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Our Vision

To be a leading master’s program in evolutionary and ecological approaches in anthropology, known for collaborating with scholars across fields in improving understanding of coupled human-natural systems.

Our Mission

To make substantial contributions in research on major environmental dilemmas facing humanity; To provide our students opportunities to learn to think critically and communicate effectively; To produce graduates with the highest degree of competence in concepts, methods, and theories relevant to the study of human-environment relationships.

Our Goals

  • providing students exposure to anthropological methods and theories relevant to solving the major challenges to humanity, including environmental dilemmas, conflict and cooperation, and health;
  • realizing the STEM-related objectives of the university, producing graduates that have skills aligned to workforce needs including lifelong critical learning, data analysis and communication, and an understanding of science as inquiry;
  • emphasizing scientific analyses, including a balance of theory and data;
  • pursuing funded research opportunities, bridging natural and social sciences, participating in interdisciplinary research, realizing integration across units/disciplines, and contributing to liberal education in the university.

Thinking about an Anthropology Major? See this presentation.

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What is Anthropology? Can I Make A Living At It?

AnthrofootAnthropology is the scientific study of the human species, both past and present. Anthropologists seek to answer the fundamental questions about human nature, such as: how did our kind evolve, and what are the resulting cognitive and physiological structures and behaviors shaping our lives as creative and social animals? Such questions raise more specific questions about dynamic relationships between humans and the world in which we live, including our development, our social relationships, and the ways we plan for the future

The purpose of the undergraduate degree in anthropology at Boise State University is to provide a broad understanding of cultural diversity, human nature and human prehistory. A student with a degree in anthropology has acquired critical analysis skills, oral and written communication skills, “people” skills, and a great understanding of many different cultures that have many applications in public service, political activism, and the private sector. Awareness of the enormous variety of ways in which contemporary and ancient peoples have lived their lives provides insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our own civilization. In this sense anthropology is the most direct approach to a liberal arts education, offering a humanistic as well as a scientific perspective on humankind. In the words of a well-known anthropologist: “Anthropology is the most scientific of the humanities, and the most humanistic of the sciences.” Regardless of the career you choose to pursue, anthropology can enrich your understanding of yourself and of the society around you.

Spring Commencement, Graduation, jkNonetheless, students often ask, “But can I make a living at it?” Because of the exotic nature of some of the more well-known kinds of anthropological research, many students fail to realize that anthropology is a vigorous, accepted social science and a “marketable” liberal arts degree. The primary goal of the undergraduate program in anthropology at Boise State University is to provide a broad liberal arts education which enables the graduate to compete with anyone in the open job market. The skill of “seeing the world as others see it” is applicable in any situation dealing with people – especially people from diverse cultures. Thus, anthropology is an extremely appropriate degree for those interested in international business, diplomatic service, city planning, international or community development, social work, many kinds of medical work, and any other field dealing with culture change, social problems, or other societies. Past graduates from Boise State have used their background in anthropology in careers in medicine, law, special education, social work, community development and business, as well as, of course, anthropology. Students in archaeology have been very successful in finding positions with state and federal governments and private consulting firms.

ADDITIONAL JOB-RELATED INFORMATION:

  • Most professional anthropological jobs require a graduate degree.
  • Those interested in anthropology may specialize in one of its four branches: archaeology, social-cultural anthropology, linguistics, or biological anthropology. Many subfields exist within the larger specialties such as forensic anthropology (a subfield of biological anthropology). Typically students take a general curriculum as an undergraduate and specialize through graduate studies.
  • As the demand for university/college faculty positions decreases, most openings will exist in consulting firms and government agencies.
  • To increase your employment opportunities with a bachelors degree, consider minoring or double majoring in another field such as sociology, biology, business, urban planning, or public administration.
  • Anthropology provides a solid background for a variety of graduate programs including law, medicine, forensics, or genetic counseling. Research admissions requirements and take prerequisite courses.
  • Anthropology is good preparation for jobs that involve people skills and require an understanding of cultural differences.
  • Spend a summer in field school or travel and study other cultures.
  • Volunteer to help with a professor’s research.
  • Gaining relevant work experience through internships, practicums, part-time jobs, or volunteer positions is critical.

Average Starting Salary for Anthropology Degree
American Anthropological Association
Society for American Archaeology
American Association of Physical Anthropologists


AREAS


EMPLOYERS

STRATEGIES

ARCHAEOLOGY

Cultural Resource Management

Research
Excavation
Field Work
 

 
♦Consulting
firms
♦Environmental/engineering companies

♦Firms specializing in archaeological investigation

♦Federal, state and local government
♦Urban
and city planning offices
♦Historic preservation
societies
♦Field positions require a B.S./B.A. and previous
field experience. Get involved with faculty research or other research
programs.
♦Obtain a graduate degree to direct
field crews.
♦May need a willingness to
travel and endure adverse living/working conditions during field studies
or excavations. ♦Working conditions and hours vary with the type of work/research
performed.
GOVERNMENT

Administration

Cultural Resource Management

Surveying
Site Management
Excavation
Research
Museum
Conservation
Legislative
Compliance Review
Program
Managemnt and Evaluation
Impact Assessment–Social, Environmental
Policy Analysis
Urban Planning
Translation/Interpretation

Federal
agencies including:
♦Bureau of Indian Affairs

♦Bureau of Land Management
♦Central
Intelligence Agency
♦Department of Conservation

♦Health and Human Services
♦Housing
and Urban Development
♦Federal Bureau of Investigation

♦National Institutes of Health
♦National
Park Service
♦Smithsonian Institute

♦U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
♦U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation
♦U.S. Forest Service

♦Historic Preservation Offices
♦Parks
Departments
♦Highway Departments

♦Learn federal
or state application procedures.
♦Graduate degree generally required
for higher level positions.
♦Gain related experience through
internships in areas of interest.
♦Develop statistical, analytical
and computer skills and learn various research methodologies.

♦Get involved in campus organizations to develop leadership abilities and
interpersonal skills. Consider earning a minor or double major to qualify
for particular areas of interest, e.g. learn a foreign language for translating/interpreting
positions.
 NONPROFIT

Administration

Program Management/Development

Policy Analysis

Fund Raising/Development

Research
Grant Writing
Counseling
♦Nonprofit organizations

♦Social service agencies
♦Hospitals and medical centers

♦Private foundations, e.g. The Ford Foundation
♦International
organizations, e.g. The World Health ♦Organization, The International Red
Cross, and the United Nations
♦Seek volunteer and internship positions to gain
experience.
♦Hone skills in public speaking, writing, and programming.

♦Obtain a degree in counseling for therapy positions.
♦Learn to
work well with people from varying backgrounds.
MUSEUMS
and ARCHIVES
Management/Administration
Curatorship
Conservation

Restoration
Research
Education
Libraries

Development
♦Natural history or history museums:
Universities

State, federal or local
Private
♦Archives

♦Historical Societies
♦Plan to earn a graduate degree in Anthropology,
Museum Studies, Library Science (with an emphasis on archives) or other
related discipline depending upon specific interests.
♦Gain relevant
experience through internships or volunteering positions in museums.

♦Develop a strong attention to detail.
♦Be prepared to relocate
to access the most employment opportunities.
 BUSINESS

Management
Sales/Marketing

Human Resources
Public Relations
Consulting

Business
corporations in various industries such as: ♦Banking, retailing, insurance,
financial services, travel and tourism
♦Cultural resource firms

♦International companies
♦Consulting firms: management, scientific,
technical
♦Many businesses hire students of “any major” if they have
relevant experience and have developed the skills employers seek.

♦Minor in business or another relevant field.
♦Obtain related
experience through internships, summer and part-time jobs.
♦Develop
strong analytical and computer skill.
♦Learn to work well on
a team.
♦Get involved in campus organizations and seek leadership
roles.
EDUCATION

Teaching
Research

Administration
Student Affairs
Library/Information
Science
Non-classroom Education 
♦Universities/colleges/community
colleges
♦University research institutes or laboratories

♦Campus museums
♦Zoos
♦Nature centers

♦Earn a
Ph.D. in Anthropology for university and college faculty positions or an
M.A./M.S. for community college ♦positions
♦Earn a graduate degree
in College Student Affairs, Library/Information Science or related field
for work in student affairs, administration, or libraries.
♦Gain
research experience by assisting professors or participating in independent
studies.
♦Maintain a high GPA and develop strong personal recommendations.

♦Develop excellent communication and presentation skills.
♦Get
involved in campus leadership positions such as Resident Assistant, Peer
Advisor, Admissions Tour Guides, Anthropology Club, Archaeology Students
Association.

© 1996 The University of Tennessee