After Majoring in Anthropology

Many students who concentrate in anthropology also fulfill pre-professional requirements in other departments or complete double majors, and successfully pursue professional study in medicine, law, or business. The choice of a major filed for pre-professional preparation is entirely open; here are two statements from the Association of American Medical Colleges book on Admission Requirements:

A science major is not a prerequisite for medical school, and students should not major in science simply because they believe this will increase their chances for acceptance. Medical schools are most concerned with the overall quality and scope of Undergraduate work. The schools also recognize the desirability of including in medical school classes students who have a broad variety of interests and backgrounds.

The proportion of successful applicants at the national level does vary greatly by major field of study in liberal arts programs.

Similarly, the following statement from the Emory Law School Bulletin indicates that a broad liberal education is considered to be a most favorable background:

Law school requires a good, sound education, one which gives the student 1) perception and skill in the use of the English language, in both expression and comprehension; 2) insight into, rather than merely information about, the institutions and values with which people are concerned; 3) the power to think clearly, carefully, and independently; and 4) an understanding of people and human relations. The pre-law student, in summary, should be concerned with intellectual and personal development so that he or she will bring to the study of law a disciplined, inquiring mind and a stable, well integrated personality.

The Job Picture

The BA in anthropology is a liberal arts degree rather than a professional certificate. It does not equip you to go out and do anthropological work on your own any more than a BA in psychology prepares you to hang out a shingle as a therapist. Yet, an undergraduate major in anthropology can be a valuable asset, especially for those interested in a career which requires travel or dealing directly with people. This may include such diverse fields as sales, public relations, counseling, or administration. Anthropology appeals to many undergraduates because it's an interesting field which provides a cross cultural perspective on human behavior and culture. In turn, this cross cultural perspective gives many students an appreciation of the subcultural differences in our own society. Anthropology is the study of the human animal in all aspects, both biological and cultural. The field provides a synthesizing focus for data from the work of practitioners in many academic disciplines, particularly those in the social sciences and in such fields as biology and geology.

Anthropology is an excellent liberal arts degree. But beyond that, if it is combined with appropriate additional training, an anthropology major can lead to fulfilling employment. Based on research we have done over the past several years, we find that BAs in anthropology are in an excellent competitive position for careers in many fields.

What have Anthropology majors gone on to do?

Following is a list of various kinds of professions and occupations which our majors have pursued.

  • Advertising
  • Business
  • College Admissions
  • Conflict and Resolution and Mediation
  • Corporate Communications
  • Dentistry
  • Educational Policy
  • Forestry
  • Graduate School
  • Health Administration
  • High School Education
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Intelligence
  • International Business
  • Investment Brokerage
  • Law
  • Library Management
  • Psychology
  • Medicine
  • Midwifery
  • Museums
  • Paralegal
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations
  • Sales
  • Speech
  • Pathology
  • Teach for America
  • Translation/Interpreting
  • Travel Industry