Applied Anthropology

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The Program.  The master's level Applied Anthropology Program at CSULB began in 1990. It is currently among the top five such programs in the nation for the number of applied anthropologists graduated. Students in the program have consistently received campus-wide recognition for the high quality of their thesis projects.

Graduates of the program are successfully employed as practicing anthropologists in business, government, health, and education: wherever the cross-cultural methods and data of anthropology can be used to identify and address cultural issues.

The overall program provides grounding in traditional methodologies and theories of anthropology. Students confront the ethics of practice, in which the applied anthropologist serves multiple clients. The program also provides training in the practical aspects of applied work: how to learn the language of the client, how to budget, how to package and present findings.  These objective are accomplished through course work and an internship guided by a faculty thesis advisor.

The program offers three options which best represent the expertise of our current applied faculty: 1) community / organizations, 2) education, and 3) medical anthropology.


Community/organizations.  These are broadly defined to encourage students to focus on neighborhoods, organizations, businesses, households, and the interconnected cultural web that links them.

Education.  This option allows students to explore cultural issues in schooling in the U.S. and abroad.

Medical Anthropology.  This option leverages departmental strengths in biological anthropology with the analytical and practical tools of applied anthropology to bridge cultural gaps in health care knowledge and practice.

See the Application page to learn how to apply for admission to the program.

Click here for a pdf version of the anthropology section of the 2001-2002 CSULB catalogue.


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College of Liberal Arts | California State University, Long Beach
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