Affordable Online Anthropology Degrees

Anthropology involves the study of the various biological, cultural, and evolutionary components that make human beings unique. This makes for an incredibly complex field, as researchers are constantly learning new things about how people from different cultures meet their core needs to survive and form relationships with one another.

With an affordable online anthropology degree, you can learn a wide range of skills that further your education. This includes extensive study and analysis of various cultural behaviors and how they impact relationships among people, societies, institutions, and the environment. Research is a significant focus of most programs, and you will learn how to use data to study how different human groups view and build their own distinct cultural norms.

Common career options for graduates include serving as historic preservationists, museum directors, cultural resource managers, and human rights activists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, archivists, curators, and museum workers earned a median annual salary of $47,230 in 2016, and the field is projected to see a growth of 7% between 2014 and 2024.

Earning an anthropology degree online also prepares students to move into master’s degree programs in anthropology, public policy, public health, and social work.

The rankings below offer a range of affordable online anthropology degrees that provide a strong return on investment, along with the freedom and flexibility of online coursework. All programs included on the list are fully accredited.

Most Affordable Online Anthropology Degrees
Rank School Score Toggle Content

University of Central Florida

Value Score 8.37
Average Tuition $4,478
Students Receiving Financial Aid 89%
Net Price $11,028
Graduation Rate 70%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 49%
Enrollment Rate 38%
Retention Rate 38%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 52
Number of Online Programs 15

The University of Central Florida, located in Orlando, offers an online anthropology degree that can be completed entirely online or as a hybrid program. This bachelor of arts in anthropology program emphasizes interdisciplinary study, with students taking courses in sub-disciplines like linguistics, archeology, and physical and cultural anthropology. Students are required to complete 120 credits, 42 of which are within the archeology major. Coursework covers topics like language and culture, archaeological method and theory, and human biological diversity.

The program is designed for students that have already completed at least some college-level coursework, whether at UCF or another institution. Students must earn at least a 2.0 in each required course and must consult with an academic advisor to ensure that adequate progress is being made toward degree completion. Availability of online courses each semester is dependent on the availability of faculty. Therefore, it may take students more than the traditional four years to earn their degree. The online anthropology degree program is not available to online students in Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon.

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Oregon State University

Value Score 5.84
Average Tuition $8,535
Students Receiving Financial Aid 85%
Net Price $15,026
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 33%
Retention Rate 33%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 34
Number of Online Programs 20

Oregon State University was founded in 1868 in Corvallis, Oregon. Today, the school serves more than 28,000 students each year and offers a variety of distance learning programs, including two online anthropology degrees. Earned as either a BA or BS, this program allows students to focus their studies on archaeology, biocultural anthropology, or cultural and linguistic anthropology. Students opting to focus on archaeology are required to complete 12 credits of fieldwork, either near their homes or at field schools in Oregon and Idaho.

Oregon State operates on a term system, with four terms per year including summer studies. The 180-credit curriculum includes courses that cover topics like the evolution of people, cultures in conflict, wealth and poverty, North America after the ice age, and forensic anthropology. OSU welcomes transfer students, though a minimum of 45 credits must be completed at Oregon State to meet academic residency requirements.

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Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Value Score 5.79
Average Tuition $8,301
Students Receiving Financial Aid 87%
Net Price $9,808
Graduation Rate 67%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 81%
Enrollment Rate 32%
Retention Rate 32%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 25
Number of Online Programs 8

Colorado State University’s online anthropology degree combines natural sciences and social sciences into one degree. This interdisciplinary anthropology degree program prepares students to pursue a wide variety of careers in education, archaeology, historic preservation, and more. The 120-credit curriculum includes three core anthropology courses, plus at least one course each in archeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Additional coursework covers topics like human evolution, human ecology, gender and anthropology, and cultural geography.

The school's affordable tuition is the same for all students, regardless of residency. Courses are taught via Canvas and most courses are taught synchronously. Colorado State University's online anthropology program offers optional summer archaeology field school experiences across the state of Colorado. Students can also spend their summer studying paleontology on site in Wyoming or working on economic development projects on a Native American reservation in South Dakota.

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Troy University

Value Score 5.10
Average Tuition $6,888
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $11,430
Graduation Rate 34%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 92%
Enrollment Rate 41%
Retention Rate 41%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50
Number of Online Programs 14

Troy University was founded in 1887 in Troy, Alabama. Today, the school serves more than 18,000 students each year. Troy has offered online degree programs for more than 20 years, including an online anthropology degree. Troy's anthropology program introduces students to various aspects of the field, with an emphasis on the intersection between hard sciences and social sciences. Students will be exposed to cultural and linguistic anthropology, as well as physical anthropology.

Troy operates on an accelerated term system. During the span of a typical semester, students take classes during two, nine-week sessions each fall and spring. Classes offered recently include forensic osteology, magic, witchcraft, & religion, and ancient Egypt. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 throughout the program and complete 45 credits within the anthropology major. Troy offers cheap tuition to all students, regardless of residency.

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Southern New Hampshire University

Value Score 5.06
Average Tuition $30,006
Students Receiving Financial Aid 61%
Net Price $37,709
Graduation Rate 59%
Student to Faculty Ratio 30:1
Admissions Rate 92%
Enrollment Rate 23%
Retention Rate 23%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 92
Number of Online Programs 43

Southern New Hampshire University is one of the most well-known online universities, serving more than 60,000 distance learners each year. SNHU offers a four-year BA in anthropology degree online with an emphasis on archaeology and the physical sciences. Students can choose from two different concentrations to customize their degree: environmental sustainability and geospatial technology. The 120-credit curriculum includes core courses on world geography, cultural anthropology, earth sciences, and more. Outside of the core curriculum, students can opt to take classes in other departments, including biology, political science, and sociology.

Courses are offered asynchronously online, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. SNHU online degrees are open to students in all 50 states and has a rolling application policy with multiple start dates each year. Online students have access to a wide variety of resources, including an online writing center, academic advising, and career placement services.

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