AnthropologyExplore MoreAbout This Program
The study of Anthropology provides students with the academic foundation necessary to understand the diversity and complexity of the human experience from a holistic approach. Students will learn to ask challenging questions, engage critically with the material, utilize statistical analysis, and appreciate the interconnected relationship between humans and the environment from an evolutionary perspective.
This program prepares students to transfer to a four-year institution for further studies with a strong background in problem-based research, technical writing, communication, and presentation skills, as well as an introduction to GIS technology (Geographic Informational Systems). Program coursework is supplemented by opportunities to engage in archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork with state and local partners. Completion of the following courses is designed to result in an Associate of Arts degree and meets the general-education requirements at all Idaho public universities. Course selection should be coordinated to meet requirements for your intended transfer institution (if known).
Anthropologists work in a variety of contexts including but not limited to: CRM (cultural resource management), museum collections, archaeological surveys, colleges and universities, state and federal agencies, non-profit associations and NGOs (non-governmental organizations), corporations (business anthropology), criminal justice (forensic anthropology), and healthcare (medical anthropology). Research and communication skills, along with diversity awareness training and bilingualism, are increasingly valued in a globalized marketplace, which make anthropologists uniquely equipped for future employment in a number of fields and industries.
Degrees and Certificates
ANTH 101 Physical Anthropology
(3 Credits, Fall/Spring)
This course provides a general overview of the evolution of the human species over the past several million years. It will also involve a close examination of our primate relatives and the many variations, which exist within human forms across the world in the present day. (This CWI course meets Idaho State Board GEM competency requirements in GEM 6 - Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing.).
ANTH 102 Cultural Anthropology
(3 Credits, Fall/Spring)
An examination of the wide variety of ways of life that humans have created around the world and an analysis of the similarities and differences that exist among them. In addition to psychological and language differences among people, their technologies, social structures, and belief systems will also be emphasized. (This CWI course meets Idaho State Board GEM competency requirements in GEM 6 - Social and Behavioral Ways of Knowing.).
ANTH 103 Introduction to Archaeology
(3 Credits, Fall/Spring)
This course is a basic introduction to the prehistoric periods of human populations throughout the world and the variety of technologies and societies created through human history. Attention will also be focused on the principles and concepts used within archaeology and the methods that are applied to discoveries within the field.
ANTH 199 Anthropology Special Topics
(1-5 Credits, Varies)
This course number is designed to permit the offering of special topics appropriate to a program within the Anthropology department. Regular or frequently recurring topics are not offered under this title. The course may be repeated as new topics are presented.
ANTH 238 Native Peoples of North America
(3 Credits, Spring)
This course examines the wide variety of Native American cultures that existed in the United States and Canada immediately prior to European contact. Each culture will be covered as a complete and distinct whole. The class will focus on the ways in which the natural environment underscores cultural adaptations such as economic and subsistence systems, political organization, kinship and descent, family and household, gender roles, religion and the supernatural, and artistic expression. Native American way of life at present, including socio-economic problems, are discussed throughout. Successful completion of ENGL 101 is recommended prior to enrollment.
ANTH 250 Indigenous Mythology and Rituals
(3 Credits, Fall)
This course examines the diversity of belief systems from a behavioral ecology perspective. A comparative, holistic approach will be used to examine the beginnings of symbolic behavior among our human ancestors then transition into the present, focusing on a variety of indigenous cultures. Each society will be covered as a distinct whole with particular emphasis on the mythologies and rituals that evolve as a response to ecological conditions and subsistence patterns. The course will focus on the ways in which the natural environment underscores the creation and enculturation of the supernatural and associated rituals through oral tradition, ancestor worship, animism, rites of passage, totemism, artistic expression, sacred food, shamanism, and sorcery. This course will demonstrate the continuum between ecology, mythology, and ritual with broader anthropological themes that include: economic systems, political organization, kinship and descent, gender roles, and globalization. Successful completion of ENGL 101 is recommended prior to enrollment.
ANTH 260 Mexican Heritage & Contemporary Peoples
(3 Credits, Fall)
This course will be divided into three distinct, yet related, segments. The first will provide an overview of the four major state-level pre-contact societies; those of the Olmec, Teotihuacano, Mayan, and Aztec peoples. The second will transition into an examination of the indigenous strongholds in current Mexico including the Mayan, Zapotec, Tarahumara, Huichol, and Nahua peoples and their adaptive strategies to maintain and revitalize their cultural traditions and language in an age of globalization. The course will also look at the mestizo identity most Mexicans claim and the Mexican-American realities of remittance economies, dual identities, and separated kin groups. The final segment of the course will focus on contemporary issues in Mexico relating to poverty, immigration, drug trafficking, political corruption, shifting religious attitudes, fluctuating subsistence patterns, and increasing ecological degradation. Successful completion of ENGL 101 is recommended prior to enrollment.
ANTH 290 Anthropology Capstone
(2 Credits, Spring)
The capstone course will be the culminating experience in completing the Anthropology AA degree. This 2-credit course will be comprised of two major areas of focus. Firstly, students will organize, edit, and improve the Signature Assignments contained in their e-Portfolios with particular attention given to research papers produced in ANTH courses. Secondly, students will engage in an ethnographic inquiry that will require three formal interviews with key consultants in their field of study relating to a problem or question they will determine with the professor's assistance. PRE/COREQ: Completion of 45 credits and PSYC 250.
ANTH 293 Anthropology Internship
(1-3 Credits, Varies)
Internships allow students to apply learning to real-life career possibilities. Credits are earned through supervised field work specifically related to the field of Anthropology. PREREQ: Permission of department's internship coordinator.
ANTH 296 Anthropology Independent Study
(1-10 Credits, Varies)
Anthropology Independent Study course. This is a term-long project. Each credit hour is equivalent to 45 hours of work on a project. Students should make arrangements with the instructor in their field of interest. Before enrolling for independent study, a student must obtain approval of the assistant dean, acting on the recommendation of the instructor who will be supervising the independent study. PREREQ: PERM/INST.