Study Anthropology at Inver Hills Community College
Anthropology (A.A.)

Anthropology offers concepts and analytical practice that will lead you to understand the deeply held values and assumed social structures that characterize each culture. As an anthropology student, you will find the basis for becoming conversant with a continuously broadening world.


Contact Information

Katie Nelson
Anthropology Instructor

Admissions Team
College Center

In our culturally diverse society, developing an awareness of difference as well as human commonality is pertinent to any profession you choose. The A.A. in Anthropology builds a broad, insightful foundation in your pursuit of a four-year degree. A minor or second major in anthropology deserves consideration. Having an anthropological eye will enhance your experience during foreign study and travel while giving you firmer footing in international and cultural relations.


A.A. with Emphasis, Anthropology – 60 credits

This program is designed to introduce students to the field of anthropology as a whole, encourage them to find their own anthropological directions and prepare them for more rigorous future education.

Anthropology is the study of humanity. This comprehensive discipline is divided into four subfields, including archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and linguistic anthropology. Connecting these subfields is a series of approaches that encourage the individual to be comparative in scope, evolutionary in depth and holistic in perspective.

Note: To earn the A.A. with Emphasis in Anthropology, students need to complete all requirements for a general A.A. degree, incorporating the specific requirements of their chosen emphasis. Careful planning with an academic advisor or counselor as well as with a member of the anthropology department is strongly advised to tailor the emphasis to meet the requirements of the student's chosen four-year college or university.

Coursework   Program Planning Guide

Required Anthropology Emphasis Curriculum - 13 Credits

Taking anthropology courses beyond the five required courses is strongly recommended.

Course Number Title Credits
Anthropology Core Requirements - 7 Credits
ANTH 1110 Cultural Anthropology 3 cr
ANTH 1130 Intro to Biological Anthropology 3 cr
ANTH 1131 Intro to Biological Anthropology Lab 1 cr
Anthropology Electives (choose 2 from the following) - 6 Credits
ANTH 1101 Introduction to American Culture 3 cr
ANTH 1120 Introduction to Archaeology 3 cr
ANTH 1150 Introduction to American Indian Culture 3 cr
ANTH 1160 Migrants and Refugees 3 cr
ANTH 2100 Visual Anthropology 3 cr
ANTH 2130 Introduction to Medical Anthropology 3 cr
Total Credits: 13

General Electives - 18 Credits

Any course numbered 1000 level or higher from any discipline. This may include additional courses from the MnTC and/or health & physical education. The following Anthropology courses are not required, but may be taken and applied to general electives.

Course Number Title Credits
ANTH 1100 Introduction to Anthropology 3 cr
ANTH 2120 Field Experience in Anthropology 3 cr

General Education Requirements - 27 Credits

The Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) requires a minimum of 40 credits, some of which will be satisfied by the required anthropology curriculum. You must complete the MnTC courses that are specifically designated below. You may choose the other courses from each goal area from the list located at: streamline your degree, you are encouraged to choose MnTC Goal 3 and 6 courses that also meet MnTC Goal areas 8 and 10.

Goal Description Courses
Goal 1 Communication
  • ENGL 1108 Writing & Research Skills
  • ENG 1111, 1114 OR 1130
  • COMM 1100, 1110 OR 2230
3 courses
Goal 2 Critical Thinking
  • Satisfied by First Year Experience course or MnTC completion
Goal 3 Natural Science
  • Goal 3a with lab (Satisfied by Anthropology requirement)
  • Goal 3b (Physical Sciences) course
2 courses
Goal 4 Mathematical/Logical Reasoning
  • Any Goal 4 course
1 course
Goal 5 History/Social Sciences/Behavioral Sciences
  • Two courses satisfied by Anthropology requirement
  • One additional non-ANTH course
3 courses
Goal 6 Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature
  • Goal 6a (Fine Arts) any course
  • Goal 6b (Humanities/Literature) course
  • Any additional Goal 6 course
3 courses
Goal 7 Human Diversity
  • Any Goal 7 course
1 course
Goal 8 Global Perspective
  • Satisfied by Anthropology requirement
Goal 9 Ethical and Civic Responsibility
  • Any Goal 9 course
1 course
Goal 10 People and the Environment
  • Satisfied by Anthropology requirement
Total Credits: 27

Health/Physical Education - 2 Credits

For a list of the requirements and courses, go to:

Course Number Title Credits
Health   1 cr
Physical Education   1 cr
Course Descriptions

ANTH 1100  Introduction to Anthropology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1100

Introduces students to the four subfields of anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and language. Anthropology, is the study of humanity. Within each subfield are various, practical applications which are collectively termed applied anthropology. Students will learn to identify and apply anthropological study methods. Included within this knowledge will be the application of holistic, comparative, and evolutionary avenues of anthropological inquiry into the issues and institutions that affect our complex, modern lives.

ANTH 1101  Introduction to American Culture   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1101

Explores the cultural variety that comprises the current American population and the issues that drive Americans today. This course provides an introduction to American culture with emphasis on those who have arrived in the past 200 years including their transitions, mobility, and interchange. Classroom discussions, lectures and activities will focus on the effects of each succeeding immigrant group on American culture through the operation of American Dominant Culture, worldview, and institutions; with focus primarily on the role of the individual and consumerism within American society.

ANTH 1110  Cultural Anthropology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1110

Introduces students to the anthropological subfield focused on human culture. Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by individuals as a member of society. Examines the tension between the claim that culture can be both universal as well as particular. This class offers a broad survey allowing for this comparison of universals and particulars around the world, including larger concepts of identity, cultural manifestation, operation of institutions, and issues of inequality and globalization.

ANTH 1120  Introduction to Archaeology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1120

Introduces students to the archaeological field and profession. Archaeology, one of the four sub-fields within anthropology, is the study of human material culture and is typically done by examining objects and locations left behind by various groups throughout human history. Students will examine the history, methods, and basic theories of archaeology. Additionally, students will learn how the archaeological profession is conducted today and apply this to highlighting issues of community development and expression, subsistence, status, consumption, gender, and other contemporary issues.

ANTH 1130  Introduction to Biological Anthropology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1130

Introduces the biological anthropology field, one of the four sub-fields within anthropology. Sometimes called physical anthropology, biological anthropology is the study of our collective human origins. Students will accomplish this through three main areas: study of biological evolution, including the forces of evolution and cellular biology; comparing primate and human physical and behavioral practices; and by examining hominid evolution from groups beginning four to five million years ago through today as they are shaped by environmental and cultural stimuli. Study will be done through a variety of in class discussions and lectures as well as simulated or dry lab activities. Additionally, students will learn how modern cultural implications impact our evolution and environment today. May be paired with ANTH 1131 to fulfill a lab science requirement.

ANTH 1131  Introduction to Biological Anthropology Lab   1.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1131

Provides an optional lab with hands on experience for the lecture sections of ANTH 1130 (Introduction to Biological Anthropology). The lab covers scientific method, cell biology and DNA, principles of inheritance, human variation, population genetics, the human skeleton, primate classification, primate behavior, bipedal adaptation and comparative analysis of hominin features including Australopithicines and Homo. This course must be paired with ANTH 1130 to fulfill a lab science requirement.

ANTH 1150  Introduction to American Indian Cultures   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1150

Introduces students to American Indian cultures from an anthropological perspective. This is accomplished through three primary avenues: a broad survey of cultures prior to European colonization; the historical-cultural experiences that contributed to present day Native American communities; and finally issues in modern American Indian communities and their relationships with anthropologists. Specific North American culture areas from the Midwest and Great Plains, through the Southeast and Southwest will be surveyed.

ANTH 1160  Migrants and Refugees   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 1160

Examines the dimensions of transnational migration and refugee displacement in the US and globally. This course provides an introduction to the concepts, themes and dynamics that anthropologists consider when examining the lives of social groups who voluntarily and involuntarily leave their home country. Students will examine and apply anthropological analyses to ethnographic case studies of migration and refugee experiences. Classroom discussions, lectures and activities will explore worldwide political, economic and social issues to try to understand the current period of widespread migration and displacement holistically.

ANTH 2100  Visual Anthropology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 2100

Introduces students to the exceptional cultural diversity of expression in the world today. Visual anthropology is a subfield of cultural anthropology that is concerned with the study and production of art, photography, film, and new media; including areas such as performance, museums, and mass media. Students examine the purposes of visual, cultural representations; from conformity and conflict, to personal perception and propaganda. Extending from cave paintings and sand paintings to hieroglyphics and modern media outlets, and on to tattoos and texting; students will examine their own and other's ethical concepts in a variety of institutional settings throughout the modern world. Prerequisites: Recommended ANTH 1100 or 1110.

ANTH 2110  Peoples and Cultures of Latin America   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 2110

Introduces the diverse contemporary cultures of Latin America and the factors that influence peoples' lives and cultural expressions. Course topics include colonization, globalization, religion, identity and ethnicity, social movements, migration, and the relationships between culture and gender, language, art, music, traditional arts and crafts, and the environment. Throughout the course, we will also explore the roles that anthropologists have played in Latin America.

ANTH 2120  Field Experience in Archaeology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 2120

Introduces students to the archaeological field and the American Cultural Resource Management (CRM) profession. Archaeology, one of the four sub-fields within anthropology, is the study of human material culture and is typically done by examining objects and locations left behind by various groups throughout human history. This course gives students the opportunity to more closely examine how archaeology is applied primarily through implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act and the resulting creation of CRM as the mainstay of employment within archaeology today. Students will spend approximately half of their time in the classroom with the remainder in the field; observing and experiencing various archaeological sites, museums, historical societies, etc. Students will learn how the archaeological profession highlights issues of community engagement, development, and expressions. Prerequisites: Recommended ANTH 1120.

ANTH 2130  Introduction to Medical Anthropology   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 2130

Growing specialization within anthropology, medical anthropology draws upon socio-cultural, linguistic and biological anthropology to understand those factors that affect human health and illness. This course introduces students to this field of study and the cross-cultural, political and ethical considerations involved in solving real-world problems related to human health and illness. Through the examination of case studies students will learn ways to apply principles of medical anthropology to solve contemporary issues facing our communities. Prerequisites: None, but ANTH 1110 or ANTH 1130 recommended, but not required.

ANTH 2140  Humans and the Environment   3.0 cr

Course Outline for ANTH 2140

Introduces the complex relationship between humans and the environment. Students will analyze how changing paleo-climates shaped human evolution and explore the interdependence between humans and the environment today. Students will study a variety of contemporary and historical cultural groups in terms of their production, consumption, social organization, and worldview. Students will learn how successful adaptation to climate and geography, the conservation of species, and management of available resources have contributed to survival or collapse of societies in documented cases. Students will interpret what humanity can learn about sustainability from these cases and the empirical knowledge systems of traditional cultural groups.

Transfer Information

Articulation Agreements

Students completing this A.A. degree with emphasis in anthropology who plan to transfer to a four-year institution to complete their B.A. degree in anthropology may benefit from an articulation agreement with one of the following schools:

Meet the Faculty

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Education Credentials

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Clubs & Organizations

Student Clubs

Anthropology Club

Purpose: To explore the vast field of anthropology and garner student interest.

To learn more, contact:

Katie Nelson
Anthropology Instructor
Anthropology Club Faculty Advisor
Office: TBD

Professional Organizations

Employment Information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of anthropologists and archaeologists is expected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, or 8 percent faster than average for all occupations. Anthropologists in the U.S. earned an average annual salary of nearly $60,000 in 2012.

Earning a degree in anthropology opens doors to numerous career opportunities. Trained anthropologists follow successful careers in education, business, government and nonprofits. The unique knowledge set, research capability, analytical skills and diverse perspective anthropologists gain through rigorous study offers a strong advantage in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Career areas for anthropology majors

  • Administration and management
  • Archaeology
  • Business
  • Community development
  • Cultural Resource Management (CRM)
  • Education and outreach
  • Environment and natural resources
  • Ethnography and cultural anthropology
  • Evaluation and assessment
  • Healthcare management, services and delivery
  • Historic preservation
  • Human and social services
  • Humanitarian efforts
  • Human rights and social justice advocacy
  • International and public health
  • International development and affairs
  • Management consulting and organizational development
  • Market research
  • Mass communication
  • Museum and curation and project design
  • Social impact assessment
  • Tourism and heritage

Anthropological specialties

  • Sociocultural anthropologists examine social patterns and practices across cultures.
  • Archaeologists investigate the material remains of bygone peoples and cultures.
  • Physical anthropologists work to determine the biological nature of humankind.
  • Linguistic anthropologists study how language reflects and influences social life.
  • Medical anthropologists research factors that affect human health and well being.
  • Forensic anthropologists analyze human remains in crime detection.
  • Business anthropologists apply theories and methods to solve business problems.
  • Visual anthropologists employ imagery to describe, analyze and interpret behavior.
  • Environmental anthropologists evaluate how people relate to changes in their environment.
  • Museum anthropologists explore museum history and the roles of museums in society.

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start with earning an A.A. with an Emphasis in Anthropology at Inver Hills.

Additional resources

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your A.A. with Emphasis in Anthropology degree obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. You will receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with anthropology faculty
  2. You will get firsthand experience working on real-world anthropology problems
  3. You will save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

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