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Factors to Consider When Selecting an Anthropology School

Higher Education Articles August 13, 2014

Anthropology refers to the study of human activity in social and historical contexts. Throughout the U.S., undergraduate programs in anthropology, with varying areas of concentration, are offered.

Selecting an Anthropology School

Numerous four-year universities and colleges in the country offer both Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Anthropology for those interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the field. Schools usually offer these programs through their humanities, social sciences and anthropology divisions.

In this article, we take a look at the numerous factors you should consider when you select an anthropology school:

Types of Degrees

While some schools offer both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Anthropology, many colleges only offer one type of degree. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program would be the appropriate choice for those wishing to pursue a career in laboratory science fields, such as forensics. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program would suit the needs of those wishing to pursue African studies or other regional studies that would include a language requirement.

Opportunities for Practical Experience

Opportunities for practical experience vary by school. Some schools restrict instruction to classroom settings; others facilitate learning through hands-on archaeological experiences.

Concentration Choices

While some schools offer only a general anthropology degree program, numerous concentration areas are offered at others, including linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, ethnology, forensic science, biological anthropology and archeology.

Cultural and regional specializations are offered at some schools for anthropology majors; these include American Indian studies or African studies.

Internship and Travel Opportunities

Study abroad opportunities are offered at some schools, thereby allowing students to study anthropology at various locations around the globe while experiencing different cultures. Internship opportunities are an important factor to consider when selecting a prospective college. Internships with local anthropological businesses, such as zoos and museums, are sponsored by some anthropology departments.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Anthropology

The coursework of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Anthropology program is usually a combination of topic areas in archaeology and anthropology. A language requirement is usually completed by students. Graduates can seek entry-level careers in government organizations, international health organizations, museums, and anthropology labs. Core coursework may include such topic areas as:

•Social and cultural analysis
•Cultural anthropology
•Evolution
•Constructions of race and ethnicity

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Anthropology

Courses similar to those in a BA in Anthropology program typically comprise the curriculum of the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Anthropology program with the addition of a laboratory science requirement, though without the language requirement. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Archaeology
•Forensic techniques
•Biological anthropology

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