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Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology will no longer be accepting new students into the major after the Fall 2018 term. Prospective students are encouraged to explore the minor in Anthropology, which complements a variety of majors at Drexel. A minor can be declared after a student has enrolled at Drexel and completed at least 30 credits.

Drexel's BA in Anthropology provides students with a general introduction to the four subfields of anthropology: cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology and archaeology. Students gain an exceptional background in theory, methodology and field experience to prepare them for law school, graduate school or careers in museums, educational institutions or community organization. Students broaden their understanding of the diversity of cultures and ways of life through theoretical and specialized courses, while being trained in field techniques and methodological skills.

At the heart of our curriculum is a six-month co-op that takes place during the junior year. Students also participate in an annual seminar course. Through these experiences, students learn to transform their fieldwork into ethnographic writing, films and other products.

The Seminar

The anthropology seminar provides an opportunity to be mentored by faculty and to establish peer-mentoring relationships with other students both in and outside of formal classes. Students also have the opportunity to plan fieldwork and discuss current issues as a group. The seminar requires students to present their research, and facilitates the transformation of field experiences into ethnographic writing, films and other products.

Learn more about the degree in the Course Catalog

Career Opportunities

Seventy percent of anthropology graduates have continued their studies at the graduate level in related fields: cultural anthropology, Mesoamerican archaeology, marine archaeology, museum studies, public health, law, speech pathology, sociology, international relations and communications.

Anthropology graduates have also begun careers in anthropology, ethnography and social services, among other areas. Many corporations, schools and health care institutions are also using ethnographic field techniques and qualitative methods to understand their markets and clientele, as well as their own organizational structure.

Drexel Co-op

Another unique feature of the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology is the cooperative education program. Through Drexel’s co-op program, students embark on a six-month period of full-time employment, exploring their career options, strengthening their resumes and building a professional network in the process. This co-op experience is the cornerstone of the anthropology major. Co-ops are independently developed and can be in metropolitan areas or in more remote international settings traditional for anthropological work.

Urban Co-ops

Metropolitan co-ops can range from working with non-profit organizations using ethnography to understand community needs, to training with marketing firms that use ethnographic methods to study the patterns of consumer behavior.

For example, in advertising and marketing there are now research firms that specialize in the use of ethnographic research techniques to get a detailed sense of the "consumers' worldview." These firms hire people with anthropological and ethnographic training and are a perfect site for anthropology students to gain experience.

Likewise school districts, corporations, and other organizations use ethnographic research to understand the intimate forms of interaction among students, employees, and members of various social groups. The co-ops in these settings allow students to participate in the development of anthropological research to understand corporate structure and leadership patterns, consumer behavior, and the role of community service programs in larger urban areas.

Remote Co-ops

Co-ops in more remote settings allow students to use the strengths of a Drexel education, specifically technology and innovation, to aid groups of people around the world caught in the dizzying process of rapid economic development.

International Co-ops

Students can apply for international co-ops with a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that again use ethnographic research in order to get a sense of "on the ground" activity and the ways people think about issues and problems with which they are faced. The kinds of work students can undertake throughout the world include environmental efforts, health care initiatives, economic development programs and social change projects.

When Does the Co-op Take Place?

Students complete their co-op in the fall and winter of their junior year, allowing them to produce final products—portfolios, research papers, anthropological videos or other appropriate products—out of their field research in their senior year.

Sample Co-ops

  • Fieldwork on Tourism in Hawaii
  • English Teacher in Limon, Costa Rica
  • Co-op with the University of Pennsylvania Archaeology and Anthropology Museum

Learn more about Drexel Co-op