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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

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) builds a biblical foundation for understanding social interaction. It’s a student-lead forum engaged in sociological and anthropological thought.
  • 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 - We are privileged to be located near Chicago where there are abundant opportunities with social services and law enforcement agencies for internships and independent study.
  • 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 certificate in Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to help you investigate national and international questions related to gender.

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

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.


An Anthropology major provides an excellent liberal arts preparation for positions throughout the business, social service, and government worlds and offers you valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration. The Center for Vocation and Career will be happy to partner with you in exploring the wide variety of careers available to you.

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.)
  • University of Chicago
  • Rice University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Indiana
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Hamline University, University of Virginia
  • Washington University-St. Louis
  • University of California.
  • JD; MD; MSW; MPP or MPA; PhD in Social Sciences [sociology or anthropology]; MBA