Top 7 Anthropology schools in the World

In today’s article we’ll be talking about the top 7 anthropology schools in the world. A little disclaimer before we get started; this ranking is from QS Ranking of global universities countries all around the world which means based on search factor as; Employer Reputation, Citation per faculty member, H index and if you want to know more about a school this is the best for you if you want to study anthropology and other social science or something completely different.

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Top Anthropology schools in the world

It is important to know some facts about anthropology before we go into full details about the top 7 anthropology schools in the world. The knowledge about this important information will help you while choosing a school to study anthropology.

What is Anthropology

According to the department of Anthropology at University of Davic, Anthropology is the systematic study of humanity, with the goal of understanding our evolutionary origins, our distinctiveness as a species, and the great diversity in our forms of social existence across the world and through time. The focus of Anthropology is on understanding both our shared humanity and diversity, and engaging with diverse ways of being in the world.

Who is an Anthropologist

In top 7 anthropology schools in the world, job description is important. Another thing to understand before going to the top 7 Anthropology schools in the world is who is an Anthropologist.

The definition of an anthropologist is a person who studies various elements of humans, including biology and culture, in order to understand human origin and the evolution of various beliefs and social customs.

What does an Anthropologist do?

Anthropologists study people via culture, while other social sciences, (such as psychology, engineering and ergonomics), specialize in singular aspects. Perhaps the best definition of the field of anthropology was articulated by anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber (1876-1960), who said, “Anthropology is the most humanistic of sciences and the most scientific of the humanities.”

Although closely related and often grouped with archaeology, anthropologists and archaeologists carry out different roles, though archeology is considered a sub-discipline of anthropology.

The role of an anthropologist differs as well from that of a historian. While an anthropologist will focus their studies on humans and human behaviour, historians will look at events from a broader perspective.

Anthropologists learn to listen without judgment and understand that there may be more than only one view of the world. In doing that, they learn to observe their own cultural beliefs and behaviours more critically.

There are four sub-fields, or sub-disciplines, in anthropology:
– Cultural/Social Anthropology
– Archaeology
– Biological/Physical Anthropology
– Linguistic Anthropology

While each sub-field has specific theoretical frameworks and methodologies, they also share a number of similarities, in that each one applies theories, employs systematic methodologies, formulates tests and hypotheses, and develops extensive sets of data.

Cultural/Social Anthropology

The focus of cultural or social anthropology – also referred to as ethnology – is basically to understand how people in different societies perceive themselves and the world around them. These perceptions are typically revealed through art, legends, myths, and social institutions such as families and leadership structures. Therefore, sociocultural anthropologists are interested in how humans behave in group settings and in the language, cultural rituals, and relationships that they develop.

The common perception of these anthropologists is that they study non-Western groups and societies in faraway, exotic places. This tended to be true during the early development of the sub-field. Today, though, ethnographers also focus on the subgroups and subcultures within Western society, seeking to uncover the logic behind how we behave.

Employed as social scientists for government or private research laboratories, these anthropologists conduct surveys and analyze data to develop new and more effective social policies. In the Western world, they may conduct census studies, work in disease prevention, or aid in the development of new crowd control techniques.

Sociocultural anthropologists may also be employed as policy and program analysts, studying and analyzing government or corporate policies to assess their effectiveness and determine whether social reform plans can be improved. In many ways, social scientists are sociologists who work to implement their theories in a variety of practical applications.


In all the top 7 Anthropology schools in the world, Archaeologists study human culture by uncovering and analyzing the objects that people have made and left behind. By examining pottery, tools, and other things that they remove from the ground and by mapping locations of houses, trash pits, and burial grounds, they form a picture of the lives led by a people.

By scrutinizing bones and teeth they are able to make inferences about a people’s diet and the diseases they suffered. As archaeologists uncover the hidden history of civilizations, they can look at how cultures change and at least begin to explain differences and similarities in human societies over time. While their discoveries are essential to the documenting of history, they may also sometimes prove beneficial to contemporary culture, by unveiling information that can help to avoid difficulties encountered in the past.

While archaeologists generally work in the field, excavating artifacts and studying historical structures, some also find employment as university professors or museum curators. Both curators and archivists organize and analyze large collections of evidence brought in from the field. They help interpret information from these collections and bring it to the attention of the public and community. Additionally, they oversee technical aspects of preservation and the display of exhibits within the museum.

Linguistic Anthropology

Linguistic anthropologists research language development and how it applies to modern cultures. For example, they might examine why the dialect of people in the southeastern United States carries a negative stereotype or why the Inuit have 15 different words to describe snow.

The objectives of these studies are to understand the values and concerns that are important to a specific culture and to develop more effective intercultural relationships.

The premise of linguistic anthropology is that while language is certainly a way of communicating, it is also a way of seeing the world and relating to one another. This means that linguistic anthropologists are interested in how the structure of a language reflects the structure of a society; or conversely, how the structure of a society impacts the evolution of a language.

They seek answers to rather large questions like: How is language connected to the way we live, the way that power is assigned, the way we adapt, and the way we are governed? How has it been shaped by and how does it shape social identity and perceptions of reality?

Biological/Physical Anthropology

Biological or physical anthropologists study the evolution and development of the human species. They pursue answers to questions like: How do humans adapt to different environments? What causes disease and early death? How did homosapiens evolve from other animals?

This branch of anthropology also endeavors to explain human variation by studying the differences in hair and skin color, the differences in blood types, the relationship between behavior and health, and the distribution of genetic traits. By gathering extensive data on these structures, biological anthropologists hope to increase health and decrease the spread of diseases. In short, they seek to make contributions to the holistic understanding of humans.

To arrive at their hypotheses and conclusions about human ancestry, these anthropologists study humans, both living and dead; other primates such as monkeys and apes; and fossil evidence.

In addition to being immersed in the evolutionary process, human genetics, and adaptation, biological anthropologists may be involved in studying and articulating the consequences of current-day nutrition habits and ecological issues such as pollution. This branch of specialization in physical anthropology is known as biomedical anthropology. Another specialization in the discipline is the study of the specific evolution of the brain, referred to as neuroanthropology.

Forensic anthropology is yet another area of specialization in biological/physical anthropology. It is concerned with the examination of human remains to assist police and medical examiners or coroners. Forensic anthropologists identify causes of death and analyze evidence that may lead to criminal prosecutions. Because they are also trained in archaeology, forensic anthropologists can excavate buried remains and meticulously record the evidence.

Forensic anthropologists are called upon to determine who died, how they died, and how long ago they died. They can read skeletons (skeletons of any age, modern or ancient) like you and I can read a book. Bones and teeth provide them with information on whether the remains are of an adult or of a child, and also provide clues to their diet, ways of life, sex, and ancestry. Trauma, disease, and cause of death can be indicated when they take a close look at the bones (abnormal shapes, sizes, density, fractures, cuts, bullet holes, etc).

Biological/physical anthropologists may also be employed by these multilateral organizations that focus on global health:
– World Health Organization
– World Bank
– United Nations Children’s Fund
– United States Agency for International Development
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
– Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières
– CARE International

For more information about what does Anthropologist to, visit this website

7. Australian National University (ANU)

ANU is home to Australia’s largest center for research and training in anthropology and their network has one of the largest concentration of expertise in anthropology, this in our top 7 Anthropology schools in the world. Also anywhere in the world they have over a hundred (100) staff and PhD students and many of them are engaged in long term ethnographic studies and research.

It’s the best one in Australia and the 7th best in the world. Something that ANU focuses on a lot is close work with other discipline. So Linguistics, History, Politics, Student in this different disciplines work a lot students in faculty and anthropology and vice versa.

6. University of Michigan (UMh)

The undergraduate department at UM is committed to four field anthropology. The provide exposure to their student in anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology.

It’s a holistic approach looking at all four of those approaches with a singular intellectual goal I may say to achieve a more competitive and comprehensive understanding of humanity.

5. University College London (UCL)

UCL’s Department is one of, actually only a few broad base anthropology department in the UK which comprises the four sub-sections; the UCL anthropology tauts which are biological anthropology, social anthropology, material culture and medical anthropology and both their teaching approach and their resource reflects this breath and multi-disciplinary approach such that students and faculty who are doing research there are really looking at all four of those in a way that over lapses and never one exclusively.

4. University of California Berkeley

A big accomplishment, UC Berkeley Faculty in anthropology is that they have the largest numbers of winner of the JI Stirling Prize which is awarded annually to an outstanding anthropology book by a living author. This and more makes it one of our top 7 Anthropology schools in the world.

It the only discipline wide award in anthropology. So they are the most decorated faculty in anthropology. Anthropology undergraduates often time go onto pursing masters in museum studies / archaeology or in many other social sciences.

They equip their students, many students who are rigorously involved in anthropology at UC Berkeley will go onto to getting a phD somewhere in the social sciences whether it in museum studies / archaeology or another decent field whether that’s archeology, biology or more. Another popular option is law school.

3. Harvard University

The most exciting thing of studying anthropology at Harvard is that you’re connected with one of the best museum networks in the world for anthropological, archaeological studies. This and many more makes it one in our list of top 7 Anthropology schools in the world.

The museums at Harvard are awesome , they are some of the best in the world and starting even as a fresh man whether you want to study anthropology or not you can engage in a fresh man seminar which includes such topics as digging Egypt’s past, Egyptian archaeologist, Contested archaeology of China Korea and Japan.

These are classes for only freshmen, it’s an opportunity as a freshman to study sometime that you never approached before in a small setting with world renowned faculty with no pressure of getting good grades once you start and then for those who actually go into the anthropology department in Harvard, there are many areas which include economic and technological transformation, environment landscaping, migration and more.

2. University of Cambridge

Much like University of Harvard which is also Top 7 Anthropology schools in the world, the University of Cambridge has some really incredible museum there the museum of anthropology and archaeology, social anthropology has its own unique collections of ethnographic films and if you are in the faculty of human social and political science that mean you can also combine with the study of anthropology and archaeology in many other department and fields.

There’s couple of options at social anthropology at the university of Cambridge, you can get a BA in social anthropology, you can get a masters of Philosophy in social anthropology which can be a conversion or top up degree and if you already have substantial background in social anthropology from studying in another school you can apply for an MB directly admitted to a post graduate research program that leads to a PhD and its Cambridge, there’s so much old stuff there.

1. University of Oxford

Oxford anthropology and archaeology has existed for over a century of teaching and research, outstanding connections to museums and resources just like at Cambridge, Harvard and really incredible library resources.

They operate comprehensive guide to the richness diversity of human cultural experience drought space and time and they are the best and top 7 Anthropology schools in the world.

That has been the Top 7 Anthropology Schools in the World but like I said before definitive list, there are a lot of other great places to study anthropology; you can study whatever you want to study and if you want to take the next step towards figuring out where it is that you should study keeping reading our articles and subscribe to your newsletter so that you can find out when our new articles are published.

Apart from the top 7 anthropology schools in the world, there are other schools that you can apply to that are nice. Some of them are best fashion design schools in Germany.