What Can I Do with My Anthropology Major?

Overview

Anthropology aims to develop students’ abilities to conduct theoretically sound, methodologically rigorous and multifaceted analyses of human society. Students have the ability to apply those skills through research and experiential learning activities in the Washington, DC area and beyond. The department is committed to envisioning a more just society that recognizes individuals’ contributions to the social production and reproduction of just and unjust institutions.

There are many career and educational options for anthropology majors. Further anthropological study beyond the bachelor’s degree level leads to both traditional anthropological careers in teaching and field research as well as in applied anthropology. Traditionally, anthropologists have specialized in one or more geographic regions of the world, such as West Africa, Latin America, or North America, according to the American Anthropological Association. However, anthropologists increasingly do research on social and political problems that span geographical regions and reflect the voluntary or forced movements of populations in search of socio-economic opportunity, political enfranchisement and equality before the law. Academic anthropologists find careers in anthropology departments, social science departments and a variety of other departments or programs. Some find work with the federal government, while others work in management, technical consulting services, politics, or in architectural or engineering firms, the association reports. For example, the construction industry employs consultant archeologists to ensure historic areas are preserved during new construction. A corporate anthropologist working in market research might conduct targeted focus groups to examine consumer buying habits.

Skills

The study of anthropology allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sampling of representative skills and abilities follows.

Critical Thinking

  • Careful record-keeping
  • Approaching problems from multiple perspectives
  • Avoiding simplistic conclusions
  • Perceiving patterns and structures
  • Understanding components of complex problems

Communication

  • Writing effectively
  • Reading critically
  • Conveying complex information
  • Speaking to groups
  • Presenting research findings
  • Training others

Research

  • Planning projects
  • Applying theoretical approaches to research problems
  • Establishing hypotheses
  • Participant observation of research subjects
  • Evaluating evidence
  • Examining electronic data

Social and Cultural Relations

  • Understanding and appreciating human relationships between groups and individuals
  • Identifying cultural/social forces
  • Understanding diversity
  • Social ease in strange situations
Sample Internship Opportunities
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • Smithsonian Museums
  • Physical anthropology laboratories
  • Social services organizations (e.g. American Red Cross)
  • Consulting firms
  • Historic preservation offices
  • Public defenders’ office
  • Library of Congress
  • Parks and historic sites
  • Ethnic and cultural organizations
  • International development agencies (e.g. USAID)
  • Research institutes/ think tanks (e.g. Urban Institute, National Research Council)
  • U.S. or State Congress

Where are Georgetown Anthropology Majors Now?

  • Top-tier law schools
  • Fulbright Scholarship (researching gender in North Africa)
  • Public policy graduate students
  • Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps
  • Refugee resettlement agency
  • Labor rights advocate at a non- governmental organization in India
  • Medical School
  • Research analyst focusing on best practices in hospitals and health care organizations
  • Anthropology graduate programs at universities such as Yale, Columbia and NYU
  • Consulting firms
  • Teacher with Teach for America
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Department of Homeland Security, Division of Immigration Health Services
Professional Organizations

Anthropology Major Snapshot

For more information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements, contact the Department of Anthropology at 597 ICC, (202) 687-3658.