The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

San Diego State University, Department of Anthropology
5500 Campanile Dr San Diego CA 92182-6040 UNITED STATES
Phone+1 619.594.5527
General Description / Special Programs

Field methods in cultural anthropology and archaeology are offered as a part of the regular curriculum in both the local area and internationally. Students have the option of training in excavation of prehistoric and historic sites. Field sites in primatology and ethnoprimatolgy include Sulawesi, Indonesia, Silver River, Florida, and Fanjingshan Nature Reserve, and China. 

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Degrees Offered Anthropology MA, BA major
Highest Degree Offered MA/MS
BA/BS Field Areas
BA/BS Requirements
36 upper division units (at least 33 in anthropology) to include four 3-unit core courses (one in each sub-discipline), 6 units of methods and 18 additional units of electives.
MA/MS Field Areas
Applied Anthropology
Experience Offered
MA/ MS Requirements General Anthropology: 33 units coursework to include 12 units of core seminars, a methods course, 12 units of electives, thesis, and completion of foreign language requirement satisfied by language, statistics, GIS, or computer programming. Applied Anthropology: 33 units of coursework to include 9 units of core seminars selected from archaeology, biological, linguistic or sociocultural, 3 units in Applied Anthropology, 9 units of electives, thesis, internship, and completion of foreign language requirement satisfied by language, statistics, GIS, or computer programming. Catalog available online at
Internship / Grants / Funding
Internships Available 1
Internship Required 0
Internship Info

Internships in applied anthropology are available in San Diego, Tijuana, and Baja California.

Support Opportunities

The department offers a number of scholarships and fellowships for graduate students including the Norton Allen Graduate Scholarship and the Sonek Memorial Scholarship for students focusing in Biological Anthropology and the Pitt-Warnter Scholarship. Outstanding in-coming graduate students who are non-residents can be recommended for a Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship which waives nonresident tuition for five semesters. Support for undergraduates includes the Pitt-Warner Scholarship. The Friends of Anthropology (FOA) makes two annual awards: the Friends of Anthropology Outstanding Graduating Graduate Student and the Spencer Lee Rogers Alumni Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior in Anthropology.

Program Details
Research Facilities

SDSU has several labs that provide research and internship opportunities for students. The Biological Anthropology Lab provides opportunities for students with interests in human biology, bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. In addition, the primatology wing of the lab serves students who are pursuing primate research. Opportunities for primate studies are also available in conjunction with the San Diego Zoo. The Environmental Anthropology and Archaeology Lab serves students interested in historical ecology, marine and coastal resource use, conservation and development, and sustainability. The Historical Archaeology and Maya Research Lab brings together collections from Maya sites in Belize and various sites in San Diego County for analysis. The Computational Archaeology Lab offers opportunities in digital research, including advanced GIS, photogrammetry and image analysis, and computational and simulation modeling. Further, the Collections Management Lab (which houses local and international archaeological collections) combined with the South Coastal Information Center (a repository for archaeological site records from San Diego and Imperial Counties) offers students opportunities to gain skills in the federally and state regulated processes of accessioning, housing, and documenting archaeological collections as well as NAGPRA compliance. All of the labs and facilities mentioned offer internship and research opportunities to undergraduate students and research and employment opportunities to graduate students. SDSU anthropology students are also able to become involved in ongoing faculty-led research projects including: primate ecology and ethnoprimatology in Sulawesi, Indonesia and Ocala, Florida; SDSU Children’s Center; healthcare improvement; vaccination decision making; Latin American urban studies and US-Mexico border studies; historical archaeology of rural San Diego County’s multi-ethnic settlement patterns; human osteology and forensic anthropology in Oaxaca, Mexico; and marine resource use and resilience and vulnerability in the Pacific.

Certs Offered 0
Employees25 to 100
Online Courses
Online Courses: 1
Online Course Info:

The Department offers several online courses: Anth 101, Human Bio-Cultural Origin; Anth 102, Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology; Anth 349, Roots of Civilization; Anth 439, Cultural Comparisons through Film; Anth 350, Cultures Around the Globe; Anth 402, Dynamics of Biocultural Diversity; and Anth 451, American Indian Identity.

Club / Honor Society
Anthropology Club: 1
Anthropology Club Info: The department has two student organizations: the Association of Anthropology Students and the Anthropology Graduate Student Association. Their purpose is to provide a forum for the discussion, promotion, and realization of anthropological pursuits. They also inform the SDSU community of current events in the field of anthropology, provide social events to raise awareness and appreciation of the four fields of anthropology, and encourage the professional development of all participants.
Lambda Alpha Chapter: 0