COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Anthropologists study human beings, globally and cross-culturally, and recognize that each way of life is but one possibility among many. In a pluralistic world, where people from different places and backgrounds frequently interact, anthropology is an important tool for helping us understand each other and the rapid changes going on around us. Anthropology offers the potential to broaden our understanding of what it means to be a person, to question what passes as “normal” or “natural”, and to examine the world we inhabit as interconnected by environmental, political, economic, cultural and social forces.

While anthropologists have traditionally studied in small scale, non-Western societies, today we apply our participatory research methods and a combination of humanistic and social scientific perspectives to all kinds of situations: if people do it, you can study it as an anthropologist.

Carleton’s anthropology program specializes in socio-cultural anthropology, which is the study of contemporary societies and cultures through direct engagement, participant-observation and other qualitative methods. Our faculty works in various contexts and communities in Alaska, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Thailand, the Andes, and Sub-Saharan Africa, among others. Our faculty specializes in a range of topics including:

The study of Indigenous people’s lives in context (e.g. Indigenous-state relations; governance & colonialism; language; urban indigenous communities).

Environmental issues (e.g. Human-environmental relations; subsistence politics; the Anthropocene; climate change; natural resources)

Transnational & global issues (e.g. transnational adoption; development; migration; diaspora; sex tourism)

Race, ethnicity, and nationalism (e.g. Ethno-history; ethno-politics)

Selfhood, personhood, subjectivity, identity, psychiatric anthropology, and phenomenology;

Genders and sexualities (e.g. Motherhood; reproductive health; gendered childhood; feminist theories/methodologies).

Political economy (e.g. global capitalisms; processes of commodification; capitalist and non-capitalist societies)

The Carleton Advantage

You will learn from faculty who study topics as diverse as sex work, farming, human-animal relations, museums, development, immigration, Tibetan Buddhism, international adoption, and spirit possession - as well the basic structures that shape our lives such as race, class, and gender.

You will develop your ability to write, so social research, analyze ideas, synthesize information, and compassionately interpret the world in which we live.

Program faculty specializes in socio-cultural anthropology, which is the study of contemporary societies and cultures by directly engaging their members through open dialogue, participant-observation and other qualitative methods.

You will have the option to participate in Co-operative education, complete a field placement or write an independent honours research paper.

Studying Anthropology can lead to careers in fields like government, non-governmental organizations, public or private sector, international development, health care, social services, education and higher education, and policy-writing, among others.

Career paths: Advocacy; community organizing; consultancies; counselling and mediation; education; environment; immigration services; international development; journalism; marketing and advertising; museology; personnel services; public health; public policy development; research; urban planning; user experience research

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
CAD$29,022.88 (US$ 23,455) per year
Given tuition fee is for International

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected September 2022


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

330 Paterson Hall,

1125 Colonel By Drive,


Ontario (ON),

K1S 5B6, Canada

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants who have completed Grade 12 in the U.S. or in a U.S. overseas school, will be considered for admission to first year at Carleton University. The Grade 12 program must include at least four academic units and a minimum of 16 academic units must have been completed during Grades 9 to 12. A minimum average of B- or better is required for admission. For Honours or some limited enrolment programs, however, a higher average may be required. English language requirement: Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): Minimum score of 70 overall with a minimum score of 60 on each band; Internet Based (iBT) TOEFL: 86 (22 in writing and speaking, 20 reading and listening); IELTS (Academic): 6.5 IELTS (min 6.0 each band); Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: 60 (min 60 in each Communicative Skill); Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): 85 (min. score of 80 on each section).

For international students

High school graduation is the normal minimum level of study to be considered for admission to the first year of an undergraduate program at Carleton University. Academic performance in previous studies is the main determining factor for admission to undergraduate degree program.

Entry requirements vary country by country.

Students with scores shown in below may be admitted with English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR). When they first start in their program, these students will be required to take our ESL Foundation courses along with a limited number of courses from their degree program. This admission with an ESLR allows students to earn academic credits from degree courses taken while completing the English requirements.

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) - Overall score between 40 and 69 (with a minimum score in each band of 30 and a minimum average of 40 over writing, reading, and listening)

Internet Based (iBT) TOEFL - 61-85 (min 15 each section)

IELTS (Academic) - 5.0 – 6.4 (min 4.5 each band and the average of writing plus reading plus listening divided by 3 must be a min. of 5)

Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - N/A

TOEFL ITP Plus (*temporary testing solution for China during Covid19) - Minimum score between 543 and 626 overall, with a minimum subtest score of 53

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Carleton University

Students at Carleton University experience immersive learning through degree-related work experience, hands-on research, and community engagement.

  • Located in a beautiful green space close to downtown Ottawa
  • Most programs offer co-op (paid work-study experience)
  • 14 per cent of students are international
  • Second most sustainable university in Canada