Online Anthropology Courses and Classes Overview

Individuals interested in the origins, traditions and behaviors of past and present cultures may benefit from studying anthropology. Online anthropology courses are offered at the undergraduate through post-graduate levels, focusing on such topics as cultural behavior, evolutionary development, linguistics, and the prehistoric origin of humans and archaeology.

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Online Courses in Anthropology

The overviews below describe some of the typical anthropology courses that are offered online.

  • General Anthropology Course: This introductory course focuses on human evolution and compares the biological and cultural differences among current populations. Topics include analysis of known and theoretical prehistoric developments and a comparison of cultural dynamics, language origins and migration.
  • Cultural Anthropology Course: This course offers standard definitions of culture and examines the function of political systems, religion, social status, gender and race in determining cultural variations. Students discuss contemporary research on world cultures, urban populations and world conflicts.
  • Forensic Anthropology Course: Students examine the scientific techniques used to determine causes of death and possible criminal charges when skeletal remains are recovered. The course includes an in-depth study of human anatomy, cranial structure and the analysis of skeletal remains in estimating age, sex and other factors.
  • Human Prehistory Course: The fundamental theories of human cultural and biological evolution are the focus of this course. Students examine such topics as genetics, archaeological research, primate ancestry and human migratory patterns. Online class discussions include cultural development from stone tools to the emergence of known civilizations.
  • Medical Anthropology Course: This course focuses on health-related practices as viewed within cultural contexts. Students use anthropological research to review past and current global health concerns, with a goal of understanding disease progression and medical treatment plans. This course is normally offered within the second half of undergraduate programs in medicine or anthropology, with general anthropology courses being a prerequisite.
  • Comparative Cultures Course: Students will examine the effect that minority groups have on the practices and social norms of mainstream culture. This course includes a comparison of cultures in Asia, Africa, pre-colonial Australia, Oceania, North America and South America.
  • The Contemporary American Family Course: This course will take a look at how the concept of the family in the Western world has changed throughout the years. Gender roles will be examined in addition to topics like marriage, poverty and parenting.
  • Food and Culture Course: In this course, students will learn about various social groups and their identities through what they eat. Central topics include food that is healthy and how politics relate to agriculture.

Program Information

Online anthropology courses may be available as part of an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree, or graduate certificate program, in anthropology. They are also available as standalone courses for independent learners. Some programs may require specialized anthropology software and on-campus labs or fieldwork. Additionally, students may be required to complete courses in a specific sequence.

Plenty of options exist for online anthropology courses via graduate certificates, free courses or associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs. Students will have the chance to study course like general anthropology, human prehistory and food and culture.

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