Anthropology

What Is It?:

Anthropology is the study of contemporary and historical cultural and linguistic diversity throughout the world. It is a broad field covering four areas or subfields: socio-cultural anthropology, the study of contemporary societies; archaeology, the study of the material remains of past societies; linguistic anthropology, the study of talk and text; and biological anthropology, the study of human evolution and human biological diversity. At the University of Illinois, we specialize in all four of these areas.

Anthropology is the study of difference - it teaches us about what it means to be human from biological as well as social points of view. Broaden your perspective and rethink what is familiar abroad and strange at home. Learn to understand diverse ways of thinking, varied modes of living across space and time, and different ways of interacting. Embrace your global citizenship - from the local to the transnational, and from the past to the present for the future.

For more information, please visit the Department of Anthropology.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • ANTH 101—Introduction to Anthropology
  • ANTH 102—Human Origins and Culture
  • ANTH 103—Anthropology in a Changing World
  • ANTH 104—Talking Culture
  • ANTH 105—World Archaeology

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period. 

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Archivist 
  • Community Service
  • Conservator 
  • Consumer/User Experience/Marketing Survey Researcher 
  • Cultural Resource Specialist 
  • Diplomatic Service/U.S. Foreign Service/Immigration Specialist/Cultural Affairs 
  • Educator 
  • Field Archeologist 
  • Forensic Scientist/Crime Lab Assistant  
  • Friend of the Court Case Worker/Legal Aid
  • Genealogist 
  • Genetic Counselor 
  • Human Resources Management/Diversity Specialist
  • Legislative Aid (U.S. Congress)
  • Museum Curator/Exhibit Designer
  • Museum Worker 
  • Paleontologist 
  • Park Ranger/Consultant  
  • Peace Corps Volunteer 
  • Public Health Worker 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Resource Manager 
  • Sociologist 
  • Sustainable Tourism/Environmental Programs
  • Translator/Communication
  • Urban Planner

Career Paths:

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

Related Skills:

  • Problem solving, analytical, and critical thinking skills
  • Research, collect, and identify historical and existing cultural references across
  • Scientific research methods
  • Oral and written expression
  • Observation and interviewing
  • Speak more than one language

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Anthropology, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Anthropology.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Anthropology.  These organizations include American Anthropological Association and Society for Historical Archaeology.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Anthropology, visit Undergraduate Programs.