May 24, 2024  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology website

Anthropology, Division of

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Division Coordinators

Carl Wendt, Archaeology Program
Barbra Erickson, Cultural Anthropology Program
John Patton, Evolutionary Anthropology Program

Division Office/Website

McCarthy Hall 426


Ahmed Afzal, John Bock, Brenda Bowser, Barbra Erickson, Peter Fashing, Sarah Grant, Steven James, Sara Johnson, Edward Knell, Joseph Nevadomsky, Nga Nguyen, John Patton, Elizabeth Pillsworth, Karen Stocker, Carl Wendt


Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic study of humans, our ancestors and our nonhuman primate relatives. Anthropologists are interested in a wide range of human activities, including communication and language, economics, political organization, religion, the arts, philosophy, education, health and nutritional practices, social organization, marriage, child rearing and development, science and technology. Anthropology fosters the study of people from all over the world as they live now, and in the prehistoric and historic past. A major goal of anthropology is to understand people living in relationship with their environment. Through an integrative analysis of evolution, adaptation and variation in terms of biology, culture, language and behavior, anthropologists understand the totality of the human experience. In our department, the four subfields of anthropology emphasize: application of evolutionary theory to understanding behavioral and physiological interaction with their ecological, social and cultural contexts; cultural practices and beliefs; development and use of language and symbols; and evidence regarding these areas from past times. Faculty also focus on areas such as primate conservation, cultural resource management and applied anthropology.

Degree Desciptions

The major in Anthropology is designed to prepare students for advanced degrees in Anthropology, as well as for positions in the private and public sector. Social service, marketing research, museum work, health professions, cultural resources management, primate conservation and international development are some of the areas that offer many opportunities for anthropology graduates.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) Program in Anthropology at CSUF offers students advanced coursework and research experience in several specialized areas of anthropology, including archaeology, and cultural and evolutionary anthropology. Students may pursue three different specializations in the Anthropology M.A. degree program: Archaeology; Cultural Anthropology; and Evolutionary Anthropology (though these specializations do not appear on the transcript or the diploma). The program provides excellent preparation for Ph.D. work by offering advanced statistical and methodological courses and research experience. The graduate education also prepares students for a variety of careers outside of academia, including in corporations, all levels of government and non-profit organizations. Students who are committed to the field of anthropology, but are undecided on a specialty, have an opportunity to explore options.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

International Aspects of Anthropology

Anthropology is inherently international in scope, drawing on worldwide, cross-cultural comparisons for understanding culture and what it means to be human. We offer an inter-disciplinary perspective to promote an understanding of globalization and transnationalism. The department encourages study in different cultures and will provide, where appropriate, academic credit for participation in academic programs and supervised research abroad.

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsMaster of ArtsNon-DegreeCertificate



      Courses are designated as ANTH in the class schedule.

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