The study of Anthropology promotes an understanding of self and of all humanity by exploring human nature from its beginnings to the present. Anthropology provides understanding and answers based on a century of exploring the development of human nature, society, and culture. It is the only social science that seeks to understand both human biological and cultural variation in the past and in the present. Encompassing a wide range of subjects spanning archaeology, cultural and linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and museum studies. Anthropology is unique among the many fields that study humanity.

Our Anthropology Department at California State University, Chico

The Anthropology Department was established during the 1967-1968 academic year and offers four certificate programs, a minor, BA, and MA in the discipline of anthropology. Since its inception, the department has had a strong four-field approach to the study of anthropology that includes archaeology, cultural, physical, and linguistic anthropology as well as an option for a fifth field, which is museum studies. We are fortunate to have many well qualified faculty with specializations in one or more of the fields of anthropology.

Our department emphasizes hands-on education and has been recognized by the University for excellence as a High-Quality Learning Environment. We take pride in the rigorous standards and high quality of our curriculum and the educational opportunities we offer, which are supported in large part by a number of teaching laboratories: the Human Identification Laboratory, the Physical Anthropology Laboratory, the Archaeology Laboratory (which also houses Zooarchaeology and Dental Increment Laboratories) the Conservation Laboratory, the Ethnography Laboratory in conjunction with the Multi-media Laboratory, and an additional type of teaching laboratory, the Museum of Anthropology.

All of our faculty members embrace the teacher-scholar pedagogical model and recognition of our commitment to teaching has been a long standing tradition exemplified by faculty who have received the following honors:

  • Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Pearls of Wisdom Teaching Award
  • Outstanding Professor Award
  • University-Wide Master Teacher
  • Professional Achievement Honors
  • Invited Keynote Speaker for the College of BSS Colloquium Series

The educational experiences our program offers extend beyond the classroom into the field. Be it carrying out archaeological excavations, forensic recovery cases, ethnographic work in the U.S. and abroad, museum work, or a host of training opportunities in agencies and institutions at all levels, students acquire professional experience and skills they can take with them upon graduating. Our alumni have gone on to MA and PhD programs, and a number of our graduates are professionals in anthropology-related careers.

Our Mission, and Vision

The mission of the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Chico, is to provide a holistic foundation to the study of anthropology through the four major subfields that include cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics, and a fifth area, museum studies.

This is achieved through a rigorous but balanced curriculum that encompasses the current theoretical perspectives and methodologies of the discipline. We emphasize good communication skills, critical thinking, and reflection, and integrate these into ethical and moral deliberations about what it means to be human.

The department is committed to the highest standards of teaching, research, and mentoring for both undergraduate and graduate students. We believe that faculty research should be integrated into our teaching so that we can engage our students to fully appreciate the richness and diversity of the discipline of anthropology and at the same time enrich the student educational experience at CSU, Chico. We offer a variety of educational opportunities that include academic study as well as practical hands-on learning activities through a variety of educational programs, field projects, and internships.

Ultimately, our collective goal is to share and disseminate information and knowledge about the complexities of the human condition, both past and present.

Seven goals of the Department of Anthropology at CSU, Chico

  1. An understanding of the phenomenon of culture as that which differentiates human life from other life forms; an understanding of the roles of human biology and cultural processes in human behavior and human evolution.
  2. A positive appreciation of the diversity of contemporary and past human cultures and an awareness of the value of anthropological perspectives and knowledge in contemporary society.
  3. A knowledge of the substantive data pertinent to the several sub disciplines of anthropology and familiarity with major issues relevant to each.
  4. Familiarity with the forms of anthropological literature and basic data sources and knowledge of how to access such information.
  5. Knowledge of the methodology appropriate to the sub-disciplines of anthropology and the capacity to apply appropriate methods when conducting anthropological research.
  6. The ability to present and communicate in anthropologically appropriate ways anthropological knowledge and the results of anthropological research.
  7. Knowledge of the history of anthropological thought.


MEDIA - Have questions about cases?



Free Anthropology Tutoring!

Did you know our department offers free anthropology tutoring services?


2018 Clan Destiny - Attention all Alumni

The Anthropology department is preparing production of the 2018 Clan Destiny. We are asking you, the alumni, to submit pictures, updates, and stories about your life so that we may publish your accomplishments.



Anthropology Forum - Every Thursday of the Fall/Spring semester!

Thursday's during the academic semester at 4:00 PM, in Ayres 120 there is a guest speaker presenting an exciting anthropological topic. Please visit the Anthropology Forum page for more information.

14th Annual Chico Forensic Conference

The 14th Annual Chico Forensic Conference will be Saturday, November 4, 2017.