Sociology and Anthropology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

BA in Anthropology

Do you wonder why human beings act the way they do? Why does human behavior vary so much across cultures and time? Did you know that even biology changes with culture? How do biology and culture relate to one another? How did people start living together and what do those early communities tell us about ourselves today? How and why did humans evolve? Are we still evolving?

Mason's anthropology degree is designed for students with interests like yours. In addition to explorations of cultures worldwide, our programs in archaeology and biological anthropology give you hands-on research experience with faculty through fieldwork in bioarchaeology, archaeology, and museum-based research. You are also able to take advantage of the rich cultural anthropological resources of the Washington DC area, including the Smithsonian museums. Our programs in cultural anthropology connect anthropological research to current social challenges such as health and disease, urbanization, militarization, and geopolitics. Students have interned at museums, non-profits, and in the federal government, including the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and the US Department of Education.

Anthropology majors develop an eye for detail and careful observation, critical thinking, sensitivity to the unfamiliar, skills in research and writing, and an ability to describe and understand culture – an ability particularly valued in a globalized world.

Graduates are well prepared for a variety of careers in fields such as health and well-being, public policy, criminal justice and forensic anthropology, humanitarian action and international diplomacy, conservation, museum studies, public archaeology, advanced academic training, and research and development. Many of our students also end up in management positions, as educators, or in various life, physical, or social sciences.

Opportunities

All students have opportunities to

  • conduct independent research
  • engage in globally-related activities through coursework and language study at Mason and abroad
  • participate in many forms of public service
  • prepare for their future careers through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities

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