Anthropology is the multifaceted study of humanity from an evolutionary, historical, and global perspective. Students in anthropology learn about their own culture as well as those of other peoples as they are shaped by biological evolution, ecological constraints, political history, and sociological conditioning. The Department of Anthropology offers ethnographic, theoretical and methodological courses in five sub-disciplines: biological anthropology, prehistory and archaeology, anthropological linguistics, sociocultural anthropology, and applied anthropology. Regional courses on major populations of the world, especially the heritage cultures of North and South America, and Asia, form an important component of the curriculum. The B.A. degree program bridges the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, preparing students for multidimensional careers. Fundamentally, the study of anthropology cultivates an appreciation of what all humans share, as well as how humans differ across time and space.
At the undergraduate level, students in the B.A. degree program may choose to focus on special interests in two combined sub-disciplines:
- Archaeology and Biological Anthropology emphasize the study of human biology, variation, evolution, and the reconstruction of past ways of life and cultural systems from material remains.
- Socio-Cultural and Applied Anthropology emphasize the study of social and cultural systems of more recent historical and contemporary populations, and the application of anthropological insights into present-day problems.
Other combinations are possible upon consultation with, and approval by, the faculty.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students graduating with a B.A in Anthropology from Cal State East Bay will be able to:
- identify, summarize and sequence the basic schools of anthropological thought in all four academic sub-fields of the discipline;
- apply basic qualitative and quantitative sociocultural (ethnographic), archaeological, or osteological research methods and skills;
- describe, compare and relate human cultures across different regions of the globe;
- examine human diversity holistically and scientifically, discriminating among and analyzing conceptions and misconceptions of ethnicity, “race,” and human biological variation;
- identify pragmatic uses of anthropological methods and perspectives in approaching real-world solutions, and identify instances of and opportunities for applications of anthropological tools and ideas in employment and community development, both locally and globally, and
- communicate information clearly in written and oral forms.
• Artifacts Conservator
• Foreign Service Officer
• Immigration Service Official
• International Aid Agencies Official
• International Business Employee
• Multicultural Education Instructor
• Museum Curator
• Park Ranger
• Park Service Official
• Refugee Worker
• Social Science Teacher
• Social Worker
• Travel Consultant
• Urban Planner
The Department administers the Clarence E. Smith Museum of Anthropology, located on the fourth floor of Meiklejohn Hall. The museum houses a sizable collection of archaeological artifacts recovered in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, as well as ethnographic specimens from cultural groups throughout the world. The museum is an instructional facility for museum curating, research, design, and exhibits. Museum exhibits and special events are open to the public free of charge. For information, call (510) 885-7414 or (510) 885-3104.
Other Degree Requirements
In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described in the Baccalaureate Degree Requirements chapter in the front of this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.