hand holds a pottery fragment, Image Credit: M. Lauer

Undergraduate Program

Major in Anthropology

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, the student must meet the requirements for a degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences and the requirements for a major in anthropology. A minor is not required for a B.A. in anthropology.

The requirements for the Anthropology Major are copied below for your convenience. Please be sure to double check these requirements with those listed in the official SDSU Course Catalog for the academic year in which you matriculated to SDSU. The course catalog is the only official source of information about degree requirements.

Preparation for the major consists of 9 units:
  • Anthropology 101
  • Anthropology 102
  • Anthropology 103

The major consists of a minimum of 37 upper division units, at least 34 of which are in anthropology, to include:

  • Anthropology 301 (3 units)
  • Anthropology 302 (3 units)
  • Anthropology 303 (3 units)
  • Anthropology 304 or 410 or 460 (3 units) 
  • Anthropology 395 (1 unit)

One course may be substituted with another upper division anthropology course with consent of the department.

Six units selected from the following “methods” courses:


  • Anthropology 312
  • Anthropology 348
  • Anthropology 355
  • Anthropology 360
  • Anthropology 495
  • Anthropology 505
  • Anthropology 520
  • Anthropology 531
  • Anthropology 532
  • Anthropology 546
  • Anthropology 560
  • Anthropology 561
  • Anthropology 562
  • Anthropology 563
  • Anthropology 564
  • Anthropology 565 
  • Anthropology 483 (with consent of the department)
  • Anthropology 499 (with consent of the department)
  • Anthropology 583 (with consent of the department)

Eighteen additional upper division units, at least 15 of which are in anthropology, one course of the 18 additional upper division units may be selected from one of the following courses (which will also satisfy three units of the General Education requirement in IV.A., B., or C.):

  • American Indian Studies 420
  • Biology 315
  • Chicana and Chicano Studies 301
  • Geography 312
  • History 406
  • History 441
  • Philosophy 330
  • Philosophy 332  [or Sustainability 332]
  • Political Science 435
  • Religious Studies 376
  • Sociology 320
  • Sociology 355
  • Women’s Studies 310
  • Women’s Studies 382


At SDSU, students and faculty confront real-world problems through the practical application of anthropology, promoting an understanding of human diversity and commonality across the globe and throughout time. We accomplish this through our strengths, a holistic four-field approach (archaeological, biological, socio-cultural and linguistic anthropology) and engaging our students in a wide variety of hands-on opportunities, including fieldwork, lab work, and internships.

Learning Goals

PLG 1  Working knowledge of key concepts
Students will have working knowledge of the key concepts and principles employed in anthropology.

PLG 2  Working knowledge of theory
Students will develop a working knowledge of theory in anthropology. This includes key individuals who influenced current anthropological thought, both directly and indirectly, and, when applicable, the technological advancements that helped shape anthropological theory.

PLG 3  Grasp of ethics
Students will understand the ethical issues involved with working with human and nonhuman primate subjects and with material culture.

PLG 4  Skill in data collection and analysis (methods)
Students will demonstrate analytical skills and experience using methods in at least one of the subfields to conduct basic research.

Learning Outcomes

DLO 1  Key Concepts 
Students will be able to: 
Explain and discuss basic concepts in biological anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology (the four subfields of the discipline), as well as in applied/practicing anthropology.

DLO 2  Theory 
Students will be able to: 
Discuss contrasting theoretical approaches in biological anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology. Analyze and critique relevant literature in anthropology. Use anthropological theories to critically evaluate concepts, research and social phenomena. Think critically about different ways anthropology can be applied to major issues in contemporary society and the student's own life.

DLO 3  Ethics 
Students will be able to: 
Describe and explain the ethics principles of anthropological professional associations as they relate to the work and engagement of anthropologists. Students’ recognition of ethical responsibilities incudes obligations to consultants and the people studied, respecting human diversity, and abiding by the ethical principles of the subfields of the anthropology and in their application.

DLO 4:  Methods 
Students will be able to: 
Explain research methods used by anthropologists, including the collection and analysis of various types of data; use data to construct and communicate coherent arguments.

View the Matrix of Learning Outcomes

Minor in Anthropology

The minor in anthropology consists of a minimum of 18 units in anthropology.

  • 6 units (two courses) selected from:
    • Anthropology 101
    • Anthropology 102
    • Anthropology 103
  • 12 upper division units in anthropology

Courses in the minor may not be counted toward the major, but may be used to satisfy preparation for the major and general education requirements, if applicable. A minimum of six upper division units must be completed in residence at San Diego State University.