Anthropology  {SF State Bulletin 2012 - 2013}

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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

Undergraduate Coordinator: Cynthia Wilczak
Graduate Coordinator: Mark Griffin



Professors: Bailey, Biella, Pahl, Soh
Associate Professors: Ferreira, Griffin, Quesada
Assistant Professor: Wilczak
Adjunct Faculty: Anderson, Caldararo, Kojan, Tully



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, etc., all with an aim of further understanding of 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, 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 at home and (2) to train students to pursue teaching and research careers at the M.A. level while 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 two 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 adviser every fall semester to discuss the most appropriate course sequence.


Students are also encouraged to meet with an adviser 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 must be completed with a grade of C or better before enrolling in other upper division courses.


At least one upper division course (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 adviser 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 are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. Courses taken in fulfillment of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade (no CR/NC). On-line course descriptions are available.


Foundation Core (15 units)

Course Title
ANTH 100 Introduction to Biological Anthropology
ANTH 110 Introduction to Archaeology
ANTH 120 Introductory Social and Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 300 Foundations of Anthropology: History
ANTH 305 GW Writing Anthropology - GWAR


Area 1: Theories and Foundations (3 units)

Course Title
ANTH 301 Foundations of Archaeology
ANTH 302 Foundations of Human Variation
ANTH 420 Indigenous Media and Social Change


Area 2: Methods and Practicum (3 - 6 units)

Course Title
ANTH 333 Primate Behavior
ANTH 530 Human Osteology Practicum (4)
ANTH 531 Fossil Humans Practicum (4)
ANTH 592 Archaeological Methods (4)
ANTH 557/
USP 557 
Ethnography of the Inner City (4)
ANTH 595 Visual Anthropology I (6)
ANTH 596 Visual Anthropology II (4)
ANTH 651 Ethnographic Field Methods (6)
ANTH 652 Anthropological Statistics (4)


Electives in Anthropology (9 - 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.


University-wide Electives (6 units)

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

Total for Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology: 39


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

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Course Title Units
ANTH 100 Introduction to Biological Anthropology 3
ANTH 110 Introduction to Archaeology 3
ANTH 120 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology 3
One course from Area 1: Theory and Foundations (above) or ANTH 300 3


Electives in Anthropology (6 units)

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

Total units for Minor in Anthropology: 18


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 MA 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 DVD of one 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 towards 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 MA 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.


Course Requirements

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

Course Title Units
ANTH 710 Proseminar in Anthropological Theory and Method 3
ANTH 740 Seminar in Archaeological Problems 3
ANTH 760 Seminar in Biological Anthropology 3
ANTH 770 Seminar in Problems in Cultural Anthropology 3

Electives in Anthropology or allied fields upon advisement. (15 units)

Students must select 15 units of electives in consultation with their adviser - 6 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, 301, and 302.

One of the following:

Course Title Units
ANTH 894 Creative Work Project 3
ANTH 898 Master's Thesis 3

Minimum total for Master of Arts in Anthropology: 30


Thesis or Creative Work Project. 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.



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