MA Program FAQs

Q: Why SF State?

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 SF State Anthropology?

A: In our department, we have developed an M.A. 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.

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 M.A. 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 SF State, though you should discuss this with the graduate admissions coordinator first.

Q: Are there department-based sources of funding?

A: The Department of Anthropology offers two financial awards each year. The Jay Young Excellence Award is open to all students and usually pays up to $1200 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 $1200, 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 SF State graduate funding.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The costs of the M.A. in Anthropology are set by SF State.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions?

A: Contact the graduate admissions coodinator in the Department of Anthropology with any questions. 

Q: How do I apply for a place on the M.A. in Anthropology?

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

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

A: All applicants will receive a decision within two weeks of the application deadline. Exceptional candidates may be offered early admissions, shortly after their application is completed. Late applications, accepted on a space available basis, will be reviewed as they are received.

Q: Where do graduates of the M.A. program end up?

A: Graduates of the Anthropology M.A. have had great success in finding places on Ph.D. 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 M.A., go to Alumni Jobs.