B.A. in Anthropology

Cook School of Intercultural Studies


By nature, most of us live with cultural nearsightedness. Anthropology offers a set of “eyeglasses” — giving us a broader understanding and appreciation of the values, languages and behaviors that have defined humans past and present. In Biola’s anthropology program, you’ll receive a scholarly foundation and practical research tools for a wide range of careers that require cultural sensitivity and understanding of human behavior.


  • Applied Anthropology

    The applied anthropology concentration seeks to provide students with the ability to apply anthropological research in the area of solving human problems.

  • Archaeology

    The archaeology concentration provides students with training in archaeological methods and research. Students may take electives in biblical, classical or prehistoric archaeology.

  • General Anthropology

    In addition to the pre-established concentrations, students may also have the option to consult with their academic advisor to customize a unique concentration based on career goals.

  • Linguistic Anthropology

    The linguistic anthropology concentration is designed for students interested in the relationship of language in culture.

  • Physical Anthropology

    The physical anthropology concentration provides students the opportunity to study the variation and adaptation of human biology within its cultural context.

  • Socio-Cultural Anthropology

    The socio-cultural anthropology concentration provides students with a broad understanding of human behavior through a cross-cultural perspective.

Why Choose Anthropology at Biola?

In addition to its strong curriculum, expert faculty members and biblical integration, Biola’s anthropology program offers several key advantages:

  • Biola is one of the only Christian universities in the United States to offer a program that focuses on all five fields of anthropological inquiry: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, applied anthropology and archaeology.
  • Biola’s location in Southern California — one of the world’s largest and most diverse metropolitan areas — is ideal for internships, field research and job opportunities.
  • Biola’s campus is home to the buried remains of a Columbian mammoth, which gives anthropology students hands-on experience in excavation and archaeology.

What Will I Study?

Throughout the anthropology program, there will be a focus on research, cultural change, worldview and perceptions, subsystems of cultures and social organization. Some of the topics and course highlights include:

  • The nature of people in culture
  • Global problems such as human rights
  • How to interpret research data
  • Prominent figures and their contributions to the field
  • Linguistics
  • World religions
  • Economic and social relations
  • Methods and theories of archaeology
  • Biblical interpretation

View Courses

Joel McBrayer

I have enjoyed having my mind stretched to see that there are numerous amazing cultures around the world and that God delights in and wants to redeem each of them.

Joel McBrayer
Anthropology, B.A. '15
Brett Stroud

... I really felt as though I was part of a community of learners centered around the word of God. I am aware of no other place quite like it, and I remember it with great fondness.

Attorney and Law Professor
Aimee Earl

While I was growing my knowledge as pertaining to my major and career, I was also able to grow my faith.

Coroner Investigator
4 years
Standard Duration
This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary by student depending on background and courseload.
Total Program Credits
Total program credits include a combination of major/concentration, Bible/theology and general education credits.
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

Career Paths

Many career opportunities in community and rural development, education, social welfare and nonprofit and public agencies await future graduates of Biola's anthropology program. As a well-equipped professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in professions such as:

  • Archaeologist
  • Director of community development
  • Educator
  • Ethnographical researcher
  • Evangelist
  • Humanitarian
  • Risk management specialist
  • Translator

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