For Students

For Students

Thinking About Studying Anthropology?

evolScullsYou might be interested in linguistics in the Caribbean or health policy in Indonesia, but where can you get comprehensive information about anthropology programs and what they have to offer? Whatever it is you want to know about individual anthropology programs, the AnthroGuide probably has the answer. Learn more>

Please be advised the AAA is not responsible for either these websites or the information they provide but merely supplies the information as a service to the anthropological community.

What is anthropology and why should we teach it?

What Will You Do with a Degree in Anthropology?

The job opportunities for trained anthropologists are limitless.  The skills of anthropologists - research methods, analytical thinking, intercultural communication, writing - are sought after by employers in a wide range of careers.  An anthropology degree is not just useful for an academic career. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for anthropologists and archaeologists for 2010-2020 is growing at a "faster than average" pace. Forbes included anthropologist among its Best Jobs for Women in 2012, due to anthropologists' reported levels of job satisfaction and security. Learn more>

Please also visit our Careers in Anthropology page for additional information.

What Do Anthropologists Do?

Explore the Prezi This is Anthropology, created by students at the University of South Florida, to learn about the many and varied ways anthropologists are using their skills to improve their world. 

Anthropology Staff Video Interview Series: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian InterviewMeet six Smithsonian anthropologists and find out what inspired them to go into the field of anthropology and about their careers at the Smithsonian. Staff interviewed: Torben Rick, curator of North American archaeology and Human Environmental Interaction; David Hunt, physical anthropology collections manager, Deborah Hull-Walski, anthropology collections manager; Gabriela Pérez Báez, curator of linguistics; Pam Wintle, film archivist, Human Studies Film Archives; and Stephen Loring, museum anthropologist, Arctic Studies Center.  Many thanks to AAA member Ann Kaupp (Smithsonian) for forwarding the information. Web Advisory Group (WAG) grant made this project possible. Learn more>

The Changing Face of Anthropology
This report produced by the Committee on Practicing, Applied and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA) contains key findings from a survey of graduates holding a Master's degree in anthropology. It reports information on their career pathways, an assessment of their academic preparation, and experiences and views on professional organizations. You can review the findings in either the full 70-page version or the 10-page summary.

Time Team America
The PBS series TIME TEAM AMERICA tracks the adventure as archaeologists race against time to excavate historic sites around the nation. The team has three days to uncover buried secrets using the latest technology, decades of expertise and their own sharp wits.

Anthropology Works
In 2008, the Committee for Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology endorsed a new direction and new name for the CoPAPIA column—“Anthropology Works.”  The idea was to broaden the types of issues covered in the column, and to introduce an element of discussion and interchange.  We wanted to broaden authorship, as well,  and address pressing issues for practitioners and applied anthropologists across all the subdisciplines and professions that make up anthropology.  You will see columns discussing the proposed changes for ethics in AAA’s by-laws and providing examples of contemporary issues in ethics faced by professional anthropologists; how anthropologists in practice are addressing homelessness; how museum anthropologists are doing applied anthropology and changing the nature of museums in communities, among other topics.  View the most recent columns in Anthropology News or catch up on past columns.

American Anthropological Association in The Huffington Post
Have you read what AAA members are writing about on The Huffington Post? There are more than 40 AAA members who are contributing to the AAA Huffington Post blog throughout this year on a variety of anthropological topics.

Please also visit our Careers in Anthropology page for additional information.

Entering a Graduate Program in Anthropology

Graduate School is a long, challenging, and rewarding process. Prospective students may apply to a number of programs and may repeat the application process over a numer of academic cycles. Considering your research interests, career goals, and learning style will help you identify the type of program that is right for you. Determine whether your career goals require a Master's- or Doctor's-level education. Contact faculty in the programs that pique your interests to discuss how you might work together. Communicate with current students to learn more about the academic environment. Consider the support available for tuition and research. Do your research and you will be better prepared to choose the program that is right for you.

Thinking about Graduate School in Anthropology?

Picking a Graduate School

Lost and Delirious in the Anthropology Graduate Application Process: Negotiations of the Self in early Graduate Socialization

The Education Index at PhDs.org 

College Reality Check at the Chronicle of Higher Education

Top 100 Thesis and Dissertation References on the Web

Selecting a Mentor

Academic mentors can be an invaluable source of support for graduate students. An effective mentor will listen closely to your interests and concerns, encourage you to achieve ever greater goals, and support you through the joys and challenges of working in a scholarly environment.

How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students

Choosing the Right Research Advisor

Choosing an Advisor: Grad school success hinges on finding your perfect match

The "Right" Postdoc Mentor

Support Services for Graduate Students

Grad Resources
Grad Resources is a non-profit organization based in Dallas, Texas that serves the practical and emotional needs of graduate students on several university campuses across the United States.

The Grad Café
Forums on Applying to Graduate School, Grad School Life, and more.

Conference Participation

The professional conference is a great opportunity to share your research, learn about the state-of-the-art work in your area of interest, expand your network of colleagues, and reunite with old friends. The 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association will take place in Chicago, Illinois, November 20-24. In addition, several AAA Sections hold meetings in the spring. Explore the links below for advice on etiquette, opportunities, and maximing your conference experience. View the Student Guide to the 111th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association for more information on events that were designed for students at the 2012 AAA Annual Meeting.

Conference Advice

The Academic Conference: tips and advice

How to Get to Carnegie Hall: Giving Good Paper

In Academia, the Conference Calls You

Conference Do's and Don't's

Giving an Academic Talk

How to Give a Fabulous Academic Presentation: Five Tips to Follow

Get Involved with AAA's Summer Internship Program

The American Anthropological Association is pleased to offer two internship opportunities funded by member donations. Internships are six weeks in length.  Internships are unpaid; however, interns will be provided housing and a meal/travel stipend. The 2012 application submission is now closed. View internship details.

Additional Resources

Most AAA Sections offer prizes and awards ranging from travel grants for students to lifetime achievement awards for established anthropologists.

The National Association of Student Anthropologists - A Section of the AAA dedicated to promoting the interests and involvement of students as anthropologists-in-training.

Lambda Alpha - National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology serves to recognize superiority, providing incentive for exceptional performance by granting certificates of accomplishment and an annual scholarship.

The Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs includes a resource area for students interested in studying anthropology.

In addition to 38 Sections where any aspiring anthropologists will be able to find a niche, AAA has 21 Committees and Commissions, many of which have great resources for students, including a career mentoring program and information for students interested in developing a career outside academia. Learn more>

The Committee on Ethics offers several resources regarding ethics codes, ethical dilemmas, and anthropological ethics. Learn more>

Please e-mail us with feedback or information requests.


Student Resource Highlights
AAA Resources

Open Anthropology: A Public Journal of the American Anthropological Association

Check out the Anthropology Now calendar for funding opportunities and deadlines!

Find Programs that Offer Online Anthropology Courses
Color Cover for Web Use Information extracted from the AnthroGuide. AAA members have access to the AnthroGuide in an online searchable form.
bullet Community Colleges
bullet 4-Year Programs
bullet Graduate Programs


Thinking About a Career in Anthropology?

AAA Career DVD's
Career DVDAnthropology: Real People, Real Careers is comprised of interviews with individuals working in 10 different fields in applied anthropology, while, Beyond Ethnography: Corporate and Design Anthropology offers a successful model for the use of anthropology in corporate settings. Read more> 

Anthropologists at Work: Careers Making a Difference, a DVD created by the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology in 1993, is also available. You may purchase this DVD in our online store.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Anthropology?
Anthropology Careers Brochure (PDF)


Hear what Anthropologists have to say in AAA's latest podcast.

Past Podcast Series: