skip navigation

Department of Anthropology San Diego State University Department of Anthropology Splash Page


join us on facebook

Dept. of Anthropology
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-6040

Last Update: March 25, 2014

To view pdf files you may need to download Adobe Reader.
Download Adobe Reader

MyGAP Graduate Aztec Page, Create a personalized web page specific to your needs as a future graduate student.

Graduate Program

General Information

The SDSU Department of Anthropology offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree through two specializations, general anthropology and applied anthropology. The general anthropology specialization is for students who anticipate additional work leading to a doctoral degree in anthropology or direct placement in an academic or research setting. The applied anthropology specialization trains students to apply anthropological principles and methodologies to solve real-world problems. It is intended for those who plan to seek employment in the nonacademic sector.

Our faculty have a range of expertise and research interests that include such topics as Maya archaeology (Ball), coastal archaeology (Braje), historical archaeology (Mallios), forensic anthropology (Mayes), primate ecology and behavior (Riley), applied anthropology (Conway), environmental and ecological anthropology (Lauer), gender, race, and ethnicity (Perez), and medical anthropology (Sobo). See the faculty bios for more detailed information about our faculty’s thematic and topical interests and current research projects. Our faculty run several laboratories and centers where students can receive training and experience and participate in active research projects. These facilities include the Environmental Anthropology Lab, Discourse Lab, Physical Anthropology lab, Collections Management Program, and South Coast Information Center

We encourage prospective students to register with the My Graduate Access Page, or MyGap. It will enable you to customize an access page to your specific needs and help answer questions about tuition and fees, housing, financial aid, and other topics.

The admissions guide provides details about applying to our program.

For a comprehensive overview of the M.A. program requirements see the anthropology graduate student handbook.

Our program has approximately 50 active graduate students. To learn more about our students and their current projects see the graduate student profiles on the Anthropology Graduate Student Association website.

Minimum Admission Requirements for the M.A. program

Except under special circumstances prospective applicants must:

  1. Hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or equivalent as determined by Graduate Affairs.

  2. Have attained at least a 3.0 GPA on all work leading to the bachelor's degree and subsequent post-baccalaureate coursework.

  3. Have been in good standing in the last institution attended.

  4. Have a combined verbal and quantitative GRE (Graduate Record Exam) score of at least 950 on the old test (prior to August 1st, 2011) or 294 on the new test and a minimum of 4.0 on the analytic essay.

Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. All prospective applicants are reviewed by department faculty and ranked using a variety of criteria. See the admissions guide for more information.

Additional Information

Prospective students are encouraged to review the faculty bios on the department webpage. You should contact faculty who have interests similar to your own and discuss your research ideas. Current graduate students are also a good source of information about the department and graduate program. You could also browse recent M.A. degrees awarded by our department.

For specific information about the procedures and requirements of the M.A. program contact the graduate adviser, Prof. Matthew Lauer,