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Senior Portfolio

ANTH 492 Senior Practicum-Portfolio

A 1-credit capstone course is offered each Fall semester designed to help seniors develop and construct their senior portfolio. Included in the course is the departmental “portfolio review.” (Graded) PREREQ: Senior Standing


The purpose of the student portfolio is to provide both the anthropology student and the department an opportunity to develop a “best foot forward” evaluation of the individual performance, ability, and expertise beyond the GPA. The portfolio will be useful for anthropology majors continuing on into graduate training as well as majors entering the job market in any area. Students will work on their portfolios throughout their academic careers by completing activities described in the Engagement and Preparation for Senior Portfolio blackboard site and will seek preliminary counseling from their advisor regarding elements for inclusion and methods of review. Prior to graduation, students sign up for a 1-credit senior portfolio practicum (ANTH 492), at which time students will complete their portfolios and present them to faculty and students electronically via a webpage or portfolio platform site such as Canvas.


The portfolio is designed to provide students with an opportunity to present their ideas, accomplishments, creativity, and critical skills to the body of work achieved during their years in the program. The following objectives should be considered in assembling a portfolio.

  1. Creation of a portfolio that accentuates an individual’s grasp of anthropological concepts and methods with maturity and critical acumen.
  2. Assembly of materials that represent a breadth and diversity of abilities within anthropology.
  3. Development of anthropology of student work that represents the highest quality of research, fieldwork, synthesis, and professional presentation.
  4. Demonstration of an ability to communicate anthropological concepts and methods to audiences outside of the university community.

Portfolio Contents and Organization

Each portfolio should be presented electronically with links to individual items. The items in the portfolio should be placed in the following order:

  1. Vita/Resume: the vita or resume provides basic information about you – educational background, work experience, publications, presentations, skills, contact information, etc. Usually, a resume is a 1-2 page document that provides a quick overview of who you are and what your experience has been. Many people revise their resume each time they apply for a job, stressing aspects of their background for the skills required. Resumes often contain information on the type of position desired and a one or two-sentence summary of your professional interests. A curriculum vitae (usually referred to as a CV) is typically used in academia. This document, which resembles a resume, focuses on academic accomplishments, including presentations and publications, and should be sued for graduate school applications.
  2. Statement of Purpose or Cover Letter: The statement of purpose or cover letter describes your carer plans and how you plan to accomplish this. Describe any professional or educational experiences that have prepared you or contributed to your desire to either pursue advanced study in anthropology (in the statement of purpose) or seek employment opportunities (in the cover letter). Describe your competencies and evidence of leadership potential. Discuss your career aspirations and how advanced study/employment will enable you to achieve your goals. You MUST provide specific details in this essay that addresses BOTH the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of your goals, considering a holistic anthropological understanding of the human condition.
  3. Papers and Published Materials:  As a student, you may not have a great deal of published material, but you may have contributed to a student project or field experience that results in publication. You should include this material as well as papers that received positive feedback from professors and other students. An effort to extend these written presentations to public forums (NWEEHB Symposium, Boise State Undergraduate Research Conference, Great Basin Conference, AAA Meetings) is encouraged.
  4. Field Materials or Reports: These materials may be included in somewhat raw form, but you might also want to add a personal statement or critique of what you did and how you did it. Solicit critiques of your work from supervisors and fellow students. You should also include reports and critiques of internship and independent study projects.
  5. Photographs or artistic materials: Many anthropology students use photography, tape or videotape recordings, newspaper articles, diaries, or other documentary materials as part of their undergraduate work. You might want to select out of this material a representative sample of your work.
  6. Letters of Support: Letters of support, thanks, and criticism for public or extra-university activities such as presentations, lectures, or workshops. You might include here any letters of support or acknowledgment you received, particularly if they reflect your use of cultural insights and anthropological methods.
  7. Additional Materials: Anything that illustrates your personality and perspective that you think characterizes your undergraduate experience. You may want to include any honors, certificates, and awards you have received.