The Department of Anthropology at SDSU, recognizes that in order for students to learn to be practicing Anthropologists, they must have hands on experience and training in the field. To this end, the department offers students opportunities to participate in departmental field schools as well as a number of internships in our laboratories and centers. This provides our students with practical knowledge and training that can not be found in any textbook.
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.
- Careers in Anthropology (American Anthropological Association)
- Top 11 Jobs for Anthropology Majors (The Balance Careers)
- Career Paths for Anthropology Majors (UC Davis)
- Jobs for Anthropology Majors (One Day One Job)
- What you can REALLY do with an anthropology degree (Savage Minds)
- Career Paths (Discover Anthropology)
- 15 Careers For People With An Anthropology Degree (Odyssey)
- Shocker: Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy (Inside Higher Ed)
- The Changing Face of Anthropology (American Anthropological Association)
Indonesia Fieldwork Experience
Dr. Erin Riley (Professor, Anthropology) is recruiting students to participate in her project titled, “Whose woods are these?: Human-wildlife conflict and biodiversity conservation in Sulawesi, Indonesia.”
Selected students will join Dr. Riley on an immersive, 3-week grant funded fieldwork experience in Indonesia. Fieldwork activities will include: lectures and meetings with faculty and leaders of governmental and non-governmental organizations focused on sustainable development and biodiversity conservation, and field training modules in primate/wildlife ecology, ethnographic research methods, and conservation education models.
Through this project, SDSU students will develop critical skills needed to become successful researchers and global citizens, as well as invaluable life skills, such as interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.
*Ideal student qualifications: interest in conservation, sustainability, environmental anthropology, primatology and/or wildlife ecology
Program Date: July 2022 (Note: The dates could possibly change due to potential future Covid-19
Location: Sulawesi, Indonesia
Application: October 1, 2021 - February 15, 2022
- Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
- Wednesday, December 1, 2021
- Friday, February 4, 2021
Ethnographic Field School in Oaxaca, Mexico
Due to COVID-19, this program is currently suspended. To view opportunities that are still available, search in Aztecs Abroad.
The Center for Latin American Studies invites you to join the Ethnographic Field School in Oaxaca, Mexico! Oaxaca, one of the most beautiful areas in Mexico, is home to more than 16 different indigenous groups that make up 48% of the total population. Their cultural and linguistic differences have resulted in one of the richest cuisines in the world.
This course will introduce you to the various methods used in qualitative research design and implementation through the hands on field experience. The course will allow you to develop the skills necessary to move a conceptual plan of interest to a legitimate research project, develop participatory research, and understand both the depth and breadth of qualitative research.
Course number: ANTH 520: Ethnographic Field Methods (3 units)
Location: Oaxaca City, Mexico and rural indigenous community outside of Oaxaca City
Email: [email protected]
Historical Archaeology Field School at Palomar Mountain's Nate Harrison Site
Harrison, a freed black slave, was one of the region's pioneers and likely San Diego County's first African-American homesteader. The excavations focus on Harrison's cabin and surrounding areas. During the course of the field school, students learn how to excavate, map, and record all that they find using the latest archaeological technologies.
Summer 2021 Archaeological Field School and Lab Course
(June 1-19 and July 19-August 6, 2021)
Programs & Opportunities
To browse the numerous other study abroad opportunities available at SDSU, visit Aztecs Abroad, the database of all pre-approved study abroad programs. From short-term, semester and yearlong study abroad programs, to international internships, service-learning or research opportunities, SDSU provides hundreds of options for students to incorporate an international experience into their SDSU experience.
Don’t miss out on the numerous study abroad scholarship opportunities available. Visit the CAL Study Abroad Scholarships page to learn about SDSU scholarships, as well as external scholarships and grants.
Current internship opportunities
The following are current and ongoing opportunities for internships. These are with organizations that have been pre-vetted, making the process of getting an internship smoother for you. Once you have applied for and confirmed one of these internship opportunities, you will only need to fill out the basic ANTH 495 form (and, for off-campus internships, the release of liability form as well).
These internships are on the SDSU campus and are faculty led. Please apply directly with the listed faculty member(s).
Internship Contact: Jaime Lennox, Director [email protected].
GIS and Database Management, Record Searches
Internship Contact: Jaime Lennox, Coordinator [email protected]
Faculty-led Off-Campus Internships
These internships occur off-campus, but are led by SDSU faculty. Please apply directly with the listed faculty member(s).
Historic Preservation, Field Survey, and Archival Research
Please contact Dr. Isaac Ullah ([email protected]) about internship opportunities with the La Mesa Historical Society.
Waldorf School of San Diego
Applied Ethnography ( The partner school for this program is a mid-sized organization. In light of the variety of functions the intern may serve there, a particular interest in childhood or education is not necessarily a prerequisite for eligibility, and assignments/duties may be tailored to fit student interests. View a full description of the program)
To apply, please print and then complete the following two forms. Submit two hard copies of the total package to Dr. EJ Sobo via the anthropology office (you also may contact Dr. Sobo directly, at [email protected] or in AL-448A).
The priority deadlines for applications are: November 15 for Spring, March 30 for Summer and Fall. Late applications can be considered if spaces still are available.
Pre-arranged Independent Off-Campus Internships
These internships occur off-campus with partner organizations that have expressed direct commitments to regularly accept SDSU Anthropology interns. Spots may be limited in any particular semester, and you may need to apply in a competitive fashion. Please apply directly with the listed contact.
CalTrans Cultural Resources
Cultural Resources Surveys, Record Searches, Survey Reports
Please contact Dr. Isaac Ullah ([email protected])
Collections, Research, Public Outreach
Independent Off-Campus Internships (direct applications necessary)
These internships occur off campus with partner institutions that regularly, but not always, accept SDSU anthropology interns. You need to inquire and/or apply directly to these institutions to see if there are any upcoming opportunities.
Collections and Public Outreach
Collections and Public Outreach
Primate care and research
California State Parks - Southern Service Center
Public History, Historic Preservation
James D. Newland, Supervising Historian
Manager, Resources and Interpretive Services
8885 Rio San Diego Drive, # 270
San Diego, CA 92108
Collections/Archives and Public History
Possible additional internship opportunities
The following are organizations that may also offer internships for SDSU Anthropology students, but you will have to contact them directly to inquire about any such opportunities that may exist. If you get an opportunity to do an internship with one of these organizations, please contact Dr. Isaac Ullah ([email protected]) as soon as possible, as there is additional paperwork (beyond the basic forms) that needs to be completed. Note that this is not an exhaustive list (!); if you come across another internship opportunity, we can likely make it work. Please contact Dr. Ullah with any such opportunities as soon as possible to get started.
Barona Cultural Center Museum
1095 Barona Road
Lakeside, CA 92040
Phone: 619-443-7003, X 219
Pechanga Cultural Resources Department
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians
P.O. Box 1477
Temecula, CA 92593
PO Box 5427
San Diego CA 92165-5427
Office located at: 3180 University Avenue, Suite 317
P O Box 620988
San Diego, CA 92162-0988
The International Rescue Committee
San Diego, California
5348 University Ave, Suite 205
San Diego, CA 92105
Biological Anthropology Laboratory
Location: Storm Hall 225, 227, 229 and 231; AL 463 (Primate Wing)
Directors: Arion Mayes, Erin Riley, and Casey Roulette
The biological anthropology lab serves as the primary location for teaching and research in biological anthropology at SDSU. The set of collections housed in the lab represents one of the best in the region. This set includes: a human anatomy collection of 15 articulated and 20-25 unarticulated skeletons; paleopathology casts; forensic casts depicting trauma, malnutrition, aging and sexing; a faunal collection used to compare human and nonhuman morphology; a human origins collection that includes a replica of the Laetoli footprints, more than 30 hominin casts, and articulated “Lucy,” Homo erectus, and Neandertal skeletons; and, an extensive nonhuman primate collection of six articulated skeletons and >30 skulls and casts. The lab also houses PC and Mac computers with GIS, Adobe, and SPSS software, a TV for behavioral coding, and key research equipment including an x-ray machine and processor for radiographic analysis of bone and artifacts, anthropometric equipment used in skeletal analysis, an electronic microscope, a skeletal digitizer, and a centrifuge.
The Computational Archaeology Lab
Location: Hardy Tower 62 and 66
Director: Isaac Ullah
The main focus of the lab is on research into the origins of coupled human and natural systems using open-science computational approaches such as Open Source GIS, Agent Based Modeling, Imagery Analysis, and Statistical Computing. A second focus of the lab is on geoarchaeology, micro-refuse analysis, and sediment analysis. Facilities include six Ubuntu Linux computer workstations with installations of GRASS GIS, QGIS, Image-J, R, Scientific Python, Open Drone Map, Meshlab, NetLogo, RePast, PyABM, and much more. Additional resources include a Puget Systems “Peak” HPC workstation for parallel and high-performance computing, an aerial drone with multispectral camera, an artifact photography/photgrammetry station, high precision bluetooth GPS units, mobile tablets for field data collection, a full set of nesting geologic sieves, a mechanical sieve shaker, a precision balance, USB microscopes, wacom digitizing tablets, and other geoarchaeological, archaeological, and computational lab tools.
Environmental Archaeology and Anthropology Teaching and Research Laboratory
Location: Hardy Tower 135 and 137
Directors: Todd Braje and Matthew Lauer
The lab is devoted to understanding human-environmental relationships through time and space. Facilities include a HP Designjet 510 48in large-format plotter, two PCs that have GIS, remote sensing, and statistical software including ArcGIS and SPSS, and three Trimble Geoexplorer GPS receivers. The EAL shares facilities with the geography department’s Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) lab. CESAR has extensive resources such as graphics (Adobe Photoshop), remote sensing, and modeling software, large format color plotters (HP 5500ps Designjet), and mapping-grade scanners and digitizers.
Historical Archaeology and Maya Research (HAMR) Laboratory
Location: Hardy Tower 70 and 70B
Directors: Seth Mallios and Joseph Ball
The Historical Archaeology/Maya Research Lab is a dual teaching/research work space for studies in Historical and Maya Archaeology. The Historical Archaeology Lab contains collections from the Nate Harrison (2004-08) and Whaley House (2007-11) excavations as well as material from the San Diego Gravestone Project and the Archaeology of SDSU Project. The Maya Research Lab houses several extensive reference and study collections of archaeological ceramics and lithic artifacts from southeastern Mexico (Campeche and Yucatan), northern Belize, and western Belize available both for comparative purposes and for individual independent research projects. There is also an ethnographic collection of Maya domestic pottery, incensarios, and other material culture made in the late 1960s and early 1970s. On site equipment includes two computer setups with accompanying scanners and printers, both computers with Access and Paradox database software and standard Office applications, and both holding the extensive artifactual and contextual catalogues and databases from the 1984-1994 and 1997-2000 SDSU Belize archaeological programs and the 2003-2005 SDSU-Universidad Autónoma de Campeche archaeological field program.
San Diego State University Collections Management Program
Location: Hardy Tower 69 and 71
Director: Jaime Lennox
The mission of the collections management program is to preserve and curate artifacts and their associated documents for academic research, public education, and use by Native Americans and others. Archaeological collections curated at SDSU represent a significant resource for research and education. Collections management has an active research program with opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to undertake independent studies and internships.
Opportunities to learn about local archaeology, artifact identification, exhibitions, curation, and federal and state regulations are abundant. The collections management program also has an active education outreach program where experienced graduate students bring artifacts to the classroom for an interactive hands-on experience.
South Coastal Information Center
Location: Arts and Letters 106
Director: Seth Mallios and Jaime Lennox (Coordinator)
SCIC operates under contract with the State Office of Historic Preservation in response to federal (National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act) and state
legislation (California Environmental Quality Act) enacted to provide for the preservation of historic resources. The major function of the SCIC is to accumulate and distribute archaeological and historical information in the form of archaeological site records, maps, reports, and electronic data for the San Diego and Imperial counties.
Zooarchaeology Research Lab
Location: Arts and Letters 516
Director: Nicole Mathwich
The Zooarchaeology Research Lab is a research and teaching space for studies in zooarchaeology and the study of animal remains at archaeological sites. The lab contains reference specimens and collections used for student research, and students will find support for their work in training and lab resources. Facilities include modern reference skeletons, microscope, scales, calipers, micro-drill, osteology reference books, photography equipment, and computer work station with Image-J, R, Adobe Creative Suite, and SPSS. As the newest archaeology lab space, the Zooarchaeology Research Lab is eminently adaptable to student interests in zooarchaeology.
- Norton and Ethel Allen Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Anthropology
- Pitt Warner Endowed Anthropology Scholarship
- Sonek Memorial Fund
For more information and to search for scholarships, please visit the SDSU Scholarships page
Anthropology Related Organizations
- American Anthropological Association (AAA)
- Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA)
- National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA)
- American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA)
- Society of Forensic Anthropologists (SOFA)
- Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
- Society for California Archaeology (SCA)
- Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)
- American Society of Primatologists (ASP)
- Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA)
- World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA)