Moorea dancers, photo credit M. Lauer

Why Us?

The discipline of anthropology takes a sweeping approach to understanding the human condition (see this video about anthropology). Since the 19th century anthropologists have produced knowledge about humanity across the entire history of our species, including our biological evolutionary history, our historical and prehistoric heritage, as well the cultural, political, economic, and environmental dynamics of the contemporary world. Moreover, anthropology explores whatever people are doing or have done in the past in every context around the world where humans live or have lived in the past. To develop this holistic understanding, anthropologists are trained in the social, natural, and physical sciences, as well as the humanities.

SDSU’s Department of Anthropology is home to a world-renowned group of research active faculty and top-notch lecturers. Our department offers an undergraduate major (Bachelor of Arts), a minor, and a graduate degree (Master of Arts). Our BA and MA students emerge ready for today’s job market by gaining integrated training in all four of anthropology’s subfields—cultural anthropology, physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology.*

Our faculty are actively engaged in diverse research projects here locally here in San Diego and southern California, as well as internationally in locales such as Mexico, the Pacific, Brazil, Italy, Indonesia, and India, One of our program’s greatest strengths is that we provide numerous opportunities for students, both undergraduates and graduates, to engage in research with faculty. Our students have opportunities to gain research experience through field schools or training in our seven laboratories or centers.

Engaged Anthropology

Anthropology is inherently an engaged practice since our research and teaching always involves ethical and moral dimensions, no matter if we are learning about ancient bones or flora, the behavior of primates, or contemporary languages or politics. As such, our students are trained to both theorize about human lifeways and to apply anthropological principles and methods to not only address problems in the contemporary world but also move towards more just, equitable, and less environmentally destructive futures.