bus in another country


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.

Career Links

Riley and students in Indonesia

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 travel restrictions.)
Location: Sulawesi, Indonesia
Application: October 1, 2021 - February 15, 2022

Learn More: 

Visit: calabroad.sdsu.edu/fieldwork and add your name to the inquiry list!

Info Sessions: 12:00 p.m.  Zoom Meeting ID: 892 6845 8114

  • Friday, Sept. 17, 2021
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2021
  • Friday, February 4, 2021


student working in field Oaxaca, Mexico 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]

students at Harrison archaelogical field school

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)

Download the program application

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).

On-Campus Internships

These internships are on the SDSU campus and are faculty led. Please apply directly with the listed faculty member(s).

SDSU Collections Management

Collections revitalization
Internship Contact: Jaime Lennox, Director [email protected].


South Coast Information Center

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).

La Mesa Historical Society

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).

  1. General application form
  2. Criminal record statement form

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])


San Diego Archaeology Center

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.

San Diego Museum of Man

Collections and Public Outreach


San Diego Natural History Museum (“The Nat”)

Collections and Public Outreach


San Diego Zoo

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
(619) 220-5314
[email protected]


San Diego History Center

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
Fax: 619-443-0173
[email protected]


The Pechanga Cultural Center

Pechanga Cultural Resources Department
Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians
P.O. Box 1477
Temecula, CA 92593


Chicano Federation

PO Box 5427
San Diego CA 92165-5427
Office located at: 3180 University Avenue, Suite 317
(619) 285-5614
[email protected]


Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego

P O Box 620988
San Diego, CA 92162-0988
(858) 505-9020


The International Rescue Committee

Volunteer Coordinator
(619) 641-7510
San Diego, California
5348 University Ave, Suite 205
San Diego, CA 92105 

And also:

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.

Visit their website for more information.

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.

Visit their website for more information.

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.

Visit their website for more information.

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.

Visit their website for more information.

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.

Visit their website for more information.


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