If you’re curious about the world, care about human diversity, history, and culture, and want to address social and cultural issues, a major in anthropology could be right for you. This program teaches you how to use anthropological methods to solve problems related to cultural heritage and preservation, forensics, archaeology, immigration, and environmental sustainability.

Faculty in the department of anthropology have research concentrations with a range of diverse populations around the world, including refugees, Native Americans, pregnant women, LGBTQA populations, and chimpanzees. We teach classes on a topics related to these issues such as religion, technology, ethnohistory, race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, culture and medicine, human growth and development, ecological dimensions of culture, archaeology, and primatology.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Anthropology?

A major in anthropology helps you build a strong foundation in critical thinking and analytical skills that apply to many academic and professional fields. Anthropologists and archaeologists work well with people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds in addition to performing a number of specialized tasks, including market research and program analysis. These skills and characteristics are applicable and valuable to employers worldwide. Our graduates typically find work as:

  • Government employees
  • Researchers
  • Consultants
  • Teachers
  • CRM archaeologists

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Ball State has provided me with a fulfilling present and a promising future. It is very empowering to see real results from my hard work, and I’m amazed how every semester provides something new and engaging to work on.

Gwyneth Harris
Public History and Anthropology Major
Read about her work to help pregnant women with opioid addiction.

What It’s Like to Major in Anthropology at Ball State

Our optional departmental honors program will provide you with extra academic challenges as you pursue your degree. Ball State’s Honors College offers high-ability students an intellectually stimulating academic experience that enhances any major. You’ll benefit from unique, student-driven, discussion-based courses, special learning and scholarship opportunities, and a close-knit living-learning community.
When you major in anthropology at Ball State, you’re eligible to participate in our Degree in 3 programs. This is a condensed degree track that allows you to complete your anthropology degree in three years rather than the standard four.

In this program, you will take a full class load each fall and spring semester and during two or three summers. An academic advisor will guide you through your studies, monitoring your progress and helping you avoid scheduling issues. After you obtain sophomore status, you’ll be assigned a faculty advisor from our department.
Our anthropology program is a student-centered learning environment, boasting small classes approachable faculty members, and immersion/experience-based learning opportunities. In Academic Advising classes, you will be free to explore topics of interest, either as a project or paper.

Every year, our faculty members organize a variety of field study experiences that allow anthropology students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to the real world. Faculty conduct field schools in the United States, mainly in Indiana and surrounding states, as well as globally, for example, in India and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Faculty also use their own research to provide students with hands-on research experiences, for example, with data collection, analysis, and even publishing. Contact the anthropology department for a list of immersive learning opportunities.


Program Requirements


This program consists of 40 total credits on top of the University Core Curriculum (UCC) requirements. 

Core Requirements: 13 credits 

  • ANTH 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 

  • ANTH 103 Archaeology and Culture 

  • ANTH 105 Introduction to Biological Anthropology 

  • ANTH 208 Professionalization in Anthropology 

  • ANTH 316 History of Method and Theory in Anthropology 

Methods A/B/C: 9 credits 

  • one ANTH methods course from Area A: Archaeology 

  • one ANTH methods course from Area B: Biological 

  • one ANTH methods course from Area C: Cultural 

ANTH Electives: 15 credits 

  • one ANTH directed elective course from Area A: Archaeology 

  • one ANTH directed elective course from Area B: Biological 

  • one ANTH directed elective course from Area C: Cultural 

  • two ANTH elective courses from any area 

ANTH UCC Tier 3 Capstone: 3 credits 

  • ANTH 414 Applications of Anthropology 


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Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

In addition to the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, the Anthropology Department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Ready to Apply?

Admission to Ball State is selective and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or, if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact us.

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