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University Catalog


Bone Inspectors

College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies


Anthropology is the study of people. Its perspective is biological, social and comparative, encompassing all aspects of human existence from the most ancient societies to those of the present day. Anthropology seeks to order and explain similarities and differences between peoples of the world from the combined vantage points of culture and biology.


  • Cultural and Social Anthropology deal with the social lives of people around the world, including our own society: economic systems, legal practices, kinship, religions, medical practices, folklore, arts and political systems, as well as the interrelationship of these systems in environmental adaptation and social change.
  • Physical Anthropology describes and compares world human biology. Focuses on humans and their primate order, and seeks to document and understand the interplay of culture and biology in the course of human evolution and adaptation.
  • Anthropological Linguistics deals with varied aspects of human language and the characteristics of nonhuman communication systems, to achieve an understanding of past and present human language systems and their significance in social life.
  • Archaeology focuses on the material remains of human societies from the remote and recent past with emphasis on reconstructing and understanding past modes of human cultural adaptation and change.

Special Features

  • Diverse faculty who are widely published and enjoy national repute in their specializations.
  • Regular activities include Faculty Colloquia and the Sacramento Anthropological Society with its monograph series and annual symposium.
  • Extensive ethnographic and archaeological collections, in conjunction with the Museum of Anthropology, afford students opportunities to learn all phases of museum work. The Department exhibit hall displays an excellent collection of museum artifacts.
  • The Department maintains a computer lab, as well as several computer stations in the Archaeology lab.
  • Course related fieldwork is supplemented by opportunities for paid fieldwork through the Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Studies, coordinated with ongoing foreign and domestic field projects, income-generating contract work, and the archaeology curriculum.
  • Fieldwork is also available at California and Great Basin sites, while internship placements with museums and governmental agencies provide research opportunities.
  • Professional journals and the updated Human Relations Area File are housed in the University Library.
  • The Institute sponsors occasional publications on California and Great Basin Prehistory.

Requirements - Bachelor of Arts Degree

Units required for Major: 49
Minimum total units required for BA: 120

Courses in parentheses are prerequisites.

A. Required Lower Division Courses (13 units)



Introduction to Physical Anthropology



Laboratory in Physical Anthropology



Introduction to Cultural Anthropology



Introduction to Archaeology



Language, Culture, and Critical Thinking

B. Foundational Requirements (24 units)

(3) Select one of the following:

ANTH 107

Anthropology of Hunters and Gatherers

ANTH 109

Ecological and Evolutionary Approaches to Anthropology


ANTH 110

Archaeological Method and Theory (ANTH 3)

ANTH 115

Origins of Agriculture

(3) Select one of the following:

ANTH 111

California Archaeology

ANTH 112

Great Basin Archaeology

ANTH 113

Prehistory of Southwest

ANTH 114

North American Prehistory

ANTH 122

The Evolution of Early Mesoamerican States

Biological Anthropology
(6) Select two of the following:

ANTH 151

Human Paleontology (ANTH 1, ANTH 1A or instructor permission)

ANTH 153

Evolutionary Medicine (ANTH 1, BIO 10, or PSYC 2 is recommended)

ANTH 154

Primate Behavior


ANTH 155

Method and Theory in Physical Anthropology (ANTH 1, ANTH 1A)


ANTH 156

Evolution of Human Behavior (ANTH 1, BIO 10 , or PSYC 2 recommended)

ANTH 157

Human Variation (ANTH 1, BIO 10, or instructor permission)

Cultural Anthropology


ANTH 146

Ethnographic Analysis (ANTH 2)

(3) Select one of the following:


ANTH 104

The History of Anthropology (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 105

Anthropology of War (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 108

Economic Anthropology (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

ANTH 140

Social Anthropology (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 141

Culture Theory (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

ANTH 142

Political Anthropology (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

ANTH 145

Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

ANTH 163

Urban Anthropology (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

ANTH 164

Culture Change (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 167

Religion and Culture (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 176

Museums, Culture, and Society (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 181

Anthropology of Human Rights (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

Linguistic Anthropology
(3) Select one of the following:

ANTH 160

Linguistic Anthropology (ANTH 4 or instructor permission)

ANTH 162

Language and Culture (ANTH 4 or instructor permission)

(3) Select one of the following:

ANTH 168

Folklore in Anthropological Perspective (ANTH 160 or ANTH 162 or instructor permission)

ANTH 169

Research Methods in Linguistic Anthropology (ANTH 160 or ANTH 162 or instructor permission)

ANTH 190

Advanced Topics in Linguistic Anthropology (ANTH 160 or ANTH 162 or instructor permission)

C. Electives (12 units)

Choose from all of the above plus the following:


ANTH 116

Old World Prehistory: Paleolithic Archaeology

ANTH 123

Ancient Technology

ANTH 124

Environmental Archaeology


ANTH 126

Techniques of Archaeological Analysis (ANTH 3)

ANTH 127

Cultural Resource Management in Theory and Practice

ANTH 128

Indians of California


ANTH 131

Europe in the Ethnographic Imagination (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)


ANTH 134

Japanese Culture and Society

ANTH 135

Indians of North America


ANTH 143

Culture and Society in Mexico

ANTH 144

Contemporary American Culture in Anthropological Perspective

ANTH 145

Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (ANTH 146 or instructor permission)

ANTH 147

Peoples of Southeast Asia

ANTH 148

Anthropology of Chinese Societies

ANTH 149

Cultures of South Asia

ANTH 150

Human Osteology (ANTH 1 and ANTH 1A or BIO 22 or instructor permission)

ANTH 152

Primate Adaptations

ANTH 158

Human Skeletal Analysis (ANTH 150)

ANTH 166

Rise of Religious Cults


The Religious Landscape of the Sacramento Valley (GWAR certification before Fall 09; or WPJ score of 80+; or 3-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W; or 4-unit placement in ENGL 109M/W and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X; or WPJ score 70/71 and co-enrollment in ENGL 109X)

ANTH 177

Museum Methods (Anthropology major or graduate student)

ANTH 183

Women Cross-Culturally

ANTH 188

Anthropology of the Body


Laboratory Work in Archaeology (Corequisite: ANTH 195A; may be waived with instructor permission)


Laboratory in Ethnographic Techniques (ANTH 140 or ANTH 141 and ANTH 163; ANTH 163 may be taken concurrently. Corequisite: ANTH 195B)



Fieldwork in Archaeology (Corequisite: ANTH 192A)



Fieldwork in Ethnology (ANTH 140 or ANTH 141 and ANTH 163; ANTH 163 may be taken concurrently. Corequisite: ANTH 192B)



Fieldwork in Physical Anthropology


ANTH 177

Museum Methods (Anthropology major or graduate student)

D. Other Requirements

Anthropology majors must take a statistics course (e.g., ANTH 120, SOC 101, STAT 1, or one approved by the Department).

  • All foundational requirements must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better.

Requirements - Minor

Total units required for minor: 18, 12 must be in upper division.

The Anthropology minor requires 18 units of Anthropology courses; with a minimum of 12 upper division units. There are no specific course requirements. Not more than 3 units of ANTH 178, ANTH 195A, ANTH 195B, ANTH 195C or ANTH 199 may be counted toward the minor.


The Master of Arts program in Anthropology is designed for students who plan to continue their graduate studies in Anthropology at the Ph.D. level as well as for students who plan to pursue any of the numerous opportunities for graduate anthropologists, such as in private research, Foreign Service, education, and government.

The program centers on a core of general requirements designed to provide each student with a graduate level exposure to the broad discipline of Anthropology, with an emphasis on general methodology and the ways in which problems are conceptualized and approached in at least three of the interrelated sub-disciplines. Beyond this core, each student is encouraged to design a plan of elective coursework relevant to his/her postgraduate goals. The plan may be to continue a broad, unspecialized course of study, or to concentrate on any of the specialties represented by the interests of the faculty.

Following admission to classified standing, each student is assigned a temporary advisor and informally interviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee to determine the scope of his/her interests and academic background and to establish the plan for elective coursework. After the graduate interview, the student forms a Thesis Committee composed of a graduate advisor and at least one additional member of the Anthropology faculty. The responsibility of the Thesis Committee is to provide general academic advice and to guide the student in conducting research and writing the thesis.

Students may develop their special interests through individual arrangements with their faculty advisors, or they may take advantage of opportunities for special training in such areas of Applied Anthropology as cultural resource management, museology, Anthropology in education, and medical Anthropology through participation in ongoing informal programs which may include special field work or intern placement with local agencies. Prospective students should obtain a copy of the most recent Department of Anthropology Graduate Study Brochure for updated information on special opportunities.

Admission Requirements

Admission to classified graduate standing in Anthropology requires:

  • a baccalaureate degree;
  • a minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 units attempted.

Admission Procedures

Graduate students are considered once a year for admission for the fall semester. To ensure consideration of admission for the following year, applicants must complete a university application and a separate departmental application by the posted application deadline dates for the term applying. For more admissions information and application deadlines, please visit


  • an application for admission and a supplemental application for graduate admission (forms A and B in the CSU application booklet); and
  • two complete sets of official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, other than Sacramento State.

At the same time, applicants must submit to the Graduate Coordinator, Department of Anthropology: a letter describing their academic background and present interests, two signed letters of recommendation on official letterhead from individuals who can assess the applicant's potential for graduate study, and results of the General Graduate Record Examination and Graduate Record Examination Writing Assessment.

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure may begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units of 200-level Anthropology courses with a minimum 3.0 GPA;
  • completed a Thesis Prospectus Review; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Students should consult the Department's current Graduate Program Brochure for deadlines.

Note: Students may not enroll in ANTH 500 until Advanced to Candidacy. Advancement to Candidacy forms are available in the Office of Graduate Studies. The student fills out the form after planning a program of study in consultation with his/her Anthropology faculty advisors. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Requirements - Master of Arts Degree

Units required for the MA: 30 with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

A. Required Courses (6 units)

Students must take the seminar in their field of study and choose one additional seminar.


ANTH 202

Physical Anthropology


ANTH 203



ANTH 205



ANTH 207

Language and Culture

Note: Grade "B-" or better required in each course listed above.

B. Electives (21 units)

Any graduate level or advanced upper division courses, three (9 units) of which must be graduate level seminars in the Anthropology Department. Specific electives must be approved in advance by the student's Thesis Committee.

No more than 3 units of ANTH 278 or ANTH 299 may be applied to the MA. ANTH 278 and ANTH 299 courses that have passed the seven-year University limit may not be applied to the MA.

Preliminary Examination: Passing the Preliminary Examination is a prerequisite to Advancement to Candidacy.

C. Culminating Requirement (3 units)
(3) ANTH 500

Master's Thesis (Advanced to candidacy and chair permission of his/her thesis committee)

Career Possibilities

Anthropology equips students with the necessary knowledge to engage with the political, economic, cultural, and social complexities of the world. In addition to providing students analytical and critical thinking skills, anthropology exposes students to the intersection of culture, biology, and history on peoples’ lived experiences. Majoring in Anthropology provide students a solid foundation for advanced studies in diverse fields such as anthropology, business, law, journalism, medicine, communication, social work, urban studies, public policy, informatics, and any other profession that calls for the sustained engagement with cultural diversity, critical thinking, analytical abilities and people skills. Given the training they receive, anthropologists are increasing sought by the business world, government agencies and non-government organizations. Traditionally Anthropology majors have pursued careers in primary and secondary teaching; consumer market research; human resource development; local, state, and federal governmental agencies; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); archaeological field or laboratory technicians; forensic analysis, community development organizations; trade union organizations and allied fields. The globalized world economy has expanded this horizon to include career opportunities in communication, health care, entertainment, information technology, consumer product development, etc.


Data Dea Barata, Mark Basgall, Joyce Bishop, Martin Biskowski, Terri Castaneda, Michael Delacorte, Jacob Fisher, Samantha Hens, Liam Murphy, M. Elizabeth Strasser, Cindi Sturtz Sreetharan, Roger Sullivan, Raghuraman Trichur, David Zeanah

Contact Information

Raghuraman Trichur, Department Chair
Derek Bevers, Administrative Support Coordinator
Mendocino Hall 4010
(916) 278-6452