Since the 1880s, when the GW Anthropology Department began granting degrees, hundreds of students have graduated from our program. We now offer three undergraduate degrees, an M.A. degree, and a Ph.D. Our sister program in Hominid Paleobiology offers the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.
Our graduates have gone on to success in many areas, including higher education, government work, museums, and the private sector. They are the recipient of many awards and honors, and we are proud of their accomplishments.
What Our Alumni Do
Many anthropology B.A. graduates have found professional employment using their B.A. degree. For example, one recent B.A. graduate who double majored in journalism is a news producer for a major newspaper; another operates a photography studio; a third went into collections management. However, those committed to the field of anthropology commonly pursue another degree.
Graduates from our professional M.A. concentrations in museum training and in international development are employed in numerous museums and galleries, in the former case, and in development and policy institutions, in the latter case. Some B.A. and M.A. graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D's in anthropology and are employed as academics.
We surveyed our alumni in 2007 and found that half of the respondents earned a degree or certificate beyond the B.A./B.S. or M.A. degree. They include the following master's degrees: M.B.A., J.D., M.P.A., M.P.H., M.S.W., and master's degrees in anthropology, education, media management, counseling, land use planning, environmental management, American studies, religion, and geography, and certificates in historic preservation and mediation and negotiation. Other respondents were still pursuing degrees at the time of the survey.
A significant number of our graduates go into the health professions. Several of alumni have earned an MD and at least one earned a B.Ac. degree from the College of Chinese Acupuncture in the UK. Other graduates have received degrees such as Dr. of Osteopathy, Dr. of Epidemiology, and several Master's of Public Health. The B.S. major in Biological Anthropology is proving to be a strong track for pre-medical students, with several graduates in medical school. One Biological Anthropology graduate went on to earn a master's of forensic archaeology and another a Ph.D. in forensic anthropology.
Several respondents have earned a Ph.D. in linguistics, cultural anthropology, or archaeology. The number of B.A. and M.A. graduates going on for a Ph.D. is increasing, particularly of those pursuing Ph.D's in anthropology. Alumni with museum positions include collections managers and managers of anthropology and zooarchaeology laboratories; alumni with academic careers hold tenured or tenure-track positions at numerous institutions, including Boston University, Cal State, Catholic University of Lima, University of Copenhagen, Cornell, Eckerd, George Mason, GW Medical Center, Howard, Kansas, Penn State, Pittsburgh, University of Queensland, UCLA, University College London, Wake Forest, and the School of Advanced Research.
Many alumni have gone on to earn honors and awards in their academic careers and in professional undertakings. Several are related to holding public office and other political achievements. For example, one alumnus was awarded the Secretary of the Interior's Point of Light Award and another was given the White House Quality and Management Improvement Award. Many have been awarded research grants and fellowships from such institutions as the National Cancer Institute and the Department of Homeland Security. Others have served as chairs for organizations including the City of Miami Beach Bureau of Children's Affairs and Hispanic Parity Task Force, the Washington Academy of Sciences, and the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Much alumni news is featured in our department newsletter, starting on p. 24.
Catch up on alumni news and events in GW's monthly alumni e-newsletter, the Colonial Cable.
You can also read about the Columbian College's prominent alumni and more on the GW alumni website.