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 provide 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:
Courses taken in fulfillment of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade (no CR/NC).
Program Learning Outcomes
- Diversity: Demonstrate an awareness and knowledge of a culturally and biologically diverse world. (Intro Core Courses: ANTH 100, ANTH 110, ANTH 120; elective courses)
- Describe the field of anthropology and its objectives.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how culturally informed beliefs, behaviors, and perspectives vary between diverse global societies.
- Demonstrate an understanding of how anthropologists study diversity in race/ethnicities, class, gender identity, and age.
- Demonstrate a comparative understanding of how material culture and symbolic representations vary across diverse societies over time.
- Explain the basic processes of biological evolution and the general course of human evolution.
- Theory: Understand the fundamental principles of the three major subfields. (ANTH 300, Area 1 Theory and Foundations; upper-division requirement in the three subfields)
- Characterize the distinctive theoretical and methodological approaches of anthropology.
- Critically examine one’s own cultural and social identities and understand how those identities shape beliefs and attitudes.
- Understand major causes of social inequality and how to address them through civic engagement.
- Articulate a scientific understanding of human biological diversity and the ethical concerns arising from studies of that diversity.
- Demonstrate knowledge of past and present human biocultural systems, including ecological relationships, social and cultural organization, and processes of cultural change.
- Method: Use theoretical knowledge to critically analyze and interpret anthropological evidence. (Area 2 Methods and Practicum - Culminating Experience)
- Understand research project design and the role of data analysis or qualitative analysis.
- Present opposing viewpoints or alternative hypotheses on various anthropological issues.
- Gather and interpret information from diverse sources, including local resources of the Bay Area, where relevant.
- Demonstrate applied skills in at least one of the subfields of anthropology.
- Write concisely and logically, incorporating relevant data and knowledge.
Anthropology Major (B.A.) - 40-42 units
Foundation Core (18 units)
|ANTH 100||Introduction to Biological Anthropology||3|
|ANTH 110||Introduction to Archaeology||3|
|ANTH 120||Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology||3|
|ANTH 130||Introduction to Visual Anthropology||3|
|ANTH 300||Foundations of Anthropology: History||3|
|ANTH 305GW||Writing Anthropology - GWAR||3|
Area 1: Theory and Foundations (3 units)
|ANTH 301||Foundations of Archaeology||3|
|ANTH 302||Foundations of Human Variation||3|
|ANTH 303||Foundations of Visual Anthropology||3|
Area 2: Methods and Practicum (4-6 units)
Students may choose 6 units from Area 2 and reduce the number of Anthropology elective units.
|ANTH 333||Primate Behavior||4|
|ANTH 530||Human Osteology Practicum||4|
|ANTH 531||Fossil Humans Practicum||4|
|ANTH/USP 557||Ethnography of Urban Inequality||4|
|ANTH 592||Archaeological Methods||4|
|ANTH 595/CINE 635||Anthropological Filmmaking I||6|
|ANTH 596/CINE 636||Anthropological Filmmaking II||4|
|ANTH 651||Ethnographic Field Methods||4|
|ANTH 652||Anthropological Statistics||4|
Electives in Anthropology (15 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.
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.
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:
- Foreign Language: 12 units in a single foreign language; or
- Related Subjects: 12 units of coursework 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 6 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 to ensure degree completion within 60 units.
General Education Requirements
|Requirement||Course Level||Units||Area Designation|
|Written English Communication I||LD||3||A2|
|Arts or Humanities||LD||3||C1 or C2|
|Social Sciences: US History||LD||3||D2|
|Social Sciences: US & CA Government||LD||3||D3|
|Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD)||LD||3||E|
|Physical and/or Life Science||UD||3||UD-B|
|Arts and/or Humanities||UD||3||UD-C|
|SF State Studies|
|Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.|
|American Ethnic and Racial Minorities||LD or UD||3||AERM|
|Environmental Sustainability||LD or UD||3||ES|
|Global Perspectives||LD or UD||3||GP|
|Social Justice||LD or UD||3||SJ|
Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.
First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)
Find the correct roadmap (A, B, C, or D):
- Select the row that matches your English Course choice for A2.*
- Select the column that matches your QR Category (found at your student center under Math Alert).
- Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.
For example, if you are taking ENG 104 as your first English course and your student center math alert says you are QR Category III, you should choose Roadmap D.
|Pathway||QR Cat I/II||QR Cat III/IV|
|ENG 114||Roadmap A||Roadmap C|
|ENG 104/ENG 105||Roadmap B||Roadmap D|
Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)
For students with an AA-T in Anthropology. This 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 in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) 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 on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:
- How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
- Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the 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
- Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
- 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
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;
- Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.
Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units 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 a 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 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 (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.
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 2.0 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:
- One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
- One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
- One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
- One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (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.