Illinois Colleges and Universities Offering a B.S. in Anthropology

Illinois has 16 colleges and universities that offer bachelor's degree anthropology programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the 10 largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Anthropology students explore the cultures, habits and languages of human beings. Programs generally include studies in the 5 major subfields of anthropology, which are cultural anthropology, archeology, biological anthropology, medical anthropology, and anthropological linguistics. While several colleges and universities in Illinois have Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in anthropology, other schools have Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) programs, which are designed to prepare students for graduate study; some institutions offer both degrees. Most programs integrate field study opportunities. Students may also be able to work in their school's museum or conduct research in their university's biological anthropology or archaeology laboratories.


DePaul University

DePaul University, located in Chicago, has a B.A. program in anthropology that focuses on cultural anthropology and archeology research. Students must complete 192 hours to earn the degree. Curriculum options include biological anthropology, archeology and ethnographic research. Students also participate in a senior capstone seminar and can do field research in the city of Chicago.

Students interested in becoming high school anthropology teachers can earn a combined bachelor's and master's degree in anthropology and education respectively. The program can be completed in 5 years and requires an additional 12 graduate credit hours.

Illinois State University

Located in central Illinois, Illinois State University in Normal offers B.A. and B.S. degree programs in anthropology. In addition to required studies in the subfields of anthropological linguistics, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology, students may take classes in cultural studies, cross-cultural perspectives, ethnography, sociolinguistics and landscape archeology. Students are required to complete a capstone thesis project in their senior year under the supervision of a faculty member and perform an oral presentation of the project. The school offers field study programs in such locations as Michigan, Tennessee and Brazil.

Loyola University Chicago

This university is located on the north side of Chicago and awards B.A. and B.S. degrees in anthropology. Students in these programs are able to use campus resources that include biological anthropology and archeology labs, as well as various archeological and anthropological research materials. Core course requirements for the B.A. program include cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology and human origins. Students in the B.S. program complete these classes in addition to a course in archeology. Those in either program can pursue fieldwork studies in the Chicago area. A combined B.A. program in anthropology and sociology is also available, as is a minor in anthropology.

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is located about 65 miles west of Chicago in DeKalb, and offers B.A. and B.S. programs in anthropology. Students in the B.S. program are required to take classes in math, laboratory science and computers, while those pursing the B.A. must complete foreign language coursework. All students must finish required core studies in archeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and linguistic anthropology. Students have access to learning through the university's anthropology museum, which is open to the public and includes artifacts from South America, North America, Asia and New Guinea. The university also has field opportunities in locations such as Maui, Sicily, Cambodia and Thailand.

Northwestern University

Northwestern University is located north of Chicago in suburban Evanston, on the shores of Lake Michigan. The Bachelor of Arts program in anthropology was started in 1938 by Melville Herskovits, an early creator of the 4 subfields of American anthropology. Students are able to concentrate in one of these 4 areas. The optional concentration in biological anthropology covers global health, human biological variation and medical anthropology. Students in this emphasis can study human population biology at the university's state-of-the-art Laboratory for Human Biology Research.

Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

This university in Carbondale is located in the southern tip of the state and offers a B.A. in anthropology. The program integrates coursework from the 4 main subfields of anthropology, and students may have fieldwork opportunities in Illinois, Eastern Europe and Kenya. Available coursework includes primate studies, socio-cultural anthropology, writing anthropology and Spanish in the U.S. Program participants can choose an interdisciplinary minor in areas such as Black American studies, Latino studies, forensic science and Native American studies.

Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville

Located in Edwardsville, this university is roughly 25 miles northeast of St. Louis. The B.A. program in anthropology is intended for students planning to pursue a graduate degree in the field and has a foreign language requirement. The B.S. program requires that students take field study coursework. All students must complete and defend a senior research project. Course options for both programs include human ancestry and adaptations, human culture, ethnography and archaeological methods, among other options.

University of Chicago

This private research university is located on the south side of Chicago, in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The institution offers a B.A. program in anthropology that prepares students for further graduate study. Students are encouraged to take upper-division coursework that aligns with personal interests. Some of the unique curriculum offered in this program includes pirate cultures, Chicago blues, urban Africa, ancient Andean oracles and economies of gender.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Located west of downtown Chicago, this school, which is part of the University of Illinois system, offers a B.A. program in liberal arts and sciences with a major in anthropology. After completing core coursework for the major, in social anthropology, archaeology and human evolution, students may select classes such as human fossils, biology of women and North American archeology, as well as courses studying various cultures. The university currently has a field study program in Peru, and one is being developed in Illinois.

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

With school offices in both Urbana and Champaign, this university is located in the eastern part of the state and is the largest school in Illinois. The B.A. program in liberal arts and sciences includes a major in anthropology, with elective classes such as human paleontology, stone tools, human osteology, primate conservation biology, archaeometry and museum registration. Undergraduate field study opportunities include agricultural study in Northern Israel, a wildlife sanctuary in Johannesburg, a refugee community in Tel Aviv and Latin cultural study in Ecuador.

Career Requirements

Anthropologists generally must have a master's or doctoral degree, but graduates of bachelor's degree programs in anthropology can work as research assistants, field techs or lab techs. Compare statistics of these public and private universities in Illinois with bachelor's degree programs in anthropology below.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Anthropology Bachelor's Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
DePaul University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology $36,361*
Illinois State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology,
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
$13,666, in-state; $21,482, out-of-state*
Loyola University Chicago 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology,
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
$40,426*
Northern Illinois University 4-year, public; small suburb Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology,
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
$14,295, in-state; $23,761, out-of-state*
Northwestern University 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology $49,047*
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale 4-year, public; fringe rural Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology $13,137, in-state; $26,390, out-of-state*
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology,
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
$10,247, in-state; $21,740, out-of-state*
University of Chicago 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology $51,351*
University of Illinois at Chicago 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Sciences with a major in Anthropology $13,664, in-state; $26,520, out-of-state*
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a major in Anthropology $15,054, in-state; $30,214, out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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