Sociology and Anthropology

Bachelor of Arts - Anthropology

Anthropology Overview

A Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology will open you to opportunities in government, private business, community organizations, education, health organizations, research institutions and the media. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of anthropologists is projected to grow 19% through 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.

Students can pursue a major or minor in Anthropology in the classroom, online, or using a combination of face-to-face and online classes. Students studying on our Macomb campus benefit from the intimate classroom environment. Online students take advantage of our innovative online teaching techniques, including the use of live-streaming and 3D modeling. We are a student-focused major and our faculty believe that research and teaching are closely intertwined. We work exceptionally hard to provide a high quality of education to our students while meeting their varied needs inside and outside the classroom.

All students regardless of modality can participate in our in-person summer programs including the WIU Archaeological Field School, where students participate in real archaeological excavation and laboratory analyses to gain skills vital to getting a job in the field of archaeology. Students can join our short-term study abroad trips as well. We also have two bridge programs that allow students to complete a MA in Liberal Arts and Science or Museum Studies in five years.


View the specific degree requirements and course descriptions in the Undergraduate Catalog.


Today's anthropologists work in all kinds of environments. They can be found in not-for-profit organizations, all levels of government, higher education, the Peace Corps, research, and publicly traded corporations. The following are just some of the opportunities available for those majoring in anthropology.


Field Archaeology, Museums, Government Agencies, Public and Private Foundations, Consulting

Biological (Physical) Anthropology

Teaching, Research, Forensic Consultation (ex: skeletal identification or DNA fingerprinting), Government Agencies

Cultural Anthropology

Teaching, Government Agencies, Marketing, Industrial Consultant

Linguistic Anthropology

Consulting, Neuroscience, Teaching English as a Second Language, Linguistics Professor, Technology Development

Videos and Articles on Careers in Anthropology

Archaeological Field School

The WIU Archaeological Field School (ANTH 325 and 326) occurs in the summer of every other year. Usually fieldwork will take place at the 1840s history period city of Nauvoo, Illinois, located on the Mississippi River about an hour west of WIU’s main campus in Macomb. However, sometimes fieldwork will focus on other regional precontact and historic period sites as needs and projects arise.

This year (summer 2024), fieldwork will take place at Nauvoo, from June 3 to July 12, 2024. The work will specifically focus on excavating and documenting a printing press building and the home of one of Nauvoo’s most prominent residents, Hyrum Smith, brother of Mormon leader Joseph Smith. During the course, students will obtain the skills necessary to obtain an entry-level job in field archaeology. They will learn and practice the essentials of fieldwork like pedestrian survey, shovel-testing, and excavation as well as basic laboratory skills such as artifact identification, analytical techniques, and organizational and curation strategies. Additionally, students will learn about and discuss archaeological ethics, public archaeology, Cultural Resource Management (CRM) archaeology, remote sensing techniques, preservation, and other issues facing archaeologists today.

To apply for this summer’s field school, please click the link to below to download the application, fill it out, and email it to Dr. Jacob Skousen at by May 1, 2024. Feel free to email Dr. Skousen with any questions or concerns.


Dr. Jacob Skousen

Office: Morgan Hall 401
Phone: (309) 298-1056

Minor in Anthropology

Because Anthropology courses teach students about human diversity and difference, an Anthropology minor is an excellent companion to many majors. Anthropology courses particularly complement majors in Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, and Foreign Languages and Literatures.

You can pursue your Anthropology minor online, in the classroom, or in a combination of both formats. You also have the opportunity to earn credit toward the minor by participating in short-term study abroad programs and the Archaeological Field school.

Study Abroad

Many of our students supplement their classroom experiences by participating on short study abroad programs to Puerto Rico, Germany, and India. We also offer an archaeological field school that focuses on excavations at the Mississippian Orendorf village site and the adjacent, multi-component Rice Lake Terrace site. WIU also has special relationships with the Field Museum of Natural History, the Dickson Mounds Museum, and the Hensen and Niabi Zoos.

The Hills are Alive: Austrian Culture in Today's World - Fall 2023

All humans face the same problems - how to feed ourselves, how to heal ourselves, how to form families, and how to find meaning in life. This Study Abroad Course gives you the opportunity to learn how Austrians deal with these issues. You will also get a better understanding of Austria's unique role in the history and culture of the Alps. The course is available for Fall 2023 credit for both undergraduate and graduate credit.

Puerto Rico

This course is a once in a lifetime experience. Learning about disasters is often best done in a hands-on way. As a result of the devastation caused by hurricane Maria, students have the opportunity to participate in a field school in Ponce, Puerto Rico where they will gain on-the-ground experience learning about the complicated work of disaster recovery while helping affected communities in a meaningful way.


This course is a two-week long exploration of contemporary German culture. This program focuses on the use of anthropological field methods to provide students with a perspective of Germany that is unavailable to them in the classroom. We spend a week in two cities: Berlin, the modern capital of reunified Germany, and Celle, a medieval walled city located in a rural setting.


India is your classroom! This short-term study abroad course is located in the city of Dharamsala - a Tibetan enclave in northern India. We explore what it means to be an exile forced to live in a culture that is not your own. From an anthropological perspective, it will be difficult to separate your in-class experience from your day-to-day living during the course, as you too are living in a culture that is not your own. But so is the life of an anthropologist in the field!

Visit the Office of Study Abroad and Outreach for additional information.


Our faculty have extensive field research experience in North, Central, and Latin America; Europe, South Asia, southern Africa, and the Middle East. We work hand-on with students inside and outside the classroom. We offer several short-term study abroad trips (Puerto Rico, Germany, India, Ecuador, and Peru) and a summer archaeological field school. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with us on our research or to pursue their own original research projects.

William Narteh Gblerkpor

Fall 2023 Faculty Welcome: Dr. Gblerkpor is an anthropological archaeologist and cultural heritage and museum studies expert. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin. His research explores the dynamic roles of material culture, landscapes, and the natural environment in the historical and contemporary construction and maintenance of social identities and livelihoods in West Africa. He is currently teaching courses in archaeology and cultural anthropology.

Anthropology Faculty

Pictured left to right: Christina Davis, Andrea Alveshere,
Jacob Skousen, and Heather McIlvaine-Newsad

Alveshere, Andrea, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Currens Hall 508 • (309)

Davis, Christina, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Morgan Hall 409 • (309)

Gblerkpor, William, Visiting Scholar
Morgan Hall 404 • (309)

McIlvaine-Newsad, Heather, Professor of Anthropology
Morgan Hall 408 • (309)

Skousen, Jacob, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Morgan Hall 401 • (309)