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Why Study Anthropology?

The study of Anthropology provides you a theoretical and methodological "toolkit" for understanding human interactions in every setting. You’ll become a critical thinker, learning to address social problems and cultural analysis through theory, data, and practical solutions. Anthropological study provides training well suited for the 21st century: you’ll demonstrate the capacity to engage the world by being intellectually rigorous, yet globally compassionate and gain the relational and analytic tools for effective cross-cultural engagement, both in America and abroad.

undergraduate major
anthropology faculty

Valuable Career Skills

Find out how various anthropology courses prepare you in many ways for the future. 

 Leya Hartman
Leya Hartman - Anthropology '17

Before I stepped out of the doors of Edman Chapel on graduation day, I had a job lined up in Denver, the exact location I was aiming for, and with the type of people with whom I wanted to work. 

Liz Bilkert - Anthropology '14

I always felt a great ease and comfort in being with people from backgrounds and experiences that differed from mine. Language, custom, gender, and religious differences never stumped me but rather enlivened me. Anthropology spoke to this particularity of mine and gave me a foundation from which to actually do work in the world based on these interests.

Alumni Profiles

Why Study Anthropology at Wheaton?

Our anthropology program emphasizes both the particularities of cultural systems and the universality of humans made in the image of God. Our students develop a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction both within American society and across cultures. Together, we pursue the study of human societies and cultures through a distinctly Christian lens, recognizing the need to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ at several levels of social interaction and respecting the image of God in people from diverse social and cultural environments.

Wheaton’s Anthropology faculty have served as recognized consultants or contributors to international missions agencies, relief organizations, law enforcement venues, denominational headquarters, and academic institutions.

Businesses increasingly have become aware of the benefits of employees with the ability to interpret and react to human behavior in systematic and constructive ways. Our anthropology majors go on to future graduate work in anthropology (or any number of related fields) and pursue careers such as professors, researchers, and applied anthropologists. Nearly all of our majors [ the 10% that apply] are accepted to top-tier graduate programs and law schools.

  • Clubs - Students Engaging in Sociology & Anthropology (SESA) exists to build a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction through a student forum that provides an environment conducive for engaging in sociological and anthropological thought. By utilizing resources within and available to the department, SESA seeks to serve the students and faculty by planting and harvesting ideals of passion, collaboration, development, and celebration.
  • Field Trips - Regular field trips have taken students to various religious centers, juvenile courts and detention centers, The Field Museum of Natural History, a variety of inner-city schools, the Marian Joy Rehab Center, and several urban youth programs.
  • Internships - The Wheaton College Anthropology Department is privileged to have professors who have made contacts in a variety of fields. There are abundant opportunities with social services and law enforcement agencies locally and in Chicago with whom students can plan internships and independent studies.
  • Teaching and Research Assistantships - Anthropology majors often have the opportunity to work with a faculty member as a paid teaching or research assistant depending on the skills and interests of the student and faculty member.
  • Competitions - The Sociology and Anthropology department hosts the annual Fahs paper competition, where monetary prizes are awarded to the best sociological and anthropological papers.
  • Global & Experiential Learning – semester study abroad programs, summer study abroad programs, spring break co-curricular trips

What Will I Learn?

An Anthropology major introduces you to insights about complex human behavior from a comparative, cross-cultural perspective.

The Anthropology minor gives students an opportunity to learn about the field, integrate anthropology with Christian concerns, and provide a basis for further graduate study.

The certificate in Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to help you investigate national and international questions related to gender.

The certificate in mission studies is an interdisciplinary program with an experiential component to train students in analytical skills relevant for global missions today.

Consult the course catalog for full listing of current courses available in this field.

Anthropology News and Stories


Possible Careers for Anthropologists

Anthropologists are needed to study human life, history, and culture, and to apply that knowledge to current issues. The Center for Vocation and Career will gladly partner with you to explore the many career options available to you with a degree in Anthropology.

  • Health Services
  • Publishing
  • Government Services
  • Teaching
  • Missions and Ministry
  • Community Development
  • Business Management
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations

Recent graduates have gone directly into graduate programs to pursue the following advanced degrees:

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences (Ph.D.)Juris Doctor (J.D.)
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
  • Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
The most recent degrees pursued: Nearly all of our majors are accepted to top-tier graduate programs, law schools, medical schools, social work programs, business schools, and many others.
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • Northwestern University
  • Penn State University
  • Purdue University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vanderbilt University