11 Best Anthropology Programs And Universities to Study Them | 2022

A degree in anthropology, uniting science and humanities, offers students the opportunity to learn about the evolution of the human being and develop critical thinking and communication skills for various careers. This article on 11 Best Anthropology Programs And Universities to Study Them gives you the necessary information you need on anthropology programs and schools that offer them.

What Is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behaviour and societies in the past and present. Social and cultural anthropology study the norms and values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social life.

A career in Anthropology is super lucrative and has lots of employment opportunities. In fact, experts and professionals in the field are sought after.

Types of Anthropology (Major Branches of Anthropology Program)

Anthropology is a global discipline that encompasses the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Below are the top anthropology program and its sub-branches:

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Social Anthropology
  • Socio-cultural Anthropology
  • Physical (Biological) Anthropology
  • Archaeological Anthropology
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • Applied Anthropology
  • Psychological anthropology
  • World Anthropology

Social Anthropology

Social Anthropology is the study relations between individuals and groups. It differs from issues such as economics or political science in its global reach, in its focus on the comparative diversity of societies and cultures around the world, and in the capacity it provides. to the discipline of reexamination Euro-American assumptions.

It differs from sociology both in its main methods (based on long-term observation and linguistic competence of the participants) and in its commitment to the relevance and insight provided by micro- studies. Also, it extends beyond strictly social phenomena to culture, art, individuality, and cognition.

Many social anthropologists also use quantitative methods, particularly those whose research focuses on topics such as the local economy, demography, human ecology, cognition or health, and disease.

  1. Department of Social Anthropology – University of Cambridge

Socio-cultural Anthropology

Socio-cultural Anthropology brings together the main axes of cultural anthropology and social anthropology. Cultural anthropology is more related to philosophy, literature, and the arts (how a person’s culture influences his or her experience and that of the group, which contributes to a more complete understanding of the knowledge, customs, and institutions of society), while social anthropology is more closely linked to sociology and history.

It is the Anthropology branch devoted to the study and comparison of human cultures. The second half of the 19th century is the initial period of socio-cultural anthropology.

It is inspired by the idea of evolution after Darwin’s publication of the Origin of Species. Many socio-cultural anthropologists wish to explore the possibility of a similar evolutionary process in the field of society and culture.

In this sense, it is useful to develop an understanding of social structures, typically others and other populations (such as minorities, subgroups, dissidents, etc.). Also, there is no absolute distinction between them and these categories overlap to a considerable extent.

However, people’s lives have many dimensions and attempts to study each of them in detail have led to the origin and development of several sub-branches of the elementary branch of socio-cultural anthropology, such as:

Economic Anthropology

Production, distribution of consumption and trade are the basic structures of economic transactions and their processes. Economic anthropologists focus on these activities mainly in societies without literacy and without peasants.

They focus on modes of exchange, including ceremonial exchanges, the concept of reciprocity, and redistribution. The nature of commerce and market system, the process of economic growth and development in societies are also studied.

Political Anthropology

It emphasizes the ubiquity of the political process and the functions of legitimate authority, law, justice and sanctions in simple societies; the focus of power and leadership.

It focuses on the anthropological point of view in formulating the typology of political structures based on the differences and similarities observed between societies of the world and their emerging political processes between nations and complex societies.

In addition, it also studies the political culture and building processes of the nation.

Psychological Anthropology

It is the study of intercultural variations of psychological traits. Study the psychological, behavioural and personal approaches of the man. It develops as an interdisciplinary approach between psychology and socio-cultural anthropology.

Psychological anthropology focuses on the mind, body, and subjectivity of the individual in which the life and experience of culture and society are brought to light.

In this vast expanse, there is no unified theoretical or methodological consensus, but lively debates have taken place on the relative importance of culture in relation to individual psychology in the configuration of human action and the universality in relation to the variability inherent in existence.

The field brings together a series of disparate research traditions with different intellectual programs, but it also provides a stage for principled argumentation about the existence of a common human nature.

Modern psychological anthropologists are very interested in the process by which culture is transmitted from one generation to the next.

Anthropology of Religion 

There are many theories about the origin of religion in people. The main theories are animism, animism, manaism, and primitive monotheism. The perceptions of men about the differences between man and nature are first studied. Beliefs in natural forces and supernatural forces and/or beings are studied. The functioning of religious traditions, including rituals and ceremonies between societies without literacy and peasants, is studied in detail.

It also examines Religious practices, such as taboo and totemism. The differences between magic, religion, and science are discussed and debated. Sorcery and witchcraft are considered important aspects of magic without knowing how to read. Above all, it emphasizes the social and psychological functions of magic and religion.

Ecological Anthropology

The term ecology refers to the totality of the relationship between the environment and the organism. It’s about the relationship between human beings and their environments. It is the use of the concept of the environment in explaining different cultural elements and the diversity of cultural groups.

Determinism and possibilism are two points of view related to cultural behavior and the environment. The first, also called environmentalism, states that the environment dictates cultural practices, while the latter denies it and maintains that the environment has a more limiting effect than a determinant of cultural behavior.

It’s about the relationship between human beings and their environments. It is the use of the concept of environment to explain both the origin of different cultural elements and the diversity of cultural groups. Also, try to understand cultural groups. It also tries to understand the relative influence of the environment on human society and how different societies use it.

The ecological perspective is based on the assumption that constant interaction takes place between humans and their environment. To understand them, they should not be as isolated entities.

Steward first expressed the ecological perspective in anthropology in the 1930s through her most important concept, cultural ecology, which recognized that culture and the environment are not separate spheres but are involved in a dialectical interaction or reciprocal causality.

Physical (Biological) Anthropology

Physical anthropology deals with the origin, evolution, and diversity of people. Physical anthropologists work intensively on three main types of problems: the evolution of human and non-human primates, human variation and its importance, as well as the biological basis of human behavior.

The course followed by human evolution and the processes that led to it is also worrying. To explain the diversity within and between human populations, physical anthropologists must study past populations of fossil hominids, as well as non-human primates.

Relationships with other primates and the nature of the transformation of human anatomy and behavior during the evolution of early hominins to modern humans over a period of at least four million years have made the subject of many clarifications.

  • Primatology
  • Ethnology
  • Human biology
  • Palaeoanthropology
  • Human Genetics
  • Nutritional Anthropology
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Physiological Anthropology
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Dental Anthropology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Anthropometry
  • Ergonomy
  • Demography
  • Ethology

Top Colleges That Offer Anthropology

The QS World University Rankings by Subject are based upon academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact.

According to the last Anthropology ranking, below are the top 20 universities and schools to study Anthropology in the world.

University of Cambridge

Located in the center of the ancient city of Cambridge, 50 miles north of London, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution that serves more than 18,000 students from all corners of the globe.

The University of Cambridge offers top Anthropology Programs in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Click on any of the highlighted sections to know more.

Cambridge Anthropology Undergraduate
Cambridge Masters in Anthropology
Cambridge Anthropology PhD

QS Global World Ranking: #6

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: 19,203

Scholarships: Yes

University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the Anglo-Saxon world. It is so old that its date of foundation is unknown, although it is believed that the teaching took place there already in the eleventh century.

There are a total of 22,000 students in Oxford, about half of whom are academics, while 40% are international students. A quarter of Oxford’s residents are students, giving the city the youngest population in the UK.

QS World Ranking:#5

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 22,000

Average Fees (USD): 12,000 – 14,000

Harvard University

Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the United States. It is widely recognized for its influence, reputation and academic record as a leading university not only in the United States but also in the world.

Harvard University offers 4 Anthropology Degree programs. It’s a large private university in a mid-sized city. In 2015, 39 students graduated in the study area of Anthropology with students earning 27 Bachelor’s degrees, 7 Master’s degrees, and 5 Doctoral degrees.

QS World Ranking: #3

Status: Private

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: 22,727

The London School of Economics and Political Science(LSE)

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) gives you the opportunity to study social sciences in a world-renowned institution while enjoying the cultural, social and recreational facilities of one of the world’s largest capitals.

QS World Ranking: #38

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 10,357

The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

Founded in 1868, the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) is a public research university and the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system.

QS World Ranking: #38

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 10,357

University of Chicago

Founded in 1856, the University of Chicago is a private research university located in the urban center of Chicago, the third most populous city in the United States.

Outside the Ivy League, Chicago is one of the top universities in the United States and ranks in the top ten in various national and international rankings.

QS World Ranking: #9

Status: Private

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 13,924

Average Fees (USD): 50,000 – 52,000

The Australian National University

The Australian National University (ANU) is a leading center in the world for education and research.

Ranked first in Australia and ranked 22 in the world (QS World University Rankings 2016-17), the Australian National University is also distinguished by an exceptional record of student satisfaction and employability of graduates.

QS World Ranking: #24

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 16,677

Average Fees (USD): 14,000 – 16,000

University of Toronto

Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto has become Canada’s premier institution for learning, discovery and knowledge creation.

Also, they are proud to be one of the best universities in the world where research is the most intense, with the will to invent and innovate.

QS World Ranking: #28

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 73,064

Average Fees (USD): 4,000 – 5,000

Stanford University

Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose, Stanford University is in the heart of Silicon Valley, a vibrant region of northern California, home to Yahoo, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and many other high-tech companies founded by and continue to be led by Stanford alumni and professors. Nicknamed “Mill Millionaire Mill”, it is said that if Stanford graduates form their own country, it would be one of the ten largest economies in the world.

QS World Ranking: #2

Status: Private

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 16,135

Average Fees (USD): 46,000 – 48,000


UCL is one of the largest multidisciplinary universities in the world, with an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching.

As a world leader in research, with notable results in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, UCL houses centers of excellence in teaching in fields ranging from medicine to languages, from law to engineering and history in Astrophysics.

Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged and the conviction that all fields of study can inform and enrich each other is the focus of our programs. We have had 29 Nobel prizes to date, with at least one per decade since the prizes were created in 1901.

QS World Ranking: #10

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 32,795

Average Fees (USD): 12,000 – 14, 000

University of Michigan

One of the leading research universities in the United States, the University of Michigan was founded in 1817, even before Michigan became a state. It was moved from Detroit to her current central campus in Ann Arbor in 1837.

Michigan has been recognized for its high research standards and its comprehensive postgraduate program offers PhDs in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as professional degrees in architecture, engineering, and design. commerce and medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work, public health, and dentistry.

QS World Ranking: #20

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 43, 874

Average Fees (USD): 14,000 – 16,000

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university in Los Angeles. It became the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the fourth-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system.

The UCLA Department of Anthropology has always taken a broad view of anthropology, maintaining both balance and integration among the four fields (archaeology, biological, sociocultural, and linguistic), which have traditionally characterized the discipline.

QS World Ranking: #32

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 43, 800

Average Fees (USD): 10,000 – 12,000

Columbia University

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is a private research university of the Ivy League, located in northern Manhattan, New York.

It was established as King’s College by the Royal Charter of George II of Great Britain and was renamed Columbia College in 1784 as a result of the American War of Independence. At the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University, the students and faculty explore these issues through engagement with varied forms and practices of life.

QS World Ranking: #16

Status: Private

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 26,160

University of Amsterdam

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) offers more than 200-degree programs in English, some of which are exclusive to this university. The UvA is ranked 57th in the world ranking of QS 2018 universities and is one of the 15 best universities in Europe.

With more than 5,500 international students and researchers from more than 100 countries, UvA offers a unique opportunity to conduct academic studies in a truly international environment.

Anthropology is the most outstanding research and teaching program of its kind in the Netherlands in terms of international visibility, research productivity, the size of academic staff and success in attracting and retaining students at all levels.

The Department of Anthropology offers programs in Religion and Society, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology, Sociology and History of Asia

QS World Ranking: #57

Status: Public

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 23,962

Average Fees (USD): 2,000 – 4,000

Yale University

Yale University is a private research university and a member of the prestigious Ivy League, a group of some of the most famous higher education institutions in the United States.

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the first planned city in America, Yale was founded by English Puritans in 1701, making it the third-oldest institution in the United States.

The Department of Anthropology at Yale University was officially founded in 1937 and is the result of research and teaching in the work of the Peabody Natural History Museum (1866) and the Institute of Human Relations (1928). Yale’s Anthropology department offers both an undergraduate (BA) degree in Anthropology and a graduate (Ph.D.) in Anthropology. 

QS World Ranking: #15

Status: Private

Research Output: Very High

Total Students: About 12,927

Average Fees (USD): 50,000 – 52,000


The write up above provides necessary information on what Anthropology is all about, best anthropology programs and top universities where you can get a degree.

I hope with this, you can make your selection from the list of the top Anthropology schools and programs provided and make your decision.

Good Luck!!!


You May Also Like