University of South Carolina


Anthropology: What to Expect

Anthropology majors at the University will have a variety of opportunities including participating in research and fieldwork both abroad and locally. You will gain knowledge in four areas including cultural Anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology. You will develop skills necessary to appreciate the cultural and biological diversity of humans and to apply this knowledge to a variety of career endeavors.  You will also be afforded unique opportunities including getting involved with a field school in archaeology and ethnology that are offered each summer. As an Anthropology major, you will experience intensive discussion, multimedia engagement, and hands-on applications in many classes, while acquiring skills in research methodology and presentation.

The following courses fulfill some of the course requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology:

  • ANTH367 -- Basic Forensic Anthropology (Course from Biological Anthropology)
  • ANTH321 -- South Carolina Archaeology (Course from Archeology)
  • ANTH355 -- Language, Culture, and Society (Course from Linguistic Anthropology)
  • ANTH352 -- Anthropology of Magic and Religion (Course from Sociocultural Anthropology)

Students wishing to earn a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Anthropology will take an additional 6 hours. There is an 8 to 1 student-faculty ratio in major specific courses. A detailed list of degree requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin. 

Enhancing your Experience

Study Abroad allows you to earn academic credits toward your USC degree while seeing the world! Overseas study can complement any academic program or major. You may also choose to intern, volunteer, or conduct research abroad. The Anthropology Department has specific programs in Mexico and South Carolina that are a part of the summer field schools. Abroad, you will learn the fundamentals of ethnographic field documentation including note taking and digital documentation as well as biocultural Anthropology field methods. You are encouraged to visit the Study Abroad Web site for more information on opportunities to broaden and extend your knowledge and perspectives.
Student Organizations can be instrumental in helping you adjust to life on campus and network within your field. The University of South Carolina has a family of over 400 student organizations. As an Anthropology major, you can get involved in the Anthropology Student Association. You will get the opportunity to hear speakers on a variety of topics related to all four sub-fields, watch movies centered on Anthropology, go on trips, learn how to write a resume, and get involved with research. Getting involved in an organization that interests you can help you network, meet new friends, and develop leadership skills. You can also seek out volunteer opportunities that relate to your major. Find a student organization on campus that interests you!
Graduate School is one of many possibilities following graduation. Graduates often pursue graduate programs in medicine, archaeology, and cultural Anthropology among other fields.
Distinguished Faculty can help enhance your overall academic experience while at the University. The Anthropology Department has had three faculty members receive Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award from the University of South Carolina.
Departmental Scholarships may be awarded to outstanding students. The Anthropology Department awards a couple of scholarships each year.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Internships can be an important asset to your overall educational experience. Internship experiences often help you confirm your career interests, give you hands on experience in a professional setting, help build your resume, reinforce what you’ve learned in class and secure full-time employment. Likewise, pursuing professional research opportunities as an undergraduate student can also help enrich your academic experience while at the University. As an undergraduate student, you can work closely with faculty research mentors and explore a discipline that interests you. Both internship and research opportunities help you build a competitive edge in the job market.

As a USC student you will have numerous resources at your disposal to assist you with locating internship and research opportunities. The USC Career Center is the central location at USC for assisting students with internship preparation and finding an internship. In addition, be sure to visit your academic department as many programs offer supplemental internship guidance specific to your major. The Office of Undergraduate Research assists all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields.

Anthropology majors at the University have had a wide range of exciting and unique internship opportunities. The department has internships available through the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. Students have also interned with Cultural Resource Management firms throughout the Southeast. 

Career Opportunities

Anthropology majors often pursue careers in academia, the National Park Service, Peace Corps, contract archaeology companies, nonprofits, and cultural resource firms. Other options include careers as field assistants, museum curators, exhibit arrangers, or coroner technicians.

You can find more information about career options in the US Department of Laborís Occupational Outlook Handbook.

The USC Career Center offers numerous resources which provide more information about career opportunities for students in this major. Once admitted, a Career Development Coach is available to help you assess your interest areas, make decisions about your career path, and identify the experiences and skills that will help you accomplish your goals. Spur Connections will help you locate mentors from among USC alumni, employers and community members who can provide insights based on their careers and experiences. Early planning and preparation are keys to success.

About the Department of Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology provides students instruction in the study of holistic Anthropology, and fosters an atmosphere that encourages critical thinking, problem solving, and integrative and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of humankind.  The department offers a truly holistic training in human behavior, culture, communication, and bio-cultural dynamics. The four sub-field emphases produce well-rounded students. This type of program is relatively unique across the country.  The department also offers masters and Ph.D. degrees. The Department of Anthropology is in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Points of Pride

  • We are actively involved in fieldwork projects such as the Mann-Simons African American Archaeology Project, and the Wateree Archaeological Research Project.
  • Three faculty members have received the Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Additional Resources
Anthropology Website
College of Arts and Sciences Website
University Career Center
Undergraduate Bulletin