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


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

Location: Arts and Letters 448
Phone: (619) 594-5527
Fax: (619) 594-1150

Last Update: June 29, 2015

Undergraduate Program

General Information

This page is intended to assist the undergraduate major in anthropology. It supplements the San Diego State University General Catalog and contains information in response to questions most frequently asked.

The Undergraduate Coordinator, Dr. Todd Braje (Office: HT-137, Phone: (619) 594-5668, Email: is responsible for advising students and acts as a liaison between the student and the Department and the Administration in procedural matters. It is recommended that each major consult with him/her at least once each academic year. In addition, all College of Arts and Letters students are required to consult with the undergraduate adviser for the major within the first two semesters after declaring or changing the major.

Students needing academic advising for GE requirements, should visit the Academic Advising Center.

Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts With a Major in Anthropology

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, the student must meet the requirements for a degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences and the requirements for a major in anthropology. A minor is not required for a B.A. in anthropology.

Preparation for the Major

Anthropology 101, 102, and 103 (9 units) These prerequisite courses may not be taken Cr/NC. The minimum grade in each class is C or higher.


A minimum of 36 upper division units in anthropology to include Anthropology 301, 302, 303, 304, one course may be substituted with another upper division anthropology course, with consent of department; one course selected from American Indian Studies 420, Biology 315, 326, Chicana and Chicano Studies 301, Geography 312, History 406, 441, Philosophy 330, 332, Political Science 435, Religious Studies 376, Sociology 320, 355, Women’s Studies 310, 382 (will also satisfy three units of the General Education requirement in IV. A., B., or C.); six units selected from the following “methods” courses: Anthropology 348, 360, 495, 502, 505, 506, 508, 520, 531, 532; 499 and 583 with consent of department; and 15 additional upper division units in anthropology completed either from across the discipline.

For checklists for earlier catalogs, please see Anthropology Home Room page on Blackboard.

Major Academic Plan (aka MAP) website


Anthropology Minor Requirements

(SIMS Code: 110901)
The minor in anthropology consists of a minimum of 18 units in anthropology to include Anthropology 101, 102, and 12 upper division units in anthropology. Courses in the minor may not be counted toward the major, but may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and general education requirements, if applicable. A minimum of six upper division units must be completed in residence at San Diego State University.

Courses in the minor may not be counted toward the major, but may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and general education requirements, if applicable. A minimum of six upper division units must be completed in residence at San Diego State University.

Checklist for catalog 2010/2011 and later
(Must have Abobe Reader to view this file)

For checklists for earlier catalogs, please see Anthropology Home Room page on Blackboard.


Department Requirements

Requirements for the successful and timely completion of the undergraduate program in anthropology or any other major are stated in the General Catalog of San Diego State University.

The curriculum is continuously under review and changes occur periodically. As a result, catalogs from different, yet successive, years may contain slightly different requirements for graduation.

The catalog bearing the date of the academic year that the student (a) enters San Diego State University, or (b) declares a major, or (c) changes a major is the catalog by which the student abides.

SAVE YOUR CATALOG. The catalog constitutes an agreement between the University and the student. If, for example, a course is designated as "required," but is not offered (for whatever reason), it is the obligation of the University to permit substitution of another, appropriate course. Implementation of this procedure is initiated through the Undergraduate Coordinator.

All anthropology majors must complete a series of four basic upper division core courses which cover the principles of the subdisciplines of anthropology (12 units) and 24 additional units of upper division courses in anthropology. The student will file with the Evaluations Office a master plan approved by the adviser for the anthropology curriculum. It is recommended that the basic courses be taken early in the student's college career.

All core courses are offered regularly to ensure availability to all majors. All other elective courses are offered periodically. The student should plan sufficiently ahead to assure that the desired courses be obtained: adequate student demands and enrollments must make offering a course feasible; the Department is allocated ("budgeted") instructional rooms, and limitations may apply to usage during particular days or times; professional leaves of absence and sabbaticals for research by the faculty may result in the postponement of an ordinarily scheduled class(es).

Other Requirements

The University requires all students to complete 9 upper division units in the Explorations segment of General Education. Numerous Anthropology courses are listed in the Catalog as options for fulfilling this requirement. However, students majoring in Anthropology must take courses from other departments to fulfill these requirements. On the other hand, students with a minor in Anthropology may take those courses and they will count for both upper division General Education and for their Anthropology minor.

The College of Arts and Letters requires its students to complete a three semester sequence of courses in a foreign language or the equivalent. Students majoring in Anthropology should familiarize themselves with the appropriate General Catalog entry dealing with this requirement.

All students must pass either the upper division writing examination or an appropriate course before they will be allowed to graduate.

Non-Repetitive Courses

Courses, non-repetitive in content, are presented regularly and expand the catalog offerings. They enhance the undergraduate program and offer the opportunity for both broadened and in-depth studies. These courses are:

Anthropology 496. Experimental Topics
Anthropology 582. Regional Anthropology
Anthropology 583. Topical Anthropology

When the subject matter is appropriate in a given area of concentration, credit for these courses may apply toward the degree. The filing of a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements is mandatory.

Special Studies Courses

Up to six units of individualized, special study (Anthropology 499) may be earned. It may include library or field research which usually results in a scholarly paper, in-depth readings on a particular subject, etc. The subject matter and requirements are mutually agreed upon by both a professor (not necessarily the person who is listed in the class schedule) and the student on a topic in which the professor has had training and/or possesses an interest.

The studies generally involve greater effort than do other courses. The student must take the initiative and contact the professor. Meetings between student and professor are scheduled periodically to determine the student's progress.

It is strongly recommended that the mature student who can work independently take advantage of this opportunity. Such studies not only round-out a student's program of desired learning but also allow one to acquire necessary units, perhaps at a time when personal and regular class schedules are in conflict. As is the case with non-repetitive courses, a Request for Adjustment of Academic Requirements must be filed.
Students may also participate in an internship program in Anthropology. This program is intended for advanced students that want to gain practical experience in an aspect of the discipline. In order to register for Anthropology 495: Internship, students must have successfully completed all of the core courses (Anth 301, 302, 303 and 304).

Transfer Units

The SDSU Division of Undergraduate Studies maintains "articulation agreements" with other colleges and universities for accepting the transfer of credits, usually for specific lower division courses. Should a student wish to obtain credit for a class comparable to that listed in the General Catalog but taken at another institution, he/she must present evidence of similarity in course content by making available course outlines, class notes, texts, letters, etc., to the Department through the Undergraduate Coordinator. The ultimate decision, based upon the recommendation of the Department, rests with the Division of Undergraduate Studies.