Master of Social Anthropology: Harvard University is home to a unique master’s degree program in social anthropology. Students enrolled in the program will study topics such as gender studies, medical anthropology, and ethnic violence, for instance.

University of Nevada-Reno — MA in Anthropology: A highlight of the anthropology master’s program at the University of Nevada-Reno is the department’s in-house research museum. Students enrolled in the program will be asked to prepare a thesis in prehistoric/historic archaeology, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, or physical/biological anthropology.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Master’s in Anthropology Degrees

Q: How much does it cost to enroll in a master of anthropology degree program?

The tuition for master’s in anthropology degree programs can vary widely from school to school. While most programs fall between $10,000 and 20,000 per year, it’s possible to find degree options for less than $5,000 per year or more than $30,000 per year.

Q: How long does it take to earn an anthropology master’s degree?

Typically, master of anthropology programs are two-year offerings, but completion times can vary depending on course requirements and available scheduling options.

Q: Are part-time master’s in anthropology programs available?

A: Yes, but they are not common. Most master’s in anthropology programs require full-time study.

Q: Are online master’s of anthropology programs available?

A: Yes. Online master’s degree programs in anthropology are rare, but a handful of them are available.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Careers in Anthropology

Q: Is a master’s in anthropology degree worth it?

A: Many students interested in this captivating academic discipline find the study of anthropology to be intrinsically valuable. A master’s in anthropology credential can also open doors to potentially lucrative careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), anthropologists and archaeologists earned a mean annual wage of $62,410 in 2018.

Q: What careers are available for graduates of anthropology master’s programs?

A: In addition to careers as anthropologists or archaeologists, graduates of anthropology master’s programs may find employment as historians, economists, sociologists, survey researchers, archivists, and more.

Q: What professional organizations can I join in anthropology?

A: There are a number of professional associations in anthropology you may want to consider joining as a professional in the field. Some of these include the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA), and the Society for Applied Anthropology (SFAA), for instance.

Q: Do I need a doctorate in anthropology to find work in the field?

A: No. Most professions in anthropology require a master’s credential or a lesser degree.

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