Master of Arts in Anthropology

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Admission to Program

The Department accepts applications for fall and spring semester enrollments. The deadline for application for admission to enroll for the fall is the first day of the preceding March. The deadline for application to enroll in the spring semester is the first day of the preceding November. In addition to these formal deadlines, the Department accepts, reviews, and makes decisions on applications on a rolling basis through the calendar year.

While we welcome applications from students with a wide range of experiences and a diversity of undergraduate degrees, we recommend that applicants have a BA or BSc in Anthropology or an allied field. Students enrolling without an anthropology degree may be required to take the following prerequisite classes or equivalents.

ANTH 100Introduction to Biological Anthropology3
ANTH 110Introduction to Archaeology3
ANTH 120Introductory Social and Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH 300Foundations of Anthropology: History3
ANTH 301Foundations of Archaeology3
ANTH 302Foundations of Human Variation3

Students may satisfy the prerequisite requirement by having taken similar classes at the undergraduate level at their undergraduate or other institution. Prerequisite course work will not count toward the degree and may not be included on the ATC.

Application for admission consists of two-part process, which must be completed simultaneously by the deadline to be considered for admission: the first made to the University; the second made to the Department. The University application is submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies through CSU Mentor The Anthropology Department application is made via the department’s on-line document submission page, and consists of the following elements:

  • One-page Curriculum Vitae;
  • Statement of Purpose (500-word max.);
  • Two Letters of Recommendation;
  • Writing Sample;
  • Official Transcripts;
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores; and
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if necessary.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

The University has a requirement for written English proficiency that is to be assessed at two different levels.

Level One

A score of 4.0 or above on the analytical writing section of the GRE.

Level Two

Completion of the M.A. thesis (ANTH 898); or completion of the written component of the MA Creative Work Project (ANTH 894).

Classified Graduate Status

All graduate students are admitted to the program with conditionally classified status. To attain classified status, graduate students must meet the following:

  • Completion of prerequisite coursework (if any).
  • Completion of ANTH 710 with a grade of B or above.
  • Satisfaction of the Graduate Foreign Language Requirement, or completion of ANTH 652 with a grade of B or above.

Anthropology (M.A.) — 30 units

All students must complete the following courses and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above:

Core (15 units)

ANTH 710Proseminar in Anthropological Theory and Method3
ANTH 720Foundations in Visual Anthropology2
ANTH 721Seminar in Archaeological Problems2
ANTH 722Seminar in Biological Anthropology2
ANTH 723Seminar in Problems in Cultural Anthropology2
Research Skills
ANTH 715Research Skills: The Craft of Anthropological Writing1
ANTH 716Research Skills: The Literature Review1
ANTH 717Research Skills: The Research Proposal1
ANTH 718Research Skills: The Grant Proposal1

Electives (8 – 12 units)

To reach the minimum number of units required for the degree, students must:

  • Take graduate elective classes (numbered 700 and above) selected from those offered in the Anthropology Department or, with approval, from other departments at SF State.
  • Students are advised to take ANTH 899 Independent Study (1, 2 or 3 units) as part of their area of specialization. Students may take ANTH 899 no more than twice for a maximum total of 6 units.
  • With approval, students may take upper division undergraduate classes.

NOTE: no more than 30% (9 units) of undergraduate course work may be included on the ATC. (Prerequisite course work may not be included on the ATC.)

Language/Statistics Requirement (0 – 4 units)

Grade of B or above required.

ANTH 652Anthropological Statistics (or Department-based language exam)4

Culminating Experience (3 units)

ANTH 894Creative Work Project3
or ANTH 898 Master's Thesis