couple holding hands at marriage ceremony in India

Why Us?

SDSU’s Department of Anthropology is home to a world-renowned group of specialist tenure-track faculty; we also have the best anthropology lecturers in the region. 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. Our department offers a major (Bachelor of Arts), a minor, and a Master of Arts in Anthropology. Graduate students may also opt for a specific focus in Applied Anthropology. Our BA and MA students emerge ready for today’s job market.

The discipline of anthropology incorporates a diverse range of theoretical and methodological approaches that draw from the social and natural sciences, as well as from the humanities. Our department fully embraces this diversity of traditions by supporting an integrated subdiscipline approach that requires students to gain knowledge and training in all four subfields—cultural anthropology, physical/biological anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology.* We also recognize applied anthropology as an important component of the holistic approach. As such, our students are trained in the application of anthropological principles and methodologies to address problems in the contemporary world.

Faculty members and students work locally here in San Diego and southern California, as well as internationally in Mexico (Baja California, Oaxaca, and Campeche), the Solomon Islands, Brazil, Tanzania, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Italy, and Indonesia. One of our program’s greatest strengths is that we provide numerous opportunities for students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, to engage in research with faculty. Our students can gain research experience through annual field schools as well as through collaboration with faculty on current projects. Although much of what we do is field-based, research and special instructional facilities on campus include various laboratories.  Facilities available in the community include the Museum of Man, the San Diego Zoo, and various internship sites for applied research.  

To learn more about careers in Anthropology, see the section on our opportunities page; to learn more about what we do, please see our News, Events, & Media page or drop in to visit with us (for office hours, stop by the main office: AL 448).

Download a copy of our diversity plan.


*Subfield Definitions: Archaeology = analysis of past cultures through a focus on material remains or artifacts; Sociocultural anthropology = study of socio-cultural processes and diversity; Linguistic anthropology = analysis of cultural differences in communication; Biological anthropology = study of past and present human and primate populations.