Department Information

The San Jose State University Department of Anthropology was established nearly 50 years ago in response to strong student demand. Over the years the department flourished and grew thanks to the dedication and vision of its faculty. Today, our department proudly offers an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees in Behaviorial Science and Organizational Studies. Since 2007, our department has also offered a Master's degree in Applied Anthropology.

Anthropology is the study of humankind's past, present, and future. Our department provides students with an integrated anthropological experience through coursework in archeology, cultural anthropology, and physical anthropology. This broad training prepares our students for a wide range of careers in diverse fields including project management, health care, education, immigrant services, heritage management, museum curation, business and industry, and much more. Anthropology majors learn many useful skills including cultural competency, critical thinking, research design, and professional writing--skills that are increasing in demand in private, public, and non-profit organizations. In fact, USA Today recently rated anthropology as one of today's best science careers. There's never been a better time to be an anthropologist!

Behavioral Science
Behavioral science majors develop an interdisciplinary perspective on human behavior and an understanding of the psychological, social and cultural dimensions to being human in a complex society. Offered cooperatively by the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology, the Behavioral Science Program is housed in the Department of Anthropology, which oversees academic advising. The program prepares graduates for a variety of jobs that require working with social science data and with people. Many of our alumni have pursued careers in human resources, social work, counseling, sales and marketing, and law enforcement. By earning a degree in behavioral science, you'll get the best of three worlds.

Organizational Studies
The Organizational Studies major is an interdisciplinary major designed to help students develop skills for careers in a variety of organizations including small businesses, multinational corporations, non-profit organizations, and local, state, and national government agencies. Organizational Studies courses are designed to give students skills for real-world problem solving. Students have the opportunity to take courses across a wide range of social science disciplines including anthropology, communications studies, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Organizational studies is ideally suited for students who want careers in business, government, or the non-profit sector, where knowing how organizations work is a key to success.

Applied Anthropology
The Master's degree in Applied Anthropology is designed to help students develop skills in applying or using anthropological knowledge which can be used across a wide range of careers. Specifically, its mission is to enable students to build on their knowledge of cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and archaeology to address real world problems and issues. The program seeks to provide a structure through which students can develop as practitioners by working closely with faculty on projects that are often done in collaboration with regional organizations. The graduate program is built around three broad sets of research skills: (1) ethnographic methods for understanding how social systems, including organizations and communities, function in the regional environment; (2) assessment and evaluation skills, especially those based on qualitative methods that complement quantitative methods; and (3) the planning and design of programs, organizations, services, and artifacts. Graduates of our program have secured positions in public, private, and non-profit organizations as researchers, designers, administrators, and program developers.