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Museum Anthropology

Museum Anthropology cross-cuts all of the sub-disciplines in anthropology. Some individuals working in this area are based out of academic positions in colleges and universities, while others work within a museum setting. Museum anthropologists also work from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Areas of specialization include:

Museum Anthropology also tends to be cross-disciplinary with areas such as history, art history, Indigenous studies, folklore, and the natural sciences.

For those working within museums, Museum Anthropology tends to take on a more applied angle: reaching the public and crafting multi-vocal exhibition narratives. Similarly, for those academics who train museum professionals, the focus is on education, outreach and learning to balance the needs/desires of various stakeholders.


There are a variety of career paths in Museum Anthropology. Most tend to be outside of academia, and many require some form of advanced degree. Some anthropology departments in the U.S. have M.A. programs in Museum Anthropology or may have an applied anthropology track that allows students to focus on museum work. Students should be aware that there are a variety of career paths within State and Federal agencies.

Some careers in this field include:

Suggested anthropology courses

Suggested related courses

Relevant fieldwork and internships

Related minors and academic programs