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Program Description

The Anthropology department offers a Bachelor of Arts with five concentrations and a Minor in Anthropology.  After a core curriculum of anthropological concepts, theory, and methods, anthropology students work collaboratively with Anthropology faculty and local communities and agencies. 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, visual ethnography, social documentation, ethnomedicine, ethnobotany, biological anthropology and  archaeology.

The anthropology major distinguishes itself through long-term collaborative research projects that enhance student learning experiences, promote the interests of local communities, and reciprocal exchange between the university and the community.

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Anthropology Concentrations

The program at CSUSM allows for students to choose a path of study through five different concentrations. These concentrations allow students to emphasize one subfield of the discipline.


Focus on archaeological methods, theory and practice.  Students are provided direct field experience in cultural resource management, survey, data collection and analysis and report writing.  International Archaeology opportunities, CSUSM Belize Archaeology Channel.

Biological Anthropology

Focus on human biology, forensics and primate behavior. Students conduct observation and laboratory work aimed a expanding their expertise with in human and non human primate genetics, evolution and biological diversity. 

Indigenous Anthropology

Focus on working collaboratively with  indigenous communities on long-term research and social documentation projects. Students leave the program with expertise on the complex social, structural, historical and cultural conditions impacting indigenous communities globally. 

Medical Anthropology

Focus on the study of medical systems, health care systems, access to and utilization of health care, medicinal concepts and practices, ethnobotany, and forms of diagnosis, prognosis, illness causation, and disease etiologies. Advanced students conduct field research and internships in the context of community-based research projects, health care settings, and internships.

SocioCultural Anthropology

Focus on contemporary sociocultural issues encountered by human societies both locally, regionally and globally. Students work collaboratively with faculty and their student colleagues to conduct ethnographic research on issues relevant to their communities and receive training on how to transform data into applied recommendations for community partners.