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Online Cultural Anthropology Degree Programs

Cultural anthropology degree programs aren't usually offered online, but you can complete an online degree program in general anthropology, which includes courses in cultural anthropology. Your program may include coverage of various world cultures and cultural institutions.

Can I Earn a Cultural Anthropology Degree Online?

According to the American Anthropological Association (AAA), anthropology consists of the four sub-fields of cultural anthropology, physical or biological anthropology, linguistics and archaeology (www.aaanet.org). Online degree programs in cultural anthropology aren't generally available, but you can find online programs in the broader discipline of anthropology that include courses in this sub-field.

At the undergraduate level, you can pursue an Associate of Arts in Anthropology or a bachelor's degree in general anthropology online; both of these programs include coursework in cultural anthropology. In a general anthropology program, you can often concentrate your studies in cultural anthropology by taking more electives in this sub-field.

While you can complete coursework for a master's degree in applied anthropology online, you may be required to conduct an independent thesis project or practicum that involves field research. Applied anthropologists, in contrast to other cultural anthropologists who may conduct research abroad among foreign cultures, often work with domestic groups to address sociocultural problems.

As an applied anthropologist, you'll apply the theories learned in class in fieldwork to address a particular problem facing your client population, such as helping a local refugee population gain access to medical care or bilingual educational resources. The AAA reports that graduate field research may require you to learn a second language and spend months observing cultural practices in a different part of the world.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's
Common Courses Indigenous peoples, marriage and family, cultural perspectives on science, qualitative analysis
Possible Careers Teacher, researcher, nonprofit professional
Median Salary (2020)$66,130* (for anthropologists and archeologists)
Job Outlook (2019-2029)5%* (for all anthropologists and archeologists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

In an associate's degree program, your cultural anthropology courses will likely focus on the basics of anthropological theory, the history of anthropology, and anthropology of specific populations. You may focus on the indigenous peoples of North America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. You can take classes that focus on various cultural institutions or variables, such as family, marriage, gender and class. You might also study different cultural perspectives on magic, science and religion.

Some bachelor's degree programs offer online classes in comparing cultures and exploring diversity. Classes might focus on the populations of Europe or Korea or on cultural concepts of race. You may also have opportunities to study abroad and apply the theories you learn in the virtual classroom to real-world situations.

Online graduate courses in applied anthropology cover topics such as the culture of Soviet Russia or Native American culture. You might study the depiction of world cultures in film or investigate the interrelation between society and culture. Classes in quantitative and qualitative analysis, theory and field methods can help prepare you for your practicum research.

What Careers Will I Be Prepared For?

According to the AAA, anthropologists have customarily found employment in teaching and research. However, anthropology jobs within nonprofit institutions, international agencies and private corporations are increasingly in demand. In an anthropology degree program, you'll learn problem-solving and analytical skills, anthropological theory and techniques, as well as gain a multicultural sensitivity; according to the AAA, these skills can be applied to a number of tasks in the business world.