Anthropologists are adventurers. . .
We trek around the world through time and space to understand who we are as humans. Archaeologists and biological anthropologists search for clues about how we got here, while cultural and linguistic anthropologiststravel the world on a quest to understand the richness of human diversity. Anthropology encourages and inspires us to reflect on what it means to be human, past and present, so that we might envision our future.
Our faculty are leading scholars who teach at all levels, from introductory courses to graduate seminars. Our professors have been featured in National Geographic, the New York Times, Nova, and Scientific American.
It’s not just about going to class! We have pizza and movie nights, dinner at local restaurants, go camping, visit Chicago museums, and host seminars and research presentations. And, we dig!
Have you interviewed a monk in Cambodia? Excavated a Roman house or combed through a medieval castle’s remains? Have you taken oral histories from Filipino Americans in Hawaii? Our students have! Summer field schools in the U.S. and abroad provide exciting experiences in all aspects of anthropology.
Student engagement = big benefits! You’ll have access to top professors, excellent field schools and a working museum. And, you’ll be able to get into the classes you need.
The museum offers students the opportunity to work directly with anthropological collections of more than 12,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects. Our collections emphasize Southeast Asia, but include textiles, baskets, and ceramics from throughout the world. Students can conduct original research, apply what they’ve learned in anthropology, and participate in behind-the-scenes museum work.
What can I do with this degree?
Anthropology is the only contemporary discipline that combines the historical, biological, cultural and linguistic aspects of human life. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment in this field will grow at a faster-than-average rate through 2020.
Anthropology prepares students for exciting 21st Century careers involving our increasingly multicultural world and global economy. Careers include teaching, marketing, community service, research, and cultural resources or nonprofit management.
Corporations are increasingly relying on anthropological research to connect with consumers. Understanding consumer behavior allows them to respond to consumer wants and needs, acquire new customers, and make strategic decisions about market expansion. CocaCola, General Motors, Intel, Pepsi, and Whirlpool are just a few of the leading companies that employ anthropologists.
Undergraduate students majoring in anthropology may obtain either a B.A. or a B.S. degree. Either degree may be obtained with honors and can be used to gain certification to teach social sciences at the junior and senior high school level. Students can also minor in anthropology, which should be of special interest to students in art history, biological sciences, business management, foreign languages and literature, geology, humanities, social sciences, and visual communications. For those who wish to pursue advanced coursework, the department also offers a graduate degree in anthropology.
Who Majors in Anthropology?
- Rick Bayless, chef
- Genevieve Bell, Director of Interaction & Experience Research at Intel
- Tracy Chapman, singer
- Prince Charles, of England
- Michael Crichton, author
- Señora Marquez, Dora the Explorer’s mother
- Jane Goodall, Primotologist and Conservationist
- Hugh Laurie, actor
- George Lucas, director
- Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist
- Octavio Paz, Nobel Prize winning author
- Kathy Reichs, former NIU professor, author, and forensics expert
- Steve Riggio, founder of Barnes & Noble
- Explore Majors
- Biological Sciences
- Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Computer Science
- Environmental Studies
- Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Geology and Environmental Geosciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Nonprofit and NGO Studies
- Political Science
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