This is an archive of the 2020-2021 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2020-2021 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.A., Public Archaeology

Program Description

The Public Archaeology master’s program prepares students to work in the field of cultural resource management and to attend Ph.D. programs that place an emphasis on public archaeology and cultural heritage management. Public Archeology students are required to take seminars in anthropological theory, archaeology and the management of archaeological resources; archaeological laboratory methods; and elective courses with an archaeological focus. Public Archaeology students complete a practicum in the management of archaeological resources and write a thesis.

Program Requirements

A. Admission to the Program

All successful applicants must meet the following requirements before they can enroll. Please note that in some cases the department requirements for admission are more stringent than the University requirements. The department will determine whether a student meets the additional requirements needed for admittance into the Anthropology graduate program.

  1. Completion of minimum University requirement for admission to graduate standing.
  2. Either (a) B.A. in Anthropology with coursework that includes introductory courses in archaeology, biological anthropology and sociocultural anthropology; archaeological theory (equivalent to ANTH 473); and archaeological fieldwork (equivalent to ANTH 476 or ANTH 494). Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 must score at or above the 50th percentile on two of the three portions of the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Exam. Or (b) Completion of the CSUN Certificate in Foundations of Archaeological Knowledge with a GPA of 3.3 or higher.
  3. Two-page written statement by applicant indicating research and career objectives.
  4. Resume or curriculum vitae.
  5. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s potential for success in graduate studies.
  6. Demonstration of research and writing skills. Applicants must submit to the graduate committee a sample research paper, written in English, and preferably one that was completed as part of the baccalaureate degree requirements, such as a senior thesis or other research paper done in an upper division undergraduate course. Because of the importance of research and writing to the graduate program, the committee needs to be assured of applicants’ abilities and promise in these areas.
  7. Exceptional cases that may not meet all the given requirements for admission will be considered by the graduate committee on petition by the applicant. Specific reasons for the waiver of any of the requirements must be offered in the applicant’s personal statement.

B. Degree Requirements

Minimum of 37 units of approved coursework consisting of at least 31 units in anthropology and 28 units at the 500- and 600-level. An appropriate course of study is determined with the graduate advisor. Specific required coursework consists of:

1. Required Core Seminars (13 units)

ANTH 500 Foundations of Anthropological Theory and Method (3)
ANTH 606 Problems in Archaeology (3)
ANTH 607 Seminar in Management of Archaeological Resources (3)
ANTH 696A Anthropological Research Design (2)
ANTH 696B Proposal and Grant-Writing (2)

2. Required Methods Courses (9 units)

ANTH 518/L Lab Methods in Archaeology (2/1)
ANTH 574 Advanced Quantitative Methods in Anthropology (3)
ANTH 694 Practicum in Cultural Resource Management (3)

3. Topical Courses (6-7 units)

Choose two:

ANTH 445/L Human Osteology and Lab (3/1)
ANTH 521 California Archaeology (3)
ANTH 527 Advanced North American Archaeology (3)
ANTH 549 Advanced Historical Archaeology (3)

4. Electives (6 units)

In consultation with the graduate advisor and/or thesis advisor, choose two additional 400-600 level Anthropology courses. Under special circumstances, 400-600 level courses in other departments will be allowed to count as electives.

5. Culminating Experience (3 units)

ANTH 698C Thesis or Graduate Project (3)

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 37-38


Department of Anthropology
Chair: Suzanne Scheld
Sierra Hall (SH) 232
(818) 677-3331

Graduate Coordinator: Cathy Costin
(818) 677-3324

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze human experiences and the causes and consequences of cultural diversity across space and time from an anthropological perspective.
  2. Analyze the evolutionary process particularly as it relates to primate and specifically hominin evolution.
  3. Analyze biological and behavioral variation among human and nonhuman primates in context.
  4. Discuss and analyze the foundational concept of culture and core theories in anthropology and their applications to the field.
  5. Independently conceptualize, collect, describe, analyze, interpret and communicate anthropological evidence according to generally accepted professional practice and ethics.
  6. Examine how anthropology can be used to engage in contemporary issues and can be applied toward addressing social problems.