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25 Best Colleges for Anthropology 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

These are the best 25 colleges that offer a bachelor's degree in anthropology, based on median salary one year after graduation. With a median starting salary of $41,600, Monmouth University outranks the other schools on the list. The school with the lowest median debt for this degree is CUNY Lehman College, with a debt of $10,500. The top 25 schools have median starting salaries in the $27,800-$41,600 range.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 West Long Branch (NJ) West Long Branch (NJ) $43,216 $27,000 $41,600
#2 #2 New York (NY) New York (NY) $58,168 $22,750 $39,500
#3 #3 New York (NY) New York (NY) $66,139 $27,500 $35,100
#4 #4 College Park (MD) College Park (MD) $39,469 $17,919 $33,700
#5 #5 Waltham (MA) Waltham (MA) $62,322 $25,324 $33,600
#6 #6 Bronx (NY) Bronx (NY) $15,360 $10,500 $32,900
#7 #7 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $36,105 $21,347 $32,700
#8 #8 Charlottesville (VA) Charlottesville (VA) $55,914 $20,000 $32,500
#10 #10 New York (NY) New York (NY) $15,332 Not Reported $32,000
#11 #11 Minneapolis (MN) Minneapolis (MN) $35,099 $21,500 $31,200
#12 #12 Corvallis (OR) Corvallis (OR) $33,439 $27,000 $31,000
#13 #13 Denver (CO) Denver (CO) $26,818 $26,587 $30,600
#14 #14 Sacramento (CA) Sacramento (CA) $19,364 $14,906 $30,500
#15 #15 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $21,891 $19,569 $30,500
#16 #16 Memphis (TN) Memphis (TN) $52,310 Not Reported $30,500
#17 #17 Los Angeles (CA) Los Angeles (CA) $43,473 $15,500 $29,000
#18 #18 Seattle (WA) Seattle (WA) $40,740 $15,904 $29,000
#19 #19 Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others) $30,592 $21,000 $28,900
#20 #20 Philadelphia (PA) Philadelphia (PA) $35,608 $25,606 $28,900
#21 #21 Greensboro (NC) Greensboro (NC) $22,657 $20,343 $28,700
#22 #22 Chapel Hill (NC) Chapel Hill (NC) $37,550 $16,376 $28,200
#23 #23 Burlington (VT) Burlington (VT) $43,890 $19,125 $27,900
#24 #24 Missoula (MT) Missoula (MT) $29,634 $26,750 $27,900
#25 #25 Davis (CA) Davis (CA) $44,930 $14,640 $27,800

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Anthropology degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

West Long Branch (NJ)
Median Salary $41,600
Median Debt $27,000
Annual Tuition $43,216
Graduation Rate 68%

Monmouth University offers a BA in Anthropology with curriculum designed to cover three primary areas in the field: cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology. In addition to the 30 credit requirement for the major, students at Monmouth must complete 36 to 39 credits of general education requirements and 15 credits outside their major. Introductory-level coursework includes Cultural Anthropology, Introduction to Biological Anthropology, and Introduction to Archaeology.

Upon complete of introductory classes, anthropology majors at Monmouth have the opportunity to take upper-level courses such as History of Advertising, Primate Behavior, Evolution and Ecology, and Tourism Around the World.

Students can also choose to double major in anthropology and education, with the opportunity to earn either an Elementary Education or a P-3 and Teacher of Students with Disabilities endorsement.

Visit Monmouth University's website.

New York (NY)
Median Salary $39,500
Median Debt $22,750
Annual Tuition $58,168
Graduation Rate 87%

NYU's Department of Anthropology is one of the leading centers for cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology—the four principal subfields studied in the school's undergraduate curriculum. The school highlights its formal and informal cooperative arrangements with museums, zoos, and other academic institutions in the greater New York area, which provide students with uncommon access to anthropological scholars, materials, and resources.

The major consists of nine courses, with the required courses including Culture, Power, Society; Human Evolution; Archaeology: Early Societies and Cultures; and Language, Culture, and Society. The remaining electives may be selected from any of the four subfields of Anthropology, which consist of Sociocultural, Linguistic, Archaeological, and Biological Anthropology. Joint majors are available with the Department of Classics and the Department of Linguistics. Additionally, the College of Arts and Sciences provides an option to pursue a combined anthropology and global public health major.

Internships, independent study, and an honors program are all available to interested students.

Founded in 1831, New York University is a private research university. The historic campus is located in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan, but the university has campuses and academic centers in many countries across the world.

Visit New York University's website.

Median Salary $35,100
Median Debt $27,500
Annual Tuition $66,139
Graduation Rate 95%

Columbia University's Barnard Department of Anthropology offers two undergraduate majors: Sociocultural Anthropology and Archaeology. Both majors require completion of 30 credits within the department. Out of those 30 required credits, Sociocultural Anthropology majors must take The Interpretation of Culture, Introduction to Social and Cultural Theory, and The Ethnographic Imagination. Archaeology majors have similar requirements; however, they must take Pasts, Presents & Futures: An Introduction to 21st Century Archaeology instead of The Ethnographic Imagination.

Students are highly encouraged to study abroad and gain experience conducting fieldwork. In their senior year, students with a GPA of 3.7 or higher can choose to write a senior thesis as a capstone experience for their undergraduate degree.

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Median Salary $33,700
Median Debt $17,919
Annual Tuition $39,469
Graduation Rate 89%

University of Maryland - College Park offers a bachelor's degree in anthropology with numerous opportunities to explore the field outside the classroom. The Department of Anthropology operates multiple field schools that undergraduates can take advantage of in locations near campus and abroad. In the classroom, students will take courses such as Gender and Anthropology, Introduction to Zooarchaeology, Subversive Culture: Conformity and Dissidence in Society, and Plagues, Pathogens and Public Policy: The Anthropological Perspective.

Students in the program are encouraged to study abroad. Faculty in the department offer a range of study abroad opportunities; current programs include Brazil Anthropology: Environmental Conservation and Indigenous Peoples, Iceland: The NABO Gufuskaler Historical Ecology Fieldschool, and Ireland: The Archaeology of Ireland's Early Modern Period.

University of Maryland - College Park is the flagship location of University of Maryland and is located in College Park, Maryland.

Visit University of Maryland - College Park's website.

Waltham (MA)
Median Salary $33,600
Median Debt $25,324
Annual Tuition $62,322
Graduation Rate 87%

Brandeis University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology through its Department of Anthropology. The curriculum covers four primary subfields: sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology. Students can choose a variety of courses to gain a broad understanding of anthropology or they can choose to focus their classes on one of the four subfields. All anthropology majors are required to take Introduction to the Comparative Study of Human Societies and Human Origins. Upper-level courses offered by the department include Language in American Life, Archaeological Methods, Conquest: Archaeology and Colonialism, and Anthropology of Religion.

Anthropology majors are encouraged to study abroad to have cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to conduct fieldwork. There is a variety of approved study abroad programs, including ones in Chile, Senegal, and Vietnam.

Brandeis University is located in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Visit Brandeis University's website.