From Neanderthals to Millennials, discover what it means to be human

In a rapidly changing and increasingly globalized world, the insights of anthropology are more valuable than ever.

In Anthropology at Waterloo, you’ll explore cultures past and present. Delve into the origins of human and primate evolution, use archaeology to learn more about earlier societies, or tackle contemporary issues such as violence and media.

Our first-year introductory anthropology course exposes you to the breadth of this discipline. In your upper years, you can focus your degree on the area of anthropology that interests you most: socio-cultural, archaeological, or biological (physical) anthropology.

You’ll graduate to a wide range of career options, including market research, cultural resource management, forensic anthropology, and international development, with the added bonus of work experience if you take the co-op stream.

Pick from 40+ courses

Choose from more than 40 courses, including seminars, field courses, and independent research courses.

Conduct fieldwork overseas

Want to give your degree an international edge? Opt for fieldwork in the Mediterranean, the Arctic, or Africa.


Stefan, an Anthropology degree student, looks into the camera.

Stefan fell in love with Anthropology after taking a class in grade 11. Later, he participated in excavating the ancestral sites of Indigenous groups in southern Ontario after graduating from Anthropology at Waterloo.

icon of the globeInternational exchanges in 25 countries

BreifcaseAvailable as a co-op and regular program

icon of open bookAvailable as a major and minor


Anthropology degree admissions

Apply to Honours Arts or Honours Arts and Business and choose Anthropology as your major at the end of first year. 

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First-year Anthropology courses 

September to December

  • ANTH 100 - Introduction to Anthropology
  • Arts First requirement 1*
  • Three additional courses

January to April

  • ANTH 201 - Introduction to Archaeology OR ANTH 202 - Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Arts First requirement 2*
  • Three additional courses

*The Arts First requirement consists of two first-year courses that are capped at 25 students: ARTS 130 - Inquiry and Communication and ARTS 140 - Information and Analysis. Instead of listening to a lecture and trying to capture notes, Arts First courses will have you and your classmates working together to respond to a challenge posed by the instructor.

After first year

40% of the classes you’ll take will be Anthropology courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo or fulfil additional requirements for your chosen entry program.

Sample upper-year courses 

ANTH 290 – Visual Anthropology
ANTH 303 – Anthropology of Digital Media
ANTH 355 – Human Osteology
ANTH 455 – Skeletal Biology and Forensics


icon of network of peopleOffered by the Faculty of Arts

CapEarn a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Anthropology


Co-op = relevant paid work experience

By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.

Sample co-op job titles

  • Archaeological field technician
  • Student historical teacher/interpreter
  • Marketing intern
  • Human resources co-op
  • Lab assistant

Sample co-op employers

  • World Vision Canada
  • CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc
  • Target Directories Corp
  • Waterloo Region Museum
  • University of Waterloo

Customize your Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology degree

You can also include one or more of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Anthropology students include French, History, and Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies.

What can you do with a degree in Anthropology?

Waterloo Anthropology graduates typically pursue careers in research, forensic anthropology, and more. They often work in research laboratories, non-profit organizations, museums, and government departments.

Recent graduates

  • Field Archaeologist – Archaeological Services
  • Technical Specialist – Edward Jones Investments
  • Collections Manager – Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum
  • Scientific Officer - Australian Museum
  • Transit Planner - City of Mississauga
  • Supervising Agent - AIL Traboulay Agency

Learn about the future of careers in arts, humanities, social sciences, languages, and creative arts.

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