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B.A. in Anthropology

Cook School of Intercultural Studies


Anthropology is the science of everything about human beings. In Biola's anthropology program, you'll study humans throughout time and around the world — including their biology, behaviors, communication and culture. Ultimately, you'll receive a scholarly foundation and practical skills for a wide range of in-demand careers, including as an anthropological researcher, which U.S. News and World Report recently ranked at No. 4 on its list of the Best Science Jobs of 2018, based on job projections through 2026.


  • 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 practical job-ready skills in all four fields of anthropological inquiry: cultural, linguistic, archaeological and biological anthropology.
  • Biola’s location in Southern California — one of the world’s largest and most diverse metropolitan areas — is ideal for anthropology internships, field research and job opportunities.
  • Biola’s campus is home to the buried remains of a Columbian mammoth, which gives archaeology students hands-on experience in excavation techniques.

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 for understanding culture
  • Biblical interpretation

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
Anthropology, B.A. '10
Dami Kim

The anthropology department in Biola is truly a vibrant community.

Anthropology, B.A. '14
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
Anthropology, B.A. '13
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.

What can I do with an Anthropology Degree?

Rather than doing their research solely in jungles, deserts and villages (as in prior generations), many of today’s anthropologists also work in their own societies, applying their knowledge about biology, culture, communication and how humans across societies and throughout time have adapted to the world around them toward solving real-world problems in complex areas like economics, health, education, law, and policy.

Top Skills Employers Value in Anthropology Majors

Your anthropology degree will help you develop marketable skills that are important to employers today. According to the American Anthropological Association, anthropology training equips students with:

  • Cross-cultural knowledge and practical methods for enhancing cross-cultural understanding
  • Knowledge about biological, ecological, and cultural factors that influence human behavior
  • Social ease in strange situations
  • Research methods, including skills in social research, qualitative interviewing and fieldwork, as well as quantitative methods
  • Attention to detail and analytical thinking that results in careful record keeping, analytical reading, clear thinking, and writing for descriptive reports and analytical papers
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Problem-solving ability – analyzing root causes of social problems and working towards solutions with people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds

Career Paths

As a well-equipped professional, you can expect to impact the world for Jesus Christ in fields such as:

  • Social justice
  • Activism and advocacy
  • Organizational and community development
  • Human services
  • Corporate/business consulting
  • User experience research and design
  • Product service design
  • Technology and information systems
  • Marketing
  • Public health
  • Healthcare administration
  • Nonprofit management
  • State and local government
  • Law enforcement
  • Environmentalism
  • Cultural heritage
  • Tourism
  • Religion
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Publishing
  • Forensics

Anthropology majors work in some of the world’s biggest technology and design firms and often find employment right out of college as researchers, evaluators and project managers. Anthropology career options include professions such as:

  • Activist/advocate
  • Ethnographic researcher
  • Cultural consultant/translator
  • User experience researcher
  • Administrator
  • Director of community development
  • Educator
  • Project evaluator
  • Project manager
  • Humanitarian worker
  • Risk management specialist
  • Archaeologist

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