Anthropology is the study of humanity from a holistic and comparative perspective incorporating research on all aspects of human existence across time and space, including human evolution and biological diversity, human society and social issues, culture, language, art and expression, economy, politics and power, identity-making, religion and philosophy, economy, and relations with the natural world.

The Cal State LA Department of Anthropology offers courses in the discipline's five main subfields:

The study of culture in all its manifestations, social organization, and social issues.

The study of human evolution and biological variation and their relation to behavior.

The study of society through the collection and analysis of the remains of human activity past and present.

The study of language and the connections between language and culture.

The application of anthropological knowledge to resolving social conflicts and meeting human needs.

Two faculty members with three students at the Preview Day booth at Cal State LA

Cal State LA Preview Day - Anthropology Department

Anthropology Programs

Are you interested in culture? Learn how to get a degree in anthropology!

Contact Us

King Hall

Location: Building King Hall C4068

  • Phone (323) 343-2440
  • Fax (323) 343-2446

Faculty Spotlight

Amira Ainis in the field.
Amira Ainis in the field.

Amira Ainis

Amira Ainis is an archaeologist interested in better understanding how people in the past lived in and interacted with coastal and island environments in Alta and Baja California.

Student News

The Cal State LA Anthropology Club for Academic Success hosted its First Annual Student Conference on April 30, 2022. The theme of this year's conference was The Many Facets of Anthropology. Fifteen undergraduate and graduate students from across the CSU system participated. René L. Vellanoweth (dean of the College of  Natural and Social Sciences at Cal State LA) presented a paper entitled "Cultivating Journeys in Anthropology: My Life as an Archaeologist."

The conference included the following student presenters and papers:

  • Avalos, Arturo (San Diego State University), Deutsch or Mexicana: German Investment and Identity in Mexico during the Porfiriato
  • Arreola, Isabel; Hope Apodaca Samaniego; and Cordelia Sonnenschein (Cal State LA), LGBTQ+ Substance Abuse in LA County
  • Carpenter-Chatman, Danielle (CSU Stanislaus), Using Non-Invasive Imaging to Ancient Skeletal Remains
  • Dawson, Paige (San Diego State University), Evolution of the Co-Management of a Small-Scale Fishery in Moorea, French Polynesia
  • Harrell, Cairo; Jannine Mancilla; and Curtis Smith (Cal State LA), Healthcare Access for Black/African American
  • Inglesias, Christina (Cal State LA), Analyzing Morphological Variation of Subterranean Space at Chichén Itza
  • Lowry, Matthew (UCLA), Indigenous Archaeology and Decolonization: Opinions of Archaeology and its Uses from Coquille Tribal Members and Collaborators
  • Mendoza Chavez, Claudia (CSU Standislaus), Spanish-speaking College Students and COVID-19: Money and Mental Health
  • Rector, Bailey E. (San Diego State University), Nutritionist and dietician beliefs about fatness: How social change and traditional training influence practitioner beliefs
  • Salcido III, Ulysses James (Cal State LA/USC), Échale Ganas: The Villa's Tacos Story
  • Suter, Kai (Sonoma State), How Forensic Anthropologists Can Help Human Trafficking Victims

Social Media

Please visit the Department of Anthropology on Facebook and the anthropology club on Twitter.