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Anthropology (BA)

University of South Alabama
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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Program description


Anthropology is the study of past and present humankind. Utilizing knowledge from the biological, social, and behavioral sciences, anthropology represents a holistic and humanistic discipline, bringing together a variety of perspectives to learn about ancient peoples and to solve modern problems. Anthropologists take both a comparative and evolutionary perspective to more fully understand what it means to be human, and to explore human similarities and differences across geographic space and time.

American anthropology is commonly divided into four fields: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology.

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Admission requirements

Documents Required

  • Official high school transcript reflecting a minimum 2.50 GPA
  • Official ACT or SAT scores: a minimum ACT superscore of 19 OR a minimum SAT (critical reading + math only) score of 900 (if taken prior to March 2016) OR a minimum SAT (Evidence-based reading and writing + math only) score of 990 (if take March 2016 or after)

At this time, the University of South Alabama is accepting self-reported information that will be considered with your application for admission. All the information will be verified and your admission will be contingent on receipt of official documents.

Required Academic Core Courses:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of social science
  • 3 years of Math- Must include Algebra I and two higher level math courses (for example: Algebra II, Algebra w/ Finance, Algebraic Connections, Geometry, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, Pre-Calculus, or other higher level math courses will be considered)
  • 3 years of science (At least two of the sciences must include labs)
  • 3 years of advanced electives (Courses chosen from any of the four core areas above and may include foreign language)

The Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Endorsement meets all University of South Alabama core requirements. The Credit Based Diploma awarded by Alabama High Schools is accepted; however, students must meet all high school core requirements listed above.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Fields of Study

Anthropology is the study of humankind, past and present. Anthropologists work in one of four fields: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology.

  • Cultural anthropologists study societies in the contemporary world using the method of participant observation, in which researchers reside in a community, learn its language, observe social behavior, and conduct interviews of community members. Traditionally, anthropologists studied mostly small-scale indigenous societies, where they examined religion, kinship, production and exchange, political beliefs, food practices, and other aspects of social life. These remain an important focus of research, but increasingly cultural anthropologists have turned their attention to larger-scale developed societies. Participant observation in modern settings offers insights into many problems of contemporary social life, including religious and ethnic conflict, the effects of climate change, globalization, social inequality, health disparities, and addiction.
  • Language – the ability to represent meaning through symbols and to communicate those meanings to other people – is a hallmark of all human societies. Linguistic anthropologists study the social and cultural contexts of human communication. How does language symbolically represent our natural, supernatural, and social worlds? How does our day-to-day use of language reflect our social identities of region, social class, gender, and ethnicity? In addition, the comparison of distinct languages can offer evidence of their historical evolution and illuminate past and contemporary relationships between their speakers. By documenting indigenous vocabularies and grammars, linguistic anthropologists also contribute to the revitalization of endangered languages in the modern world.
  • Biological (or physical) anthropologists study human biological variation and adaptation in response to the natural and cultural environments of the past and present. They seek to understand what it means to be human by taking into account our unique evolutionary and individual life histories, in all their diversity. This broad discipline encompasses approaches ranging from comparative observations of non-human primates (primatology), physical variation and population genetics (human biology), hominid evolution (paleoanthropology), and the study of ancient human skeletal remains from the archaeological record (bioarchaeology). More recently, these methods have been applied to assist law enforcement with the forensic identification of modern human remains (forensic anthropology). By utilizing a biological perspective, these anthropologists seek to explore the dynamics of the human condition and our continued evolution into the future.
  • Archaeologists study our ancestors through material remains (artifacts) in order to reconstruct the past, inform our present, and look to the future. Fieldwork involves an array of sophisticated methods and careful excavation techniques to identify archaeological sites and recover traces of a past human presence. An archaeologist will often specialize in the analysis of certain artifact types, such as animal bones (zooarchaeology), pottery, plant remains (paleoethnobotany), or stone tools. From two million-year-old stone tools in Africa, to early 20th-century house lots in downtown Mobile, Alabama, archaeologists analyze the physical evidence of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please visit the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

  • In-State: 329.00 per credit hour
  • Out-of-State: 658.00 per credit hour

Career opportunities

An undergraduate degree in anthropology can prepare you for a number of exciting career paths. While traditionally, anthropologists have been employed in university settings, many other opportunities are available in today’s world for trained anthropologists with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, including work in government, corporate centers, museums, non-profit organizations, and cultural resource management.

At a glance…

  • Archaeology: Most professional archaeologists work in cultural resource management (CRM) - they mitigate the effects of federal undertakings on archaeological sites. Other archaeologists are employed by museums, universities, and government agencies.
  • Cultural Anthropology: Cultural anthropologists are increasingly being employed by corporations, non-profit and advocacy groups, and government agencies.
  • Biological Anthropology: While some biological anthropologists may work in an academic setting, others work in forensic labs or with law enforcement, zoos, pharmaceutical firms, museums, or in industry.
  • Linguistic Anthropology: In addition to working in academic settings, linguistic anthropologists are often employed by government agencies and corporations.

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About this institute

University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama is a comprehensive, global research and teaching university that provides our students with an exceptional education in business, the liberal arts, education, engineering, computing, the sciences and health care. Located in Mobile, Alabama on the...

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Why study at University of South Alabama

State-of-the-art labs and classrooms, small class sizes, international accreditation, scholarships, proximity to the beach, affordability

Contact info

University of South Alabama

555 N. University Blvd
36688 Mobile Alabama
United States of America

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