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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


College of Western Idaho's Anthropology Club is a forum for students to explore anthropology and build meaningful relationships with others in the field. We sponsor speakers, field trips, interactive group events, and other opportunities that...

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

The 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

Nikki Gorrell and Mayan Ruins

Join CWI Anthropology Professor, Nikki Gorrell, Tuesday, March 10, for a discussion on her fieldwork in Mayan communities.

Kathy Guthrie, July 2019 Staff of the Month

Congratulations to Kathy Guthrie, College of Western Idaho’s Staff of the Month for July 2019.

Students at Compass Public Charter School participate in CWI Anthropology Club’s inaugural Adventure Race.

Students at Compass Public Charter School participate in College of Western Idaho Anthropology Club’s inaugural Adventure Race.  

Katt Grossman, 2016 Alumna

"CWI empowered me by showing me I am smart, outgoing, and able to do so many more things than I thought I could.”

Andrea Schumaker and Rebecca Flock

Faculty who teach General Education courses recognized for exemplary teaching, creativity, excellence, delivery, and service.

Native Beading Workshop at the Ada County Campus Pintail Center Nov. 13.

Beading Workshop participants honor Native American artistry and tradition by making dream catchers.