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How to Declare Anthropology as Your Major:

Declaring anthropology as your major (or minor) is easy!  Sign in to my.Boisestate and follow these steps: click on the orange Student Sign-In button, click on the Change Major in the My Academics section.  You can also follow this procedure to change your major from something else to anthropology.

Whom Should You See for Advising?

  1. If you are a new or transfer student, you must meet with Dr. John Ziker, department chair, for first-time advising. Contact him directly at or contact the department office at 208-426-3023 to make an appointment.
  2. After the initial advising meeting with Dr. Ziker, you will be assigned a faculty advisor in the department.

If you would like to have a different advisor from the one you have been assigned, you can always change.  You may select one of the department’s regular faculty members Kathryn Demps, Kendall HouseMark Plew, Kristin Snopkowski, Pei-Lin Yu, or John Ziker. It is often helpful to choose someone with interests similar to yours, so by going to the faculty web page you can see the interests of our faculty members. Or, you may choose your advisor based on taking one of his/her classes and finding him/her very helpful. Make your selected advisor aware of your decision and discuss with him/her your academic plans. Your advisor will help you understand the requirements for obtaining the degree and will assist you in registering for the appropriate courses. If you meet with an advisor and don’t really get along, then try someone else!

How to Change your Advisor:

  1. Contact the department office and let the department administrative assistant know which faculty member you would like to have as your advisor.  She will submit the change to the Registrar’s office.
  2. If you do not choose an advisor, the department will assign one to you.  You can change advisors at any time–just stop by the department office and let the admin assistant know who you want.

How Do You Contact an Advisor to Set Up an Appointment?

You can email or phone your advisor to set up an appointment. As you get to know your advisor, you’ll probably end up feeling comfortable just dropping by for a quick bit of advice now and again. Office hours are posted on individual faculty web pages. It is very important that if you make an appointment, you keep it. Your advisor will not be impressed by a person who doesn’t take appointments seriously.

Why Should You See an Advisor?

The Department of Anthropology strongly recommends that you meet with your anthropology advisor at least once a semester to discuss your degree. It’s the smart thing to do!

  • Advisors help you to choose appropriate courses to take. Many anthropology courses have prerequisites, and it is important to get started on those courses early.
  • Advisors can help you find internships. Internships are an important way to learn new skills. Internships are also important in helping you to know whether or not you really want to pursue a particular career path. Although an advisor can provide suggestions as to possible internship opportunities, it is important to realize that it is the student’s responsibility to actually go out, make the contact, and arrange the internship experience. Your advisor can then help you to sign up so that you can receive college credit for your internship experience.
  • Advisors can help with preparation of applications for graduate school. Such applications are much more complex than applications to attend as an undergraduate, and an advisor can help you to navigate the complexities.
  • Advisors often help by writing letters of reference for jobs, for applications, for academic appeals, etc. However, don’t expect an advisor to write a letter of any substance unless you’ve invested the time to let your advisor get to know you: your ambitions, your qualifications, your history, etc.
  • An advisor can help a transfer student determine which courses from the previous institution count towards a degree at Boise State.

When Should You See your Advisor?

It is very important to see an advisor as early in your college career as possible. Students who wait often don’t take key courses, and therefore end up delaying their progress towards an anthropology degree. It is a good idea to meet with your advisor every semester to get help with selecting courses for the next semester. Don’t wait until the last minute before your registration appointment to seek out your advisor; he/she may not be able to see you promptly and then either you’d need to register without the advice of your advisor or you’d need to delay your registration until later, potentially missing out on open courses. The department has developed a suggested “Finish in Four” Graduation Plan to help you plan what courses you should take, and when.  The department’s Handbook for Undergraduate Anthropology Students can also be a useful tool.

Transfer Students:

If you are a transfer student from another college or university, please bring a copy of your transcript with you when you come to the department for your first advising session. In this way your advisor can assist you in determining what courses can/will apply towards your anthropology degree here at Boise State, and which courses won’t. In some cases you may be required to fill out an Adjustment of Academic Requirements Form in order to transfer an equivalent course from another college/university. Don’t wait until you are about to graduate before doing this! It may come as a huge surprise when you try to transfer a course you thought would fulfill a requirement towards your major, and when you find out it won’t, you are short credits for graduation.

How to Change your Catalog Year:

To change your degree catalog, you still need to contact the Registrar’s Office at (208) 426-2932 or email them with your request at  They will make the change for you with your request.