Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology Programs

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Resources for Students


Careers in Practicing Anthropology
Distance Learning Opportunities at the Graduate Level
Other Resources


Careers in Practicing Anthropology

Online Video

Northern Arizona University has developed a series of video clips about different career options for students in applied anthropology programs.  Careers described include medical anthropology, cultural resource management, and environmental anthropology. 

Career DVDs

The American Anthropological Association sells two DVDs on careers in anthropology. The first compiles and extends the online video clips mentioned above.

Designing an Anthropology Career: Professional Development Exercises, by Sherylyn H. Briller and Amy Goldmacher.

"This book takes career exploration to the next level. It presents a valuable set of techniques and exercises to help anthropologists apply their knowledge, skills, and experiences to the job search regardless of their stage in the career cycle." --Elizabeth Briody

NAPA Bulletin 27. Applied Research and Practice from the Next Generation: The NAPA Student Achievement Award-Winning Papers, 2001-2005.

The 13 winning papers from the NAPA Student Achievement Awards 2001–05. NAPA began the award to support and encourage students to undertake applied and practicing anthropology projects.

NAPA Bulletin 26. Making History at the Frontier: Women Creating Careers as Practicing Anthropologists.

Eleven practitioners tell the stories of their work lives, and how work and personal strands are intertwined. The lessons learned are useful for both men and women considering a career in practice. Available through AnthroSource, an electronic database of journals. Most universities subscribe to AnthroSource, and it is also a benefit of membership in the American Anthropological Association.

NAPA Bulletin 20. Careers in Anthropology: Profiles of Practitioner Anthropologists.

Includes sections on the private sector; policy, human rights, and advocacy; government, human service, and museums; international development; and academically based work. Available through AnthroSource, an electronic database of journals. Most universities subscribe to AnthroSource, and it is also a benefit of membership in the American Anthropological Association.

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If you are a student planning a career in practice, you should start to network in the applied anthropology community, especially with professionals who have similar interests. Networking will help you learn more about the field, and develop connections that help you obtain internships and jobs.

There are a number of professional associations for applied anthropologists; see our page on this topic. Explore the websites of relevant associations, and consider going to their meetings. Also look at the sections that comprise the AAA; you may find some that match your interests, such as the Society for Medical Anthropology.

Finally, there are many email lists focused on particular applied specialties, from environmental anthropology to design anthropology. They are a great way to connect to a community. You can find these email lists through the association websites, through Google searches, and by networking with professionals in your area of interest.

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Distance Learning Opportunities at the Graduate Level

Web-based instruction offers an educational opportunity to people who are prevented by their geographic location as well as work and family situations from attending a traditional on-campus graduate program. At present two universities offer master’s level courses in applied anthropology.

University of North Texas offers the only completely online master’s program in anthropology; it is also possible to take individual online courses. Contact Marisa Abbe, Graduate Programs Coordinator, for more information, at

Northern Arizona University offers occasional online master’s courses in ethics and archaeology topics.

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Other Resources

AAA Resources for Students
A diverse collection of information and resources for those who are considering a career in anthropology.
Anthropology MA Alumni Survey
In 2009 the AAA Committee on Practicing, Applied, and Public Interest Anthropology (CoPAPIA) undertook an MA alumni survey. This survey examined where anthropology MAs had gone in their careers and how they benefited from their master's programs.
Mentoring FAQs from the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology
This web page includes nearly 60 Frequently Asked Questions–and answers–about the study of applied anthropology and careers in applied anthropology.
A forum with job listings, resume posting, a students’ corner, and other resources.
Anthropology News (available to members of the American Anthropological Association)
The monthly newspaper of the AAA often has articles about practicing and applied anthropology. In particular, the NAPA Column features a "Practitioner Profile" each month, and also includes other information of interest to students preparing for an applied career.
Applied Anthropology Field School in Malta
Led by Dr. Marc Vanlangendonck of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. As a consequence of its location at the crossroads of maritime routes between Europe, Africa and Asia, Malta has always been strategically important. Many different cultures have set foot on the islands… At the same time, Malta has a perfectly English-speaking population. This enhances accessibility for foreign researchers… Plenty of possibilities for interesting field research are available: from architectural and religious sites to tourism and ethnic relations.
Forensic Science Technician
A guide to forensic science degree programs.
The History Of People: A Guide To Amateur Archaeology
Useful links to many archaeology associations and websites.
Dental Analysis in Archaeology
Information about what teeth can teach us about the life of their owners. Links to related resources.
Educational Guide for Archaeologists
Introduction to the field of archaeology.

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Susan Hyatt
Co-Chair, COPAA
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Cavanaugh Hall 413
425 University Blvd.
Indianapolis, IN 46202