Applied Anthropology

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A Revised Program.  CSULB Applied Anthropologist Robert Harman, working with CSULB graduate student Amir Shafe and Jim Hess from UC Irvine conducted a nationwide study of the needs of applied anthropology graduates.  The study revealed unmet student needs that a redesigned curriculum could address. So CSULB redesigned its program to meet the needs of the so-called real-world.

The Program Sequence.  In the Fall of 2000, we implemented a mentoring system for our students whereby the mentor serves as the student’s project director at the time of admission.  The mentor guides the student through the selection and timing of required and elective courses and internship sites as well as campus activities.  Mentors also guide students’ choices of internships, and all other aspects of their graduate projects/theses.  At the end of the first year, a student or mentor can change the mentoring relationship.

During the first semester, students take a course that lays the foundation for the anthropological approach: Anthropological Perspectives (503) reviews classics in ethnographic research and writing.

During this first semester, students also take one of the two required courses in anthropological research methods: either 560 (Ethnographic Research Methods) or 561 (Computer Research Applications). 501 (Anthropological Theory), and Applied Anthropology (517) are taken in this semester.

During the second semester, students one of the other research methods courses (560 or 561). Practicing Anthropology are taken at this time; the Practicing class lays the foundation for the internship and allows students to help build one of the annual colloquia which feature presentations for local and regional practitioners and applied anthropologists. Students also take the Proseminar in proposal writing (510). Students may take electives linked to their core area of interest and begin to arrange their internship.

Summer allows time for the internship.  Then, in the fall, an Internship course provides a setting for students to begin the analysis of data collected during their internship (or to re-frame ongoing data collection, as many internships evolve into projects that extend into the fall).  This is a time for hands-on teamwork with colleagues.

The final two semesters are devoted to rounding out electives related to the student's area of interest and writing the thesis.

The Official Applied Program Requirements.  The student must complete a minimum of 39 units of 400-level upper division and graduate courses in a program approved by the Graduate Advisor. Note: Students may substitute other courses for those normally required, but only with the approval of the Graduate Advisor.

1. ANTH 501, 503, 505, 510, 517, 560, 561, 675, and 698.
2. Three upper division/graduate elective courses related to the student’s main research interest.  At least one of the three electives must be taken outside the Department of Anthropology;
3. Satisfy the language requirement.  Each student will be considered individually in relation to this requirement, which may be satisfied by ANTH 570.  This requirement must be satisfied before he or she begins work on the thesis;
4. Undertake and satisfactorily complete, under the supervision of the committee, a Thesis.

(Note: the program sequence and course offerings may vary; consult the graduate advisor for the most up-to-date information.)

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