Department of Anthropology

The study of human diversity lies at the core of the Department of Anthropology. Through their undergraduate and graduate careers, our students acquire a detailed knowledge about human populations past and present as well as the essential skills that enable all of us to engage with the world’s modern multicultural community in an ethical and just way. Not only do Anthropologists document, investigate, and seek to understand cultures of other times and places, they also play pivotal roles in contemporary social and political debate and advocacy. Whether it is working on diabetes susceptibility among San Francisco’s immigrant populations, on AIDS among the Masai in Tanzania, on the creation of social memory in post-civil war Lebanon, on military Comfort Women in Asia, or on an excavation of 8000-year old villages in Romania, our students, faculty, lecturers and staff collaborate in research and teaching that broadens and refines knowledge of the human condition.

As one of San Francisco State’s orignal departments, Anthropology has established a rich and deep tradition of preparing students not only for doctoral work and careers in the nation’s major centers of Anthropological study, but also for leading positions at every level of society.



Current MA thesis research

Students work closely with their supervisors of Thesis / Creative Work Committee Chairs to design and carryout their research work. Here is a selection of current and recent thesis topics

  • The Archaeology of Gardens in Japanese-American Internment Camps (MA student - Koji Ozawa; Supervision - Doug Bailey)
  • Archaeology of Women across Classes in 19th century Palo Alto (MA student - Dave Daly; Supervisor - Doug Bailey)
  • Mimbres-style motifs in Rock Art (MA student - Garrett Trask; Supervisor - Doug Bailey)
  • The Origins of the Neolithic in Croatia (MA student - Suzanne Ubick; Supervisor - Doug Bailey)

Spotlight Professional Achievement: Alumna Christy Dietrich

Alumna Christy Dietrich received her BA in Anthropology at San Francisco State University in 1997 and went on to complete a Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) in 2009. She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). She now works for the Department of Public Health in San Francisco as Project Coordinator for a health education initiative called the Newcomers Health Program where she connects refugees, asylees, and victims of human trafficking with clinical health services. Congratulations to Christy on her successes and illustrious professional achievement!