Skip to main content

LAKERS TOGETHERGrand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.



Applied Anthropology undergraduate certificate

A certificate in applied anthropology (CAA) is designed to help students learn practical skills and concepts that will be useful for careers in government, business, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as graduate school.

Anyone admitted to GVSU as a degree-seeking student may complete this certificate.

Visit the program website for more information.

Why Study Applied Anthropology at Grand Valley?

  • Anthropology is a growing field, with increasing numbers of organizations seeking employees with ethnographic training.
  • Anthropology uses data-based ideas and theories to solve real-world problems.
  • Skills gained through applied anthropology are important in government, business, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Anthropology plays a crucial role in human-centered design approaches.
  • Humanitarian and health crises efforts worldwide have been improved by those trained in anthropology.
  • Students who complete the certificate gain solid skills and experience useful in careers and/or graduate school.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this program study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


Courses in ethnographic research, applied anthropology, a relevant elective class, and an intensive 6-credit internship in the area of the student's chosen focus, are required. Students will learn how to conduct research, understand that research in an anthropological context, and get experience using the knowledge they gain for solving problems in the real world.

The CAA requires students to take 15 credits, including upper-division courses in Ethnographic Methods (ANT 400) and Applied Anthropology (ANT 420). The rest of the certificate requirements are based on individual student interest, involving one elective (from a choice of more than 30 options in 13 different disciplines) and an intensive 6-credit summer internship in a location arranged by the student and his or her anthropology department mentor.

Career Options

Areas of specialization may include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental issues
  • Human rights and social justice
  • Public policy and politics
  • Globalization
  • Health
  • Archaeology
  • International Business
  • Gender issues

For More Information

Department of Anthropology
231 Lake Michigan Hall
(616) 331-2325

Admissions Office