Anthropology is the study of humans and our immediate ancestors. Anthropologists explore human cultural and biological diversity across time and space.
Central to this endeavor is an emphasis upon understanding the whole of the human condition, attentive to the variety of ways in which culture, society, biology and the environment influence how humans see and interact with the world.
Anthropology includes the sub-disciplines of
- Cultural Anthropology
- Biological (Physical) Anthropology
A key feature of the discipline is emphasis upon fieldwork. Whether working on an excavation in Africa, observing primates in the wild, living with Trobriand Islanders in Melanesia, studying gang behavior in Los Angeles, assisting an American Indian tribe with cultural preservation, helping facilitate economic development in an economically depressed community, or working with a multi-national corporation, anthropologists seek to experience the world and share what they learn with others. The curriculum is designed to provide students with an understanding of the basic foundations of anthropology from a scientific perspective and to apply what it is learned in the classroom to their own lives and communities.
Anthropologists work closely with communities to foster culturally sensitive solutions to contemporary issues. Anthropologists often support social change efforts that arise through collaborative partnerships while completing research. Because studying people is dynamic and can lead to a number of ethical dilemmas anthropologists must adhere to a code of professional ethics. As a social science, anthropology incorporates both qualitative and quantitative methods to answer significant questions including: how does culture shape and constrain us, how does culture assist us in adapting to natural and social environments, where and when did Homo sapiens originate, how has our species changed over time, what are we now, and where are we going?
The skills and scope of knowledge developed in an anthropology program prepares students for work in a variety of settings. The demands of a global economy provide anthropologists with careers in both public and private sector in the U.S. and abroad. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for anthropologists continues to improve. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of anthropology many teach across a broad spectrum of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, health sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences both in high school and higher education. Outside education, anthropologists work in government agencies (tourism/heritage, cultural resource management, community development, contract archaeologist, etc.), private businesses (corporate anthropologist, market researcher, management, visual anthropologist, etc.), museums (curator, historic preservation projects, etc.), private research institutes (cultural consultant, social impact assessment, etc.), and service fields (cultural education, forensics, health, law enforcement, etc.). Others work as independent consultants and researchers for the Centers for Disease Control, UNESCO, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank, among others. Approximately fifty percent of all anthropologists work outside of education.
Generally, a 2.50 grade point average from a community college will allow students into upper division anthropology coursework. Completion of courses at NIC results in an associate degree and meets the general core requirements at all Idaho public universities. The suggested courses normally fulfill the first half of baccalaureate requirements in anthropology. While it is not necessary, many students in anthropology choose to continue their education in a variety of graduate programs. Therefore, majors should strive to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher to ensure that you have the flexibility to continue your studies.
If you are interested in pursuing anthropology as a major while at North Idaho College, or have additional questions, contact Brad Codr.