Anthropology  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Paul Sherwin


Department of Anthropology

SCI 377
Phone: 415-338-2046
Fax: 415-338-0530

Chair: Peter Biella
Undergraduate Coordinator: Cynthia Wilczak
Graduate Coordinator: Mark Griffin



Professors: Bailey, Biella, Ferreira, Soh
Associate Professors: Griffin, Quesada, Wilczak
Adjunct Faculty: Anderson, Caldararo, Tully, Young



B.A. in Anthropology

Minor in Anthropology

M.A. in Anthropology



Program Scope

Anthropology is the study of humankind over time and place. Undergraduates majoring in anthropology are exposed to a multi-field approach that examines current cultures, the study of remains of past societies, study of human evolution and variation, all with an aim of further understanding what it means to be human.


The Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology is designed to serve the needs of students who do not plan to continue their training beyond the baccalaureate level, as well as those who intend to pursue graduate study leading to the M.A. or Ph.D., in anthropology or in another academic discipline.


The Master of Arts in Anthropology is offered for those who plan to continue their graduate work elsewhere toward the doctorate as well as those who plan to terminate their training at the master's level and seek employment or obtain a teaching credential.


Career Outlook

Anthropological skills are important for careers in public and private sector social services, health, community organizing and advocacy, cultural resource management, urban planning, international economic development, culturally-focused mass media, environmental assessment, education, social work, investigative journalism, and public policy. The principal goals of the department are: (1) to provide an enriched vision of humanity and culture around the globe as well as an increased sensitivity to our everyday experiences of cultural and ethnic diversity, and (2) to train students who choose to pursue careers in teaching, research, and applied fields at the M.A. level, as well providing a solid basis for those who plan to pursue a doctoral degree.


Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

The undergraduate program is built around a core of courses designed to provide a broad base of knowledge in the field. Courses in several areas give concentrated preparation for careers or graduate training in anthropology.


No subfield concentration is required for the baccalaureate degree in Anthropology. However, several sequences of courses are recommended for students who want to concentrate in a particular subfield. Majors are required to meet with an advisor every fall semester to discuss the most appropriate course sequence.


Students are also encouraged to meet with an advisor early in their college career in order to discuss Study Abroad options in consultation with the Office of International Programs.


  • ANTH 305 GW: Writing Anthropology - GWAR must be completed with a grade of C or better before enrolling in other upper division courses.
  • At least one upper division course in Area 1, Area 2, or electives, must be taken in each of the three subfields: biological, cultural/visual, and archaeology.
  • The university-wide electives must be pre-approved by an advisor to qualify as credits toward the major.
  • No more than 6 units can be taken in internships (ANTH 695), independent study (ANTH 699), and teaching (ANTH 685) combined.
  • Courses taken in fulfillment of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade (no CR/NC).


Anthropology Major (B.A.) —  36 - 42 units 39 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Foundation Core (Required Courses) — 15 units

Area 1: TheoriesTheory and Foundations — 3 units

Choose one course.

Area 2: Methods and Practicum — 3 - 6 units 3 units

Choose one course. Choose one course. (Students may choose 6 units from Area 2 and reduce the number of anthropology electives to 9 units.)

Electives in Anthropology — 9 - 12 units 12 units

Upper division units selected from any courses with the ANTH prefix, including those from the two areas that have not been used to fulfill the area requirements.

Additional Major University-wide Electives — 6 units

Upper division courses taken by advisement in anthropology or related fields. Students must have advisor approval for courses they want to apply to the major.

*Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). Students completing this major may not reach the required number of upper division units required for graduation. Additional upper division courses may be needed to reach the required total.


Minor in Anthropology

Anthropology Minor — 18 - 19 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated

Core Requirements — 9 units

Theory requirement — 3 - 4 units

Select one.

Electives in Anthropology — 6 units

Select additional upper division courses with the ANTH prefix.

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Admission to Program

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in anthropology or an allied field. Applicants who do not have a B.A. in anthropology will be required to take ANTH 100, 110, 120, and 300 or their equivalents prior to beginning the M.A. program.


The application deadline for the M.A. program is February 1. The application consists of the following required materials: (1) completed department application; (2) a Statement of Purpose outlining experience, career objectives, and rationale for studying anthropology at the graduate level; (3) three letters of reference from faculty who can assess the applicant’s potential for graduate school; (4) one or two writing samples that demonstrate the applicant’s ability to write at an advanced level; (5) applicants to the visual anthropology focus are requested to submit a short DVD sample of recent work; (6) Official Transcripts from all previous academic work; and (7) GRE Scores (SF State Institution Code: 4684). All students, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, are required to attain a score of 550 (written test) or 213 (computer test) or 79 – 80 on the IBT (Internet Based Test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an equivalent score (6.0) on the International English Language Test Scheme (IELTS).


Each student is assigned a committee at the time of admission on the basis of the student’s field of interest. The committee is responsible for determining the student’s course of study and guiding the student through program completion.


The faculty Graduate committee evaluates applications for admission, assesses the overall program, and reviews student progress. If a student is not making reasonable progress toward the degree, the committee may recommend termination of candidacy.


Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: A minimum score of 4.0 on the analytical writing section of the GRE.
Level Two: Completion of the M.A. Thesis or completion of the written component of the Creative Work Project.


Classified Graduate Status

All graduate students are admitted in conditionally classified status. All graduate students must meet the following conditions in order to become fully classified:

  • Completion of prerequisite coursework (if any).
  • Completion of ANTH 710 with a grade of B or better.
  • Satisfaction of the Graduate Foreign Language Requirement.


Anthropology (M.A.) — 30 units

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated

Course Requirements — 12 units

Electives in Anthropology or allied fields upon advisement. — 15 units

Students must select 15 units of electives in consultation with their advisor: Six of these units must be at the 700 level or above. The remaining 9 units must be at the 300 level or above. Courses that may not be used as electives include ANTH 300, ANTH 301, and ANTH 302.

Thesis or Creative Work Project — 3 units

Students may satisfy this requirement either by writing a thesis or, after consultation with the student's advising committee, and subject to the approval of the department graduate committee, a creative work project. This could involve a video, photography, or multi-media project. Students must complete one of the following:



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