Graduate Program

Our M.A. program focuses on the development of professional skills. 

View our faculty introductions video.

Student looking at two computers

The Department of Anthropology is no longer accepting applicants for Fall 2021 or Spring 2022. We will begin considering applicants for Fall 2022 starting on October 1, 2021. Please contact us and the Graduate Division, via the CAL State Apply website, at that time.

If you would like to know what to do when applying in October, click here for a description.

By limiting the numbers of students we accept, we ensure small-group seminar classes and close supervisor-student interaction in thesis and project research. Recent graduates of the program are now in Ph.D. programs in universities ranging from Yale, to Berkeley, to the University of Hawaii. About half of our students take the M.A. as a path towards advocacy work, employment in government agencies or in commercial companies. Others work as high school and community college teachers, attorneys, film producers and researchers. For a selection of where some of our recent M.A. students are now go to Where Are They Now?

At SF State, graduate work in Anthropology focuses on four specific areas of research and learning:

  • bioarchaeology: contextualized skeletal and dental analyses, health of past populations, and osteology in a medico-legal context;
  • visual representation: ethnographic and applied film making, critique of visual ideology, origins of art, still image and photography;
  • medical anthropology: public health, human rights, community-based participatory research, and health of migrant populations; and
  • archaeology: historical, poltical, and indigenous archaeology, and zooarchaeology.

Learn more about the department's more general strengths in Archaeology, Biological/Physical Anthropology, Social/Cultural Anthropology and Visual Anthropology.

The Provost and the President have approved our participation in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) [] which enables students in 16 Western states ( and territories to enroll in participating public graduate programs as nonresidents, yet pay the lower resident tuition rate.  In other words, eligible out-of-state students can now pay in-state tuition in approved programs.

Anthropology Faculty Introductions 2020-2021

Video portraits of the full-time Anthropology faculty at San Francisco State University:
0:00 Dr. Cynthia Wilczak, Bioarchaeology
2:57 Dr. Doug Bailey, Archaeology and Visual Anthropology
4:55 Dr. Meredith Reifschneider, Archaeology
7:14 Dr. Jeff Schonberg, Visual and Medical Anthropology
9:37 Dr. Martha Lincoln, Cultural and Medical Anthropology
12:17 Dr. Peter Biella, Visual and Cultural Anthropology
14:54 Dr. Mark Griffin, Bioarchaeology
17:10 Dr. Dawn-Elissa Fischer, Cultural Anthropology
19:14 Contact information