This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2015-2016 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.A., Anthropology

Public Archaeology


The Public Archaeology master’s option 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

See comments below for important information about certain 600-level courses. All entering students must complete the following to be admitted to and achieve classified status within the Public Archaeology Option:

A. Classified Status

  1. General University requirements for admission. For those whose cumulative undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, the department requires a minimum of the 50th percentile in at least two sections of the Graduate Record Exam.
  2. Students without a major in Anthropology, who meet University standards for admission to Graduate Studies, need to fulfill certain prerequisites in Anthropology. These will be determined in consultation with the option advisor.
  3. ANTH 303 or equivalent.
  4. ANTH 427 or equivalent.
  5. ANTH 473 or equivalent.
  6. ANTH 476E or equivalent.
  7. MATH 140 or equivalent.

B. Degree Requirements

Minimum of 33 units of approved graduate work consisting of at least 24 units in Anthropology and 21 units at the 500- and 600-level.

1. Required 500- and 600-level Courses (15 units)

ANTH 518/L Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (2/1)
ANTH 601 Seminar in Anthropological Theory (3)
ANTH 606 Problems in Archaeology (3)
ANTH 607 Seminar in Management of Archaeological Resources (3)
ANTH 694 Practicum in Cultural Resource Management (3)

2. Electives (12 units)

ANTH 426 Old World Archaeology (3)
ANTH 428 Archaeology of Mesoamerica (3)
ANTH 429 Archaeology of South America (3)
ANTH 430 Ecological Anthropology (3)
ANTH 445/L Human Osteology and Lab (3/1)
ANTH 451 Economic Anthropology (3)
ANTH 453 Human Paleontology (3)
ANTH 460 The Archaeological Study of Women in the Ancient World (3)
ANTH 465 Museum Anthropology: Principles and Practices (3)
ANTH 490A Seminar in Archaeology (3)
ANTH 521 California Archaeology (3)
ANTH 560 Social Evolution (3)

Other courses may be chosen in consultation with the 
graduate advisor.

3. Culminating Experience (6 units)

Satisfactory completion of a graduate thesis.

ANTH 696A Anthropological Research Design (2)
ANTH 696B Proposal and Grant-Writing (2)
ANTH 698 Thesis (2)*

*Upon authorization of thesis advisor and graduate advisor.

4. Research Skill

Proficiency in research skill demonstrated by successful completion of one of the following:

  1. One Upper Division Geographic Information Systems course.
  2. One Upper Division Statistics course chosen in consultation with department advisor.
  3. Foreign Language Proficiency Exam.

5. Adherence to department policies regarding GPA minimum maintenance and advising (see below).

C. Comments on Graduate Coursework

  1. Enrollment in ANTH 698: Students must be authorized by their thesis advisor and the graduate advisor in order to enroll in ANTH 698.
  2. Thesis GPA Policy: Students are required to have a minimum 3.5 GPA at the point of forming their thesis committee and receiving thesis topic approval in order to write an M.A. thesis.
  3. Public Archaeology Thesis Eligibility: Students must maintain a 3.5 or higher GPA. Should the GPA drop below 3.5, the student will be placed on probation and have one semester to raise his or her GPA back to 3.5 or higher. Students not maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA after this period of probation will be required to transfer to the General Anthropology Option and take the comprehensive exams in order to complete the degree.

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 33

More information

If you would like more information about this program, please contact


Chair: Cathy L. Costin
Sierra Hall (SH) 232
(818) 677-3331

Graduate Coordinator: Kimberly Kirner
(818) 677-5839

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the master’s degree program in Anthropology should be able to:

  1. Analyze characteristics of human 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. Analyze the concept of culture as a fundamental principle in anthropology.
  5. Analyze the causes and consequences of cultural diversity, social inequalities and change in human societies.
  6. Analyze anthropological theories and paradigms, how they have changed over time, and how they are applied to explain fundamental aspects of the human condition, such as cultural diversity and social change.
  7. Independently conceptualize, collect, describe, analyze and interpret anthropological evidence according to generally accepted professional practice.
  8. Analyze ethics as they pertain to 21st century anthropology.
  9. Examine how anthropology may be used to engage in contemporary issues.
  10. Communicate effectively using anthropological standards.
  11. Synthesize and evaluate current issues and debates in the subfields of anthropology.