A man stands on a mountain.

Anthropology is the study of what it means to be human. What is distinct about us as a species? What are all the ways we are diverse and what does this mean for us? Anthropology uses scientific and humanistic perspectives, pulling together the study of human evolution, language, culture, and history to better understand who we are as humans and what our responsibilities are to one another and to the places we live.

Anthropology has been described as “open-ended, comparative, and critical.” No way of being human “is the only possible one” or the most “natural one.” Anthropology asks questions about humans that acknowledge our flexibility, vulnerability, and choices. Anthropology asks “Why this way rather than that one?” Anthropology values diverse ways of thinking and problem-solving, and anthropology is “not content with things the way they are” but seeks to positively contribute to a better future. (2018 Ingold, Tim. Anthropology and/as Education. New York: Routledge.)

The SBVC Anthropology Department offers introductory courses in the four primary subfields: Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Archaeology. Additional courses focus on food, religion, and visual culture. Faculty have expertise in the areas of North American archaeology, gender, education, and urban gardening, and their research has taken them to Vietnam, Morocco, and Armenia.

All SBVC Anthropology courses transfer to CSU and UC schools. Taking an anthropology course will help you to improve your critical thinking skills and enrich your understanding of human diversity.

Anthropology majors may find careers in teaching, healthcare, cultural resource management, organizational research, marketing, or law, although anthropological insights can be useful in a vast range of occupations. SBVC Anthropology majors planning to transfer to a four-year institution and major in Anthropology should consult with a counselor regarding the transfer process and lower division requirements. The AA-T in Anthropology is a transfer degree accepted by universities in the CSU system. Anthropology majors transferring to a university in the UC system do not need to fulfill requirements of the AA-T in Anthropology.


For more information, please contact Dr. Melissa King at (909) 387-1633 or The Anthropology Department exists within the SBVC Social Science, Human Development, and Physical Education Division (SSHDPE). The SSHDPE Dean is Dr. Wallace Johnson and his office is located in NH 345.