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Two anthropology students studying rock paintings on boulder.
Students studying rock formations
Anthropology is a multi-disciplinary field that covers cultural, physical (or biological) anthropology as well as archaeology and linguistics. Nikki Gorrell, Associate Professor
Cultural and biological adaptations to a given environment are critical to understanding how humans have evolved through time. Nikki Gorrell, Associate Professor
Anthropologists are engaged in research positions within academia, museums, as Cultural Resource Managers (CRM), and as Geographic Information Systems specialists (GIS) in government positions. Nikki Gorrell, Associate Professor

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 archeological 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).


The CWI Anthropology program provides students the academic foundation necessary to understand the diversity and complexity of the human experience. The program prepares students to transfer to a four-year institution for further studies with a strong background in research, writing, and communication skills supplemented by opportunities to engage in fieldwork.

Why This Program

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.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Understand the field of anthropology through analysis and reflection on the discipline’s sub-fields, history, methods and terminology
  • Demonstrate conceptual and factual knowledge of the sub-fields, historical origins and conceptual frameworks used in anthropology
  • Identify and analyze data in a variety of contexts associated with the field of anthropology
  • Synthesize and present data and findings in a variety of written and oral formats
  • Demonstrate awareness of the diversity of human behaviors from prehistory to the present
  • Identify and analyze the diversity of the human response to environmental and economic changes
  • Synthesize and present knowledge of the diversity of human behavior both spatially and contextually


Graphic of bone

Explore and study the various aspects of human beings and discover your interests and niche in the field of anthropology in College of Western Idaho's Anthropology Club. Through participation in field trips, interactive events, and guest...

Additional Opportunities

Both internships and field trip/field experiences are available to ANTH students, giving them a sense of what careers are available, as well as the excitement of anthropological and archeological research. Past students have attended the University of Idaho’s Field School, visited archeological and anthropological sites in Idaho and Oregon, and experienced the Basque Museum.

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Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Ancient  Maya building

Learn more about how the ancient Maya constructed their buildings, temples, and other architecture at a guest presentation hosted by CWI’s Anthropology Club and program.

Darren Parry speaking at History, Healing, and Re-STORY-ation

Former tribal Chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, Darren Parry, visited College of Western Idaho for a presentation on the 160th anniversary of the Bear River Massacre.

Portrait of Darren Parry standing in grass

College of Western Idaho Anthropology Club, School of Arts and Humanities, School of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, and Inclusive Excellence Committee are hosting former Chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation Darren Parry in an evening of remembrance on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Harlee Dohse and Aiden McDonnell

Seventy students, professors, and industry professionals from around the Gem State were at College of Western Idaho this past weekend for the 48th Annual Idaho Archeological Society Conference.

Anthropology Club

College of Western Idaho’s Anthropology Club will host the 48th Annual Idaho Archeological Society Conference on Saturday, Oct. 22. It is free and open to the public.

Anthropology Club

College of Western Idaho’s Anthropology Club has teamed up the Bureau of Land Management to connect people, culture, ecology, and stewardship and preservation of public lands and waterways to younger generations at a local Boise school.