The Anthropology major offered at CSU San Marcos is distinguished from other anthropology degrees in the following ways:
- Collaborative: advanced course work involves Community Partners and collaborative research and documentation projects.
- Field Research: students conduct field research in collaboration with community partners to address regional needs while training students in ethnographic field research methods
- Addresses Regional Needs: collaborative research projects focusing on health and health care of transnational, migrant, and ethnic communities, cultural survival and preservation of indigenous cultural forms, as well as outreach and recruitment of underrepresented communities through student participation from these communities
- Community Partners: advanced coursework is founded upon collaborative relationships with Community Partners including the San Luis Rey Band of Luiseño Indians, the Coalition of Indigenous Oaxacan Communities, the Binational Indigenous Communities Front, Vista Community Clinic, North County Health Services, the National Latino Research Center, the Farmworker C.A.R.E. Coalition, Palomar-Pomerado Health, and the San Diego Archaeological Center.
- Community Service Learning: the anthropology degree’s senior level coursework includes 9 units of Community Service Learning courses
- Interdisciplinary: coursework from related disciplines counts toward completion of the anthropology degree and several upper-division courses are taught in tandem and in association with other fields including visual and performing arts, mass media, and nursing.
- Complementary: articulation with local community colleges serves to complement rather than duplicate their offerings in areas of archaeology, biological anthropology, and American Indian Studies by counting some community college coursework toward Anthropology major requirements.