Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

The undergraduate program is built around a core of courses designed to provide a broad base of knowledge in the field. Courses in several areas give concentrated preparation for careers or graduate training in anthropology.

No subfield concentration is required for the baccalaureate degree in anthropology. However, several sequences of courses are recommended for students who want to concentrate in a particular subfield. Majors are required to meet with an advisor every fall semester to discuss the most appropriate course sequence.

Students are also encouraged to meet with an advisor early in their college career to discuss Study Abroad options in consultation with the Office of International Programs.

  • Anthropology majors must complete the foundation core before enrolling in the remaining major requirements
  • At least one upper division course in Area 1, Area 2, or electives, must be taken in each of the three subfields:
    • biological,
    • cultural/visual, and
    • archaeology.
  • The university-wide electives must be pre-approved by an advisor to qualify as credits toward the major.
  • No more than six units can be taken in internships (ANTH 695), independent study (ANTH 699), and teaching (ANTH 685) combined.
  • Courses taken in fulfillment of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade (no CR/NC).

Anthropology Major (B.A.) — 39 Units

Foundation Core  (15 Units)

ANTH 100Introduction to Biological Anthropology3
ANTH 110Introduction to Archaeology3
ANTH 120Introductory Social and Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 300Foundations of Anthropology: History3
ANTH 305GWWriting Anthropology - GWAR3

Area 1: Theory and Foundations (3 Units)

Select one of the following:
ANTH 301Foundations of Archaeology3
ANTH 302Foundations of Human Variation3
ANTH/SOC 420Indigenous Media and Social Change4

Area 2: Methods and Practicum (3 Units)

Students may choose six units from Area 2 and reduce the number of anthropology electives to nine units.

Select one of the following:
ANTH 333Primate Behavior4
ANTH 530Human Osteology Practicum4
ANTH 531Fossil Humans Practicum4
ANTH 592Archaeological Methods4
ANTH/USP 557Ethnography of the Inner City4
ANTH/CINE 595Visual Anthropology I6
ANTH/CINE 596Visual Anthropology II4
ANTH 651Ethnographic Field Methods4
ANTH 652Anthropological Statistics4

Electives in Anthropology (12 Units)

Upper division units selected from any courses with the ANTH prefix including those from the two areas that have not been used to fulfill the area requirements.

University-wide Electives (6 Units)

Upper division courses by advisement in anthropology or related fields. Students must have advisor approval for courses they want to apply to the major.

Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). Students completing this major may not reach the required number of upper division units required for graduation. Additional upper division courses may be needed to reach the required total.

Complementary Studies

All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology must complete at least 12 units of complementary studies from courses outside the primary prefix for the major, and not cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major. Students who complete a second major, a minor, or a minimum of 12 units in an approved Study Abroad program, automatically complete the Complementary Studies requirement and units may be double-counted toward the major where applicable.

Other options for complementary studies are:

  1. Foreign Language: 12 units in a single foreign language; or
  2. Related Subjects: 12 units of course work in related disciplines with the approval of an Anthropology Department advisor.

Related disciplines typically included courses in the College of Ethnic Studies, Classics, Geology, Geography, Sexuality Studies, Sociology, History, Language Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. Up to six units may be double-counted toward fulfillment of the University-wide elective units for the major. Units may be upper division, lower division, transfer or resident units.

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = Lower Division; UD = Upper Division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

This 2017–2018 roadmap opens in a new tab.

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an Anthropology Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T). This 2017–2018 roadmap opens in a new tab.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Anthropology

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission, but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit http://www.assist.org. Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major, including 2nd-semester composition;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on the first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit http://bulletin.sfsu.edu/undergraduate-education/general-education/lower-division/#AAEL.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlined below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.