Anthropology Online Undergraduate Program

The mission of the B.A. in Anthropology is to provide a program of study that will produce graduates who possess a greater understanding of human biological and cultural diversity and thus possess the skills necessary to successfully navigate our rapidly changing global environment.

We offer a fully online Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. Our program provides students with a holistic education, which is the basis of anthropology itself. We address social and cultural consequences from a global perspective. You have the opportunity to concentrate your coursework in one of four major subfields: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology and linguistics. You can also pursue a focus in an interdisciplinary track with another major or minor.

Through in depth skill development in research, data management, critical thinking and collaboration, WIU Anthropology graduates will have a comprehensive education in a discipline that combines science and the humanities.

The Anthropology program at WIU places special emphasis on the environment. No other university in the state of Illinois currently offers a concentration in environmental issues in anthropology at the undergraduate level. Environmental anthropology examines human-environment interactions across the full range of socio-cultural variation and from the earliest human societies to the contemporary global system. Courses and research projects in the Anthropology program also investigate the role of environmental change and biological adaptation in the history of primate and human communities. Through an environmental focus, WIU Anthropology faculty attempt to understand environmental problems not only from a Western scientific standpoint, but also from the multiple and often conflicting perspectives of members of national, regional, local, or indigenous cultures.

Our flexible program, which can be completed either online or on campus (or a combination of the two), provides coursework in the following areas:

  • Ethnoecology, ethnobotany, anthrozoology, ecofeminism, comparative primatology and ethnoprimatology, and traditional environmental knowledge
  • Archaeology and biological anthropology, including forensic anthropology, medical anthropology, and molecular anthropology
  • Field and laboratory research methods
  • History of human and primate interactions within environmental contexts
  • Political ecology, sustainable development, and environmental justice
  • Critical environmental studies, and local food systems
  • Comparative cultural studies
  • Linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics


In addition to completion of the University General Education and College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Requirements, Anthropology majors are required to complete four core courses (ANTH 110, 111, 419, and either  ANTH 380 or EIS 440); two courses in the directed electives (either ANTH 201 or ANTH 249; and either ANTH 305, 310, 325, or 326); plus 15 hours (five classes) of Anthropology coursework (with at least four upper-division courses). A total of thirty-three semester hours are required for a major in Anthropology. Anthropology majors will also complete a minor in a related field.

Please see the current Undergraduate Catalog for details, or check STARS for information about available courses.