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Top Anthropology Graduate Schools

Read about three top-ranked schools with graduate anthropology programs, and explore the master's and doctoral degree programs each school offers in this field. Get info on what you should look for when choosing a school with a strong graduate anthropology program.

What Should I Look for in a Top Anthropology Graduate Program?

Look for schools with degree programs in your subfield, such as linguistic anthropology, sociocultural anthropology or archaeology. If you're interested in a research career, investigate a school's field and laboratory opportunities. The best schools offer study abroad programs or access to archived field samples. A top school may also offer teaching or museum training internships. You may also want to investigate placement records to see which schools have high employment rates for their graduates.

What are Three Top Anthropology Graduate Programs?

Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report rated ASU #115 for national universities (www.usnews.com). As an anthropology graduate student, you can select a study approach which will determine how you go through the program. Students can work on their field methods through summer field opportunities in Cyprus, Guatemala, Hadar and Kampsville, Illinois.

If you're interested in research opportunities, consider one of the university's ten affiliated centers and research institutes, including the Archaeological Research Institute, the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, the Center for American Archeology and the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity. Tracks offered in the doctoral program include archaeology, medical and health-related anthropology, bioarchaeology, physical anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, museum anthropology and urbanism. The graduate degree available at this school is:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Anthropology

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Resources available to students include the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. You can archive or manage collections, curate exhibits or conduct research through the museum's summer internship programs. The museum also houses the Zooarchaeology Laboratory and the Gordon R. Willey Laboratory for Mesoamerican Studies. You can participate in field schools or access field maps and Maya Hieroglyphics archives. Other laboratories include the Archaeology Multi-User Laboratory and the Sensory Ethnography Lab. Harvard's anthropology department offers the following degrees:

  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Medical Anthropology
  • Ph.D. in Archaeology
  • Ph.D. in Social Anthropology
  • Joint Ph.D. in Social Anthropology & Archeology

University of Chicago in Illinois

In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Chicago third among national universities. Field programs in anthropology are underway in Armenia, Cambodia, India, Peru, Senegal and the United States. Also at your disposal are anthropology-related centers and research institutes, such as the Oriental Institute and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. You can also compete for lectureships or conduct research at the nearby Field Museum of Natural History. In addition to the following degrees, the department considers joint doctoral degree plans in linguistics, history, art history and Slavic languages and literatures.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociocultural & Linguistic Anthropology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Archaeology

Other Schools with Anthropology Graduate Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of California - Berkeley4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA$14,000
University of California - Los Angeles4-year, PublicLos Angeles, CA$13,000
University of Colorado4-year, PublicBoulder, CO$13,000
Boston University4-year, PrivateBoston, MA$53,000
Washington State University4-year, PublicPullman, WA$13,000
Brandeis University4-year, PrivateWaltham, MA$50,000
Columbia University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY$48,000
University of Florida4-year, PublicGainesville, FL$13,000
University of Oregon4-year, PublicEugene, CO$17,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education