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Photo of Kate Yeater.



Kate Yeater learned about how non-governmental organizations support indigenous people in countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru through her internship with Amazon Watch in Washington, D.C. Read more here.

Majoring in Anthropology

Anthropology is unique among the social sciences in considering humankind from a holistic perspective that aims for an understanding of how culture, biology, history, and language intersect. A rigorous well-balanced four-field (biological, archaeological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology) undergraduate program helps students understand ideas and issues that they confront as citizens and in their careers. Undergraduates have an opportunity for hands-on experience in the summer archaeology field school as well as training in archaeological, osteological, ethnographic, and primatological methods.


Upon completion of the program, Anthropology majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their interest in Anthropology. Student experiences have included:

  • Teaching
  • Government/NGO/Non-profit employment
  • Nursing Recruiter
  • Conservation Education Resources Assistant
  • Graduate or professional school, such as Law School

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Anthropology majors develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include but are not limited to:

  • Planning and directing research to characterize and compare the economic, demographic, health care, social, political, linguistic, and religious institutions of cultural groups, communities, and organizations.
  • Collecting information and making judgements through observation, interviews, and review of documents.
  • Developing general rules that describe and predict the development and behavior of cultures and social institutions.
  • Understanding of analytical or scientific software such as SAS Hot technology or Systat.

In addition, the Anthropology Honors program provides an optional capstone experience for students. The year-long program enables students to focus on a particular empirical issue in an anthropological subdiscipline and to write an honors thesis based on that research.

Anthropology majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Pass the Torch for Women Foundation
  • Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Peace Corps

Graduate School

  • University of Hawaii
  • Michigan State University
  • University of South Florida
  • Concordia University

CLA Career Center