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Medical Anthropology Degree (Bachelor of Arts)

When you pursue a bachelor’s degree in medical anthropology, you’ll develop the skills necessary to implement healthcare in an increasingly complex world while considering the importance of culture. This sociocultural approach, emphasized by fieldwork, is what makes Creighton’s medical anthropology program so unique.

Learn the skills it takes to analyze healthcare locally, nationally and internationally and make a difference in a variety of fields including epidemiology and criminology. Students are prepared for advanced studies and employment with organizations such as the World Health Organization or U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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Program Details

What is Medical Anthropology?

Medical anthropology examines the social, cultural and biological factors that influence health, illness and healing across societies and cultures. It explores how people understand, experience and respond to health and illness within their cultural contexts. 

Overall, medical anthropology aims to provide insights into the intersection of culture, society and health, with the goal of improving healthcare practices, policies and outcomes for diverse populations around the world. 

As a medical anthropology student, you’ll learn about the factors that influence health and well-being, the experience and distribution of illness, the prevention and treatment of sickness, healing processes, therapy management and the cultural importance of having multiple medical systems. This knowledge is vital to developing, assessing and improving healthcare programs and services. 

You can take classes like Global Health: A Biosocial and Justice-Oriented Approach; Healthcare, Society and Culture; and Statistics for the Social Sciences. See the full curriculum. 

Medical Anthropology Minor

The 18-credit minor introduces students to the study of health, illness and healthcare through a cultural lens.

What Are Career Opportunities with a Medical Anthropology Degree? 

Students with a degree in medical anthropology often pursue an MA or a PhD in medical anthropology and public health or seek admission to graduate school or other professional degree programs in health and medicine.

Students have strong employment prospects for academic and nonacademic positions. Within academia, there has been steady growth in the number of faculty positions for medical anthropologists over the last decade. Medical anthropologists are also well qualified for faculty positions in medicine, public health, nursing and allied disciplines. 

Medical anthropologists also have excellent prospects for positions in government and the nonprofit or private sectors. Employment opportunities come from organizations such as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, international development agencies, and domestic community and public health organizations. Medical anthropologists work in various fields, including healthcare, administration, education, public health, development and criminology.


Frequently Asked Questions About the Medical Anthropology Degree

A medical anthropology major is different from a general anthropology major because it focuses specifically on health, illness and treatment in the context of cultures and societies. In contrast, general anthropology covers broader topics, like archaeology and cultural anthropology. 

Medical anthropology majors:

  • Concentrate on health-related topics, like cultural beliefs about health and illness, healthcare systems, medical practices and social determinants of health
  • Explore the cultural, social and political dimensions of health and illness, exploring things like healing rituals, medical ethics and health disparities
  • Often pursue careers in public health, healthcare administration, global health research, international development, healthcare policy and advocacy

Overall, medical anthropology majors focus specifically on the study of health-related issues within the broader context of culture. 

At Creighton, undergraduate students will find plenty of opportunities for research. 44% of Arts and Sciences students take part in undergraduate research, some as early as freshman year.  

Specific research topics are as varied as our students, but from a high-level view, medical anthropologists investigate a wide range of topics, including: 

  1. Cultural beliefs and practices related to health and healing 
  2. The role of social structures, such as gender, race, ethnicity and class, in shaping health disparities and access to healthcare 
  3. The impact of globalization, migration and environmental changes on health and healthcare systems 
  4. The interactions between Western biomedicine and other traditional healing systems
  5. The influence of political, economic and historical factors on health policies and healthcare delivery 

Learn more about undergraduate research at Creighton. 

Yes. Many of the medical anthropology students at Creighton go on to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees. You can choose to further your studies in medical anthropology, apply your skills to a related degree, pursue a professional degree in healthcare and more.

Admissions Requirements

Creighton admissions are based upon:

  • High school GPA
  • ACT or SAT scores*
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Personal statement to demonstrate creative abilities not reflected in your transcripts
  • Recommendation from high school counselor
  • Honors sections and advanced placement courses will enhance a candidate’s application
*For students who are choosing to apply test-optional, ACT/SAT exam scores are not required at the time of application for admission.

Dates & Deadlines

Applications for the fall semester open on Aug. 1 of the prior year. For scholarship consideration, the earlier you complete your undergraduate application, the better. For up-to-date deadlines, visit our admissions page.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition rates are updated each year. Visit our financial aid site to learn more about the cost of attendance.

Financial Aid

Creighton University’s Financial Aid Office administers over $200,000,000 in student aid each year from federal, state, institutional and private sources.

To help make your undergraduate studies at Creighton University more affordable, we encourage you to file the FAFSA to apply for financial assistance. A variety of scholarships are also available.

Medical Anthropology and Sociology Society

  • Medical anthropology students come together to increase knowledge of world issues pertaining to the overall health of society in an attempt to create social justice. We strive to help those who are interested in the medical anthropology field as well as those who may be stigmatized or marginalized in the community.

NETwork Against Malaria

  • NETwork Against Malaria raises awareness of the plight of Malaria in Uganda and attempts to raise funds for malaria prevention/relief. In addition, NETwork Against Malaria intends to provide community education on health and wellness of people of the Hoima Diocese in Uganda.

Students work individually with faculty members to arrange internship and service-learning opportunities that are customized according to students’ unique interests and career goals.

Still have questions?

Reach out to an admissions counselor.

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