Anthropology is the study of human behavior. This major encourages you to explore the origin and behavior of humans and their physical, social, and cultural development. Anthropologists study the way of life, remains, language, and physical characteristics of people around the world. They compare customs, values, and social patterns of different cultures, past and present. Archaeologists reconstruct a record of extinct cultures, especially preliterate ones, to determine age and cultural identity by classifying and interpreting artifacts, architectural features, and types of structures recovered by excavation (IU School of Liberal Arts, 2017).
About the anthropology major
Engaged learning experiences
Regardless of your major or future career, engaged learning is vital to your present and future. It makes you more marketable for jobs and professional schools upon graduation, it enables you to build deeper connections with faculty and staff in your field of study, and it makes your learning personal by connecting your interests and values with the curriculum from your classes. Check out the three ideas below for places to get started, or learn more at IUPUI’s Institute for Engaged Learning website.
We believe in our power and responsibility to help others. Each year, our students, faculty, and staff work to improve neighborhoods in Indianapolis and beyond through service learning courses, community-based research and service projects, and partnerships with local organizations. Join us if you want to make a difference.
Opportunities after graduation
Employment of anthropologists and archeologists is projected to grow 7% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 800 openings for anthropologists and archeologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as retirement (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2022).
According to the IUPUI First Destination Survey in 2021, the average starting salary reported for School of Liberal Arts graduates was $44,206, and the median salary was $38,800.
The national median annual wage for anthropologists was $61,910 in May 2021 (Occupational Outlook Handbook).
(This section is intended for informational purposes, not prediction of actual salary.)
Anthropology majors often pursue advanced degrees in the following areas:
- Archaeology studies
- Environmental protection
- Historic preservation
- International affairs
- Museum studies
- Social services
- Cultural anthropology
- Development of anthropological thought
- Evolution and prehistory
- Fieldwork in archaeology
- Human origins and prehistory
- Survey of applied anthropology
- Communications specialist
- Nonprofit management
- Research specialist
- Urban planner*
*These careers require additional training or education.
Where could I work?
- Community or social services
- Eiteljorg Museum
- Indiana State Museum
- Public health
- State of Indiana
Arts, Humanities, and Human Services Cluster
This major is part of the Arts, Humanities, and Human Services (AHHS) cluster. The AHHS cluster is the academic home of University College students pursuing majors in art and design, education, general studies, journalism, liberal arts, and social work. The AHHS cluster partners with students on their academic advising and career plans to guide them into their degree-granting schools.