Skip to content

Anthropology Master’s Degree Program

  • Online Courses

    11 out of 12 total courses

  • On-Campus Experience

    2 weekends or one 3-week summer course

  • Tuition

    $3,220 per course

Tourists at a Maya temple inside the Museum of Anthropology.

Explore human cultures and societies.

Gain a deep understanding of global complexities and their implications on the human experience.

Program Overview

Through the graduate degree in the field of anthropology and archaeology you:

  • Build a foundation in the theories and methods of anthropology and archaeology through the investigation of the material culture of past societies.
  • Enhance your understanding of the similarities and differences across cultures, including their origins and their contemporary implications for ideology, religion, gender, land use, ethnic conflict, race, and current political and environmental crises.
  • Choose between an individual one-on-one thesis research project or a final capstone project completed in community with your fellow candidates.
  • Earn an optional graduate certificate in social justice.

Program Benefits

  • Map with a flag.

    Customizable path

  • Teacher speaking to class.

    Expert instructors, including faculty from Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences

  • Two people talking at a table.

    Personalized academic advising

  • Notebook and pencil.

    A faculty-supported thesis or applied research project

  • Texbook.

    Paid research opportunities

  • Graduation cap and diploma.

    Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

Our course curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your career goals.

As you work through the 12-course program, you’ll have the opportunity to examine topics focused on identity and social justice. You can further customize your studies by selecting either a thesis or capstone track and by choosing electives that align with your interests.

11 Online Courses

  • Primarily synchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

On-Campus Experience

You’ll complete 1 on-campus course at an accelerated or standard pace:

  • 2 weekends
  • A 3-week summer session

Thesis or Capstone Track

  • Thesis: a 9-month independent research project with a faculty advisor
  • Capstone: an academic project in a classroom community


The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

You first register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

Our Community at a Glance

Our working adult students don't need to wait to finish their degrees to start enjoying the career benefits of their Harvard education. Well over 50% of graduates every year report to us that simply completing courses toward their degrees contributes to career benefits.

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will receive your Harvard University degree — a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Anthropology and Archaeology.

Download: Anthropology Master's Degree Fact Sheet

  • 38

    Average Age

  • 1-2

    Average Courses Taken Each Semester

  • 73%

    Work Full Time

  • 94%

    Would Recommend the Program

  • 27%

    Professional Experience in the Field

  • Most

    Pursued for Career Change or Personal Enrichment

Ryan Christopher Jones.
Ultimately, I want to teach, I want to keep researching and I want to keep using photography to explore anthropological ideas and really bring those ideas to the public.
Ryan Christopher Jones
Bachelor of Liberal Arts (ALB) in the field of Anthropology, '22

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Tuition (2023–24 rate) $3,220 per course
Average Tuition of Peer Institutions $4,330 per course
Average Total Cost $38,640

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

Learning & Connection

Deep learning springs from human connection. That’s why we work so hard to bring people together — whether in a live virtual classroom or an in-person seminar on campus.

Our approach to online learning fosters interaction without sacrificing flexibility. Each week, you’ll engage with your instructor, participate in peer discussions, and receive one-on-one support from teaching staff—all from your home or office.

Online Learning at Harvard Extension School
Student at computer