Undergraduate Study in Anthropology
Undergraduate students who choose to pursue studies in anthropology at Binghamton have myriad opportunities. We offer two undergraduate degree options that are tailored to the different interests and career goals of majors, and provide excellent training for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in anthropology or related fields.
What can I do with a degree in anthropology?
Today, anthropologists conduct research in a variety of settings, from urban to rural locations, in the United States and internationally. But most professional anthropologists are employed outside of universities or museums. While many of our former students go on to pursue graduate study in anthropology or other fields, many more move directly into the workforce. Anthropology provides an excellent foundation for careers in such fields as:
- government and law
- education and library science
- environmental fields
- cultural resource management
- computer science
- publishing and advertising
Students of the program learn and apply all the approaches used by anthropologists, such as:
- excavating and analyzing the remains of past cultures
- observing primate behavior
- examining global social and cultural change
The department offers courses on field- and lab-based research methods that give students hands-on experience in how to conduct anthropological research, and we also encourage students to participate in study-abroad programs, as well as workshops on research skills. Internships can be arranged for anthropology credit which give students the opportunity to apply anthropological skills in a work setting. Thus, a student who earns a degree in Anthropology gains a wide range of practical skills that are applicable in many career areas.
Envisioning your future
The Department of Anthropology encourages students to plan for their futures and explore the many paths that individuals can travel with a degree in anthropology and has compiled a number of resources to help undergraduates gain a sense of life after graduation. These include a Career Resource Library that is maintained in the department office (S1-137) which includes information on internships, field schools, career opportunities, as well as an alumni network (graduates of our program who have agreed to be part of an information network for current students). We also offer periodic workshops and seminars on career opportunities.
Career Resource Library
Over 50 percent of all anthropology PhDs find employment outside the academy and an even larger number of BAs and MAs do. The Career Resource Library is designed to help familiarize students with the variety of possible careers open to people with anthropological training. Materials cover careers outside the field of anthropology as well as within it. Topics covered by these titles include how to utilize anthropological skills in industry, business, management and health research; how to teach anthropology; careers as independent consultants; ethnographic research; preparing to become an applied anthropologist; and the nature of anthropological fieldwork. The Career Resource Library is maintained in the department office (S1-137) and is available for you to browse any time the department office is open. You may sign titles out for a limited period, but we ask you to be considerate and return signed out materials in a timely fashion.
Volunteer research opportunities
Many faculty members need volunteers for their research projects. These opportunities offer students a way to envision their future, gain experience in anthropological research, while getting to know faculty members.
Students with archaeological experience can also volunteer with the Community Archaeology Program, a two-week summer program where volunteers participate in excavations alongside trained archaeologists.
Occasionally graduate students look for undergraduate volunteers to assist in research. Members of the Anthropology Graduate Organization (AGO) can help students find these opportunities.
Field schools allow students to gain practical experience and learn methodological skills, and the department typically conducts a summer field school. This summer session course offers training in research design, excavation techniques, mapping, surveying and artifact management. Field school training is valuable for finding employment in cultural resource management, or in going on to other field research opportunities.