North Central College - Naperville, IL


Why choose anthropology at North Central College?

You won’t simply explore the diversity of world culture in the classroom—you’ll witness it firsthand. You’ll have the chance to travel almost anywhere in the world through our robust study abroad program. And closer to home, you can research or intern at The Field Museum in Chicago, which is just a short train ride from campus. No matter how you build your anthropological expertise, you’ll do it with the personal attention and close collaboration of our outstanding faculty.

You can also:

  • Apply for a Richter Grant to fund your research anywhere in the world.
  • Travel to Guatemala during the College's D-Term with Enactus to study highland Maya culture while working with indigenous artists and farmers.
  • Apply for the Mironda K. Heston Scholarship for Public Service, which funds international human service projects.
  • Intern at The Field Museum in Chicago with a North Central alumna.
  • Acquire the cultural competence necessary to thrive in increasingly globalized workplaces.
  • Pair your interest in anthropology with sociology and complete a single combined major in those two fields.


Students like Luis Tello ’17 are driven to help people and give back to the world—a passion they share with faculty and fellow members of NCC’s Best.
Recent NCC’s Best projects include partnership with Elmhurst coffee company, compostable single-serving coffee, in-house coffee roaster.
Ericka Adams, assistant professor of sociology
Ericka Adams, North Central College assistant professor of sociology, publishes her coauthored research on the effects of clearing criminal records.



  • The Field Museum, Chicago
  • Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitor Center in Nevada
  • Foster care caseworker, Evangelical Family & Child Services, Wheaton, IL

Graduate Schools

Recent graduates in anthropology have been accepted at:

  • University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
  • Cambridge University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Louisville


Recent graduates in anthropology include:

  • Library assistant, University of Chicago
  • National Archives employee, Great Lakes Branch, Chicago
  • After-school children’s club coordinator for refugee children, World Relief, Aurora, IL
  • Fair trade importer, WorldFinds, Westmond, IL

Tiffany always wanted to be a real-life Indiana Jones. With her globe-trotting experience through North Central College, she might just make that happen.

As a sophomore, Tiffany received funding from the Paul K. and Elizabeth Cook Richter Trusts, which support North Central students from various disciplines who conduct research around the world. She traveled to five German cities, delving into the German fascination with Native Americans.

“It was a great reward to embark on such an incredible experience,” she says. “North Central affords students of all disciplines with the spectacular amenities of a big university, but on a smaller scale.”

When she’s not on a far-flung adventure, Tiffany...

Anthropology major

“My first class in anthropology was fascinating. The more I took, the more I fell in love with the subject,” says Callie.

Archaeology, she soon discovered, was her niche. “As an anthropology major, you choose from four areas of focus—archaeological, biological, linguistic and cultural. Archaeology is a perfect fit with my interest in science and geology.”

The coolest thing about anthropology, says Callie, is the internships that are open to North Central students at The Field Museum in Chicago. “My work there confirmed I want to pursue a master’s degree and my dream to go to a field school in Israel or Jordan and do research at an archaeological dig.”

During her internship, Callie helped...

Anthropology major

Calling Jessica ambitious might be an understatement. She interned at Chicago’s Field Museum, studied an ancient burial site in Peru with funding from a North Central College Richter grant, rose to leadership positions in multiple student organizations and fine-tuned her research skills through a combination of coursework and independent studies.

“It sounds cliché,” she says, “but the opportunities at North Central College have really made all the difference. The opportunities are everywhere—even off campus. Students simply have to be willing to seek them out.”

Even though international travels have...

Anthropology major

“I chose North Central College because I could combine my interests and discover what I wanted to study.”

And that’s just what Kayleigh did. Interested in Japanese culture and language, she chose majors in anthropology and East Asian studies, a minor in Japanese and studied abroad in China and Japan. She even landed a job at a museum near campus where, she says, “I helped people learn about things from the perspective of an anthropologist. It was great!”

“The professors have such a range of knowledge and experiences, so they’re able to help you with research, graduate school options and defining your interests. There isn’t a better group of people to learn from.” With faculty support, Kayleigh was...

Anthropology & Sociology double major

Matthew knew that if he majored in sociology, he would gain practical tools to think critically about the world and make a difference. Once he discovered that many of his idols like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists studied sociology as well, he was sold.

As he prepared to attend Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., to pursue ministry in the United Methodist Church, Matthew took advantage of interdisciplinary opportunities at North Central.

He participated in service trips with the College’s Office of Ministry and Service to international and local destinations—Haiti, Honduras, the Middle East, Chicago, Washington, D.C.—and conducted original research for his senior...