Q: Why SFSU?

A: San Francisco State University provides outstanding education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds at a reasonable price. Because of its location in the Bay Area, the University has attracted an unusally high-calibre faculty, many of whom have ties with neighboring institutions such as Berkeley, Stanford and the California Academy of Sciences.


Q: Why SFSU Anthropology?

A: In our department, we have developed an MA program that uses small class discussion as a basis for learning. Because we restrict the numbers of students entering the program, we are able to devote more one-to-one time with our students. As we normally only accept students who have research interests that match those of our faculty, we are able to integrate our graduate students into our research projects.


Q: How do I increase my chances of acceptance?

A: Applicants who have the most success will have made contact with the Graduate Coordinator as well as the particular faculty members with whom they want to work with. It is best (early in the application process) to discuss possible areas of thesis work as well as more specific thesis projects. While we are happy to talk to applicants about the general study of Anthropology, we strongly recommend that you recognize the research foci of the Department and that you see how your own interests fit in with these. Finally, make sure that you have submitted (or requested the submission of) all elements of your applications: note that you must submit two applications – one to the University and one to the Anthropology Department.


Q: Do I have to have an undergraduate degree in Anthropology to apply?

A: No. We welcome applications from students from all subject areas. We are interested in students who have a clear idea of that they want to study in their MA, and who have shown that they can complete advanced work to deadline. If your undergraduate degree is not in Anthropology, then we will ask that you enroll in the MA and then take our undergraduate introductory and foundation classes in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology. You may choose to take introductory classes at other institutions before you enroll at SFSU, though you should discuss this with the Graduate Coordinator first.


Q: Are there department-based sources of funding?

A: The Anthropology Department offers two financial awards each year. The Jay Young Excellence Award is open to all students and usually pays up to $1000 to support research and conference travel, equipment purchase, and other reasonable costs linked to student work. The Kiana Dressendorfer Award is open to students working in Archaeology, usually pays up to $1000, and covers research and conference travel or other reasonable items. In addition the University and the CSU system has a host of awards that you would be eligible for; details are available at SFSU graduate funding.


Q: How much does it cost?

A: The costs of the MA in Anthropology are set by SFSU. You will find details by clicking on this link (MA Tuition and Fees), and you will see Information on the cost of living in the Bay Area with this link (Cost of Living).


Q: Who should I contact if I have questions?

A: Contact the Graduate Coodinator in the Anthropology Department with any questions. Either click on this link to send an email. If you would like to get in touch by phone, leave a message at 415 338 1427.


Q: How do I apply for a place on the MA in Anthropology?

A: The easiest way is to use this link (Apply for the MA in Anthropology) to learn how to apply and what we require from you.


Q: What happens after I apply?

A: As you will see, there are two applications: one that you complete on-line that goes directly to SFSU’s Graduate Division; a second that you send directly to the Graduate Coordinator in the Department of Anthropology. The Graduate Division will respond to you and, if necessary, ask for any missing information; the Department of Anthropology will do the same.


Q: When will I find out if I have been accepted into the program?

A: Once all of your applications materials have been received, we will be able to make a decision immediately. If you expect that there will be delay in our receiving your GRE scores or letters of recommendation, then please email the Graduate Coordinator, as we may be able to make a conditional offer of admission.


Q: Where do graduates of the MA program end up?

A: Graduates of the Anthropology MA have had great success in finding places on PhD programs and in finding employment in a range of professions from teaching to medicine to marketing and on to many other areas. For a selection of destinations of recent graduates of the MA, go to Where Are They Now?