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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.

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.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.


For new students, visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements. Upon acceptance and for current students:

  • Declare your certificate via myBanner (Login to Banner Self-Service, click on Student, Student Records, Add a Certificate or Badge to your Program, Select the appropriate certificate from the drop-down list, and click Submit)
  • Departmental approval is required. If denied, an email will be sent to your GVSU student email.  
  • Speak with the appropriate certificate coordinator to ensure criteria are being met (you will be able to track your progress toward the certificate in myPath as well!)
  • Once you are done with the requirements, apply to receive the certificate via myBanner.
  • Once the completion of your certificate has been verified, the certificate will be posted to your student record and will be viewable on your transcript. 

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.

For More Information

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

Admissions and Recruitment Office