Where Can I Find Free Online Anthropology Courses?

MIT and Utah State University are among postsecondary schools offering free online anthropology courses. Find out what you can learn from these courses and the assignments available. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Studying anthropology can help you better understand yourself and society as well as relate to people in various settings. You can start your anthropology studies with free online courses offered through several accredited colleges and universities. These noncredit courses often require a media player and PDF reader, and you might have to purchase or borrow texts to complete assigned readings.

1. Introduction to Anthropology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Introduction to Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is an OpenCourseWare (OCW) course once offered on campus at the undergraduate level. You can access study materials online for free without enrolling in the course.

What Will I Learn?

This course teaches the concepts and fieldwork methods that cultural anthropologists use to study cultures and societies. You will also examine anthropological conclusions and analyze other cultures.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Six papers - ranging in length from 1-5 pages - are assigned on topics such as cultural differences, cultural relativism and the Nuer, a community of Sudanese cattle herders. No feedback will be given on your work.

What Materials Are Available?

Lecture notes are provided on various topics, including cultural traditions, biological differences, morality and cultural symbols. You may download final exam study questions and a student paper on the Nuer. The course also provides a reading list and a link to a website about Number Our Days, a documentary about Jewish community in Venice, CA.

2. Anthropological Theory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT's Anthropological Theory course originated as an on-campus undergraduate course. You will not receive credit for completing this course, but you can access course content for free.

What Will I Learn?

You will examine the social relevance, origin and contributions of theories that serve as guides for anthropological analysis. The course focuses on theories related to topics such as social change, culture and subjectivity while examining ongoing debates about these theories. You will need to acquire the texts that contain the assigned readings in order to understand the concepts being reviewed in this course.

What Materials Are Provided?

You can access a bibliography on anthropological theory and related topics in textbooks, professional journals and other publications. A guide to reading and analyzing social science texts is also available.

3. Anthropology of Religion at Utah State University

Utah State University's Anthropology of Religion is presented as a series of video lectures. This course is a non-credit OCW version of a class offered on-campus by the Department of Anthropology.

What Will I Learn?

You will learn why religion is an important and popular part of culture. Materials teach you to examine the anthropological connections between individuals, society and religions.

What Materials Will I Need?

In order to access this course, you will need a media player and Adobe Reader. You will also need to order the course textbook to follow along with the lectures.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course provides WMV and MOV format video lectures, PDF files of lecture notes and multiple-choice quizzes with answers. There are also images related to the lecture topics.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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  • University of the Rockies

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Harvard University

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    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
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  • University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia