Jun 15, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Anthropology, B.A.

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Program of Study

Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present, and what they think and do. Anthropology embraces a holistic perspective—the big picture—when examining human phenomena, seeking to understand human ideas and behavior as they are influenced by biological, ecological, economic, social, political, cultural, and religious factors and realities.

The Anthropology major at California State University San Marcos is an applied, collaborative, and interdisciplinary course of study that engages students directly with the interests and efforts of local communities. The Anthropology major takes into primary consideration the special role of Cal State San Marcos in the north San Diego county region and the opportunities for community-based research and fieldwork. CSUSM anthropology students gain hands-on field research experience through participation in long-term and ongoing anthropological and archeological research among some of San Diego County’s diverse communities. The Anthropology major’s enhanced learning experiences gained through field research are based on collaborative partnerships with community organizations and agencies. The Anthropology major distinguishes itself through long-term collaborative research projects that enhance student learning experiences, promote the interests of local communities, and practice complementary exchange between the University and the community. Through an engaged and innovative curriculum that responds to state and regional needs, the anthropology program trains students in qualitative and quantitative research methods that include ethnography, participant observation, ethnographic film, social documentation, ethnomedicine, ethnobotany, survey, and applied archaeology.

Program Objectives

  • Provide applied learning experiences for students through collaborative, community-based field research using medical, cultural, visual, and environmental anthropological methods.
  • Engender holistic understanding of the complex social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental influences on the human experience.
  • Contribute to raising awareness of issues surrounding indigenous and transnational communities in the region and cultural awareness in general.
  • Engage in collaborative, community-based approaches to medical, cultural, and environmental issues.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative research methods, including ethnographic fieldwork, community-based needs assessment, interviewing, focus groups, applied archaeology, and social documentation to address long-term community interests.
  • Commit to partnerships among the University, students, and community aimed at regional enhancement through collaborative research and action.
  • Respect the many ways of knowing and doing that we encounter in professional, civic, and daily life.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology will be able to:

  1. Identify human universals within various anthropological models.
  2. Research and communicate human phenomena and culture from an anthropological perspective.
  3. Define the emic and etic perspectives and apply appropriate anthropological theories to bridge the two.
  4. Identify ethical issues surrounding anthropological investigation.
  5. Collaborate on research projects relevant to the discipline.

Opportunities for Concentrated Study

Each student majoring in anthropology must also choose a concentration area in which to pursue more focused instruction around a key subfield of the discipline. While gaining a depth of understanding in a particular content area, students also further develop the key skills and knowledge encompassed by our general learning objectives. We currently offer five areas of concentrated study:

  • Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Indigenous Anthropology
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Sociocultural Anthropology

The requirements for each concentration are described in detail below.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Anthropology major will be uniquely positioned to acquire professional employment in the areas of social services, health services, education, and public service because they will have been engaged in research projects involving these areas and collaborating with local agencies focused on the delivery of these services. Additionally, graduates who desire to continue post-baccalaureate study in anthropology will benefit from CSUSM’s established and cooperative links with anthropology graduate programs of regional institutions, including UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and San Diego State University.

Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Arts and Minor in Anthropology

All courses counted toward the major, including Preparation for the Major courses, and the Minor must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

General Education (48 Units)

General Education Requirements  

Preparation for the Major (12 Units)

Language Proficiency (0-9 Units)

All Anthropology majors must meet a second-language proficiency requirement.  This is satisfied with a 200-level class or demonstrating proficiency in a language other than English. For details on how to satisfy this requirement, please refer to Language Proficiency Requirement  .

Major Requirements (36 Units)


Core Anthropology Course (3 Units)

Foundational Anthropology Courses for Major (18 Units)

Choose any six (6) 300-level Anthropology courses outside of ANTH 391  and courses counting toward chosen concentration.

Students may choose from five concentrations:

Archeology, Biological Anthropology, Indigenous Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Sociocultural Anthropology.

Choose two (2) of the following field research courses (6 units)

Biological Anthropology Concentration Requirements (15 units)

Indigenous Anthropology Concentration Requirements (15 units)

Medical Anthropology Concentration Requirements (15 units)

Sociocultural Anthropology Concentration Requirements (15 units)

Breadth Requirement (3 Units)

Additional course in Upper-Division Social Sciences (DD designated) or Humanities (CC designated) outside the major.  This requirement can also count as the DD or CC requirement in Upper-Division General Education, but it must be taken in a program other than Anthropology.  Any course carrying the DD or CC designation outside of Anthropology can be used to fulfill this requirement.  If students choose to satisfy their UDGE DD or CC with a course outside the major, the breadth requirement will become 3 free elective units.

Minimum Total (120 Units)

Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total to a minimum of 120

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