Department of Anthropology
What is Anthropology?
anthropology noun an·thro·pol·o·gy \ˌan(t)-thrə-ˈpä-lə-jē\
(1) the study of us, focused on understanding human cultures, communities, biologies,
artifacts, and ecologies over time and around the world;
(2) the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities
Anthropologists study the biological characteristics, evolutionary history, geographic distribution, environmental adaptations, linguistic practices, social relationships, institutions, customs, knowledge, myths, and cultural processes of human populations.
Meet some of our faculty
Discussing gentrification with local residents in Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro.
(Photo credit: Jessica Baham)
Reviewing photo cards for a group of moor macaques (Macaca maura) in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
(Photo credit: Kate Jameson, SDSU alum)
Learning from fishermen in French Polynesia.
(Photo credit: Matthew Lauer)
Why choose our program?
Our programs provide a broad background for the various specialized areas in the field: (a) archaeology, the analysis of past cultures through a focus on material remains or artifacts; (b) socio-cultural anthropology, the study of socio-cultural processes and diversity; (c) linguistic anthropology, the analysis of cultural differences in communication; and (d) biological anthropology, the study of past and present human and primate populations.
Research and special instructional facilities provided by the department include various laboratories and other options for hands-on learning. Facilities available in the community include the Museum of Man, the San Diego Zoo, and various internship sites for applied research.
Most importantly, we boast a world-renowned group of specialist tenure track faculty and the best lecturers around. Students who join the Department of Anthropology at SDSU come away with an excellent understanding of human biological and cultural diversity across space and time—past, present, and future.
Meet some of our students
What can YOU do with your anthropology degree?
A degree in Anthropology will provide you with critical skills that will make you highly competitive for careers in either the public or private sector, including corporations, consulting firms, and community-based organizations. According to US News, anthropology ranks #5 among the 'best science jobs.' Anthropologists made a median salary of $62,280 in 2017 (25% made over $80K that year). And -- according to the the US Department of Labor -- employment of anthropologists is expected to grow by four percent until at least 2024.
Employment opportunities for anthropology graduates include academic research and teaching as well as nonacademic or applied careers, for example in nonprofit associations, federal, state, local government, and international agencies; in health care, business, and manufacturing organizations; at research institutes; at zoos or wildlife preserves; on environmental projects, doing human-impact assessment or resource management; and in museums.
Meet some of our alumni
Child Advocates of Placer County
Ethnographic Cinematographer and Building Contractor (retired)
Lead Games User Researcher,
Provides a forum for the discussion, promotion, and realization of anthropological pursuits for students in the department.
Facilitates a unified graduate student voice and to provide peer support for academic and professional endeavors.
Friends of Anthropology (FOA)
Creates community interest in anthropology, linking students with practical experience and job opportunities. For information about FOA, contact the department at [email protected].