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The mission of the Department of Anthropology is to research and teach about humankind the world over from the distant past to the present. Anthropology consists of sub-fields that specialize in the human past, human biology and evolution, language, society, and culture, and provides cross-cultural, environmental, international, and global perspectives on past and present human behavior. An important part of the anthropology mission at Idaho State University is to apply anthropological concepts to the resolution of important social, cultural, and environmental problems of our times. The Department of Anthropology offers graduate students courses leading to the Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in Anthropology, with opportunities for specialization in archaeological science, ecological, medical, and applied anthropology, linguistics, biocomplexity, informatics, and oral history.

Anthropology Department Graduate Program Description


For questions, please contact Dr. Charles A. Speer, Graduate Program Director at


Students who have completed a graduate degree in Anthropology at Idaho State University should be able to:

    1. Read and understand anthropological theory at a professional level.
    2. Understand current debates within the field of anthropology.
    3. Synthesize and critically evaluate the professional literature.
    4. Use a comparative approach to theorize about the similarities and differences in the human condition across space and through time.

Measurable Outcomes - The Thesis or Non-Thesis Option should show the following competencies based on the learning objectives:

    1. Write a proposal for pure research or the application of theory to contemporary social issues.
    2. Perform quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of data appropriate to the chosen subdiscipline.
    3. Competently conceive, conduct, and write-up either research in anthropology or applications of anthropology at a level suitable for publication.

Admission Requirements

The student must apply to, and meet all criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition the student must provide:

    1. A letter of application, including areas of interest and professional goals;
    2. Three letters of recommendation;
    3. Undergraduate transcripts and transcripts of any previous post-graduate coursework;
    4. Minimum grade point average of 3.0;
    5. We have removed all GRE requirements.
    6. An undergraduate degree in anthropology is not required for acceptance into the program; however, students without upper division coursework in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and human origins equivalent to ANTH 5501, 5503, 5530, and an upper division linguistic anthropology course will be required to take these courses or approved readings courses before enrolling in content respective graduate seminars.