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Careers in Anthropology

JMU Anthropology students pursue career paths according to their interests.

During their time at JMU, students in Anthropology develop their own career interests that reflect not only what they are learning with their professors but also their growing interests in the world around them. Our students are self-selecting and self-starters. They have clarity of purpose and are highly motivated to learn and gain new skills. These are some of the careers that our majors have pursued and found rewarding:

  • The Smithsonian
  • The National Park Service
  • Archaeological Firms
  • Publishing Houses
  • Media Organizations
  • Museums
  • Public Health Programs
  • Healthcare Organizations
  • NGOs
  • Graduate and Professional schools
  • Law School, Business School
  • Communications  and Public Relations
  • Counseling Professions
  • Marketing Companies
  • Human Resources
  • Government agencies


  • Financial Services
  • Peace Corps, Americorps, TFA
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Environmental consulting firms
  • Fundraising
  • Policy Institutes
  • International Affairs
  • Federal Government
Career Planning

Career Advising

Each year alumni from Anthropology return to JMU to meet with and advise our current students. Anthropology classes regularly contain material focused on career planning.  Faculty advise and supervise internships. Faculty also consult with JMU’s Career and Academic Planning Center on ways to position our majors to determine and development their professional tracks. Career advising begins on the first day of your major and continues well beyond graduation!

Career Compentencies in Anthropology
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Designing and asking critical questions, formulating data-driven solutions.
  • Oral and written communications, using qualitative and quantitative data
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Digital technology
  • Fluency in global, intercultural and social dynamics
Preparing for Graduate School

If and when our students go to graduate school, it is typically after a few years of post-JMU work experience. During this time, our students begin to focus in on the next few years of their lives and to consider what they will need from a graduate education to further develop their career trajectory.  Some of our students stay in Anthropology for graduate school. Most of our students, however, go into new fields, such as Business and Law, Cultural Resource Management, Public Health, Human Resources, Public Administration and International Affairs. Anthropology is a great springboard for the next stages of our students’ lives.

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