Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Graduate Studies in Anthropology at the Beach

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is located in the center of one of the most diverse regions in the United States. This offers anthropology graduate students many opportunities to gain invaluable experience conducting research locally or globally and finding interesting, worthwhile internships or employment. The CSULB Department of Anthropology offers two Master of Arts degrees: General Anthropology and Option in Applied Anthropology. Both programs prepare graduates for employment or further study in anthropology or a related field.

We are not currently accepting graduate applications in the fields of archaeology and biological / physical anthropology.  Students intending to pursue an MA degree in these fields will not be accepted into the graduate program.



Applied anthropology is the application of anthropological methods and theories to contemporary issues at the national and international level. Applied, or practicing, anthropologists utilize a variety of ethnographic, quantitative methods and cross-cultural skills to understand and address social and global problems. Applied anthropologists are committed to creating the conditions of social change that improve the lives of people.  This option is focused on providing students with a strong foundation in using ethnographic methods and anthropological theories to address social issues and to answer research questions.  Students gain practical experience while learning about the ethics of practice and the various settings in which applied anthropologists work.  The program offers training in mixed methods as well as opportunities in visual anthropology. 


A graduate degree in anthropology prepares students to understand the complex, diverse, and globally connected world we live in. Studying anthropology provides a unique perspective on the human experience.  Students who obtain an MA in Anthropology acquire specialized research skills that aid them in addressing specific questions and social problems in the world around them. The program is designed to prepare students to enter a Ph.D. program or pursue a career in one of the fields mentioned above. The program also offers training opportunities in areas such as ethnographic research, visual anthropology, social justice work, linguistic anthropology and communication, applied research and grant writing, and other specialized areas. 

Our students receive rigorous training in anthropological methods and gain skills in applying anthropological theory to a range of social issues. The MA degrees prepares you for many of the fields listed below. Our graduates have also entered doctoral programs in anthropology and related fields. 

The careers in which our alumni are currently employed include the following: 

  • Non-profit agencies and organizations
  • Consulting and policy firms
  • Private industry
  • Teaching at community colleges
  • Administration
  • Public health
  • Government
  • Technology and New Media
  • Academia 

Application Due Dates

Applicants must apply to the university only, not directly to the department.  For more information about admissions and application requirements, please follow these links. (All information in blue is an active link)

For the University Application process, you must apply to the university through CALSTATE APPLY. More information can be found in the University Catalog under Graduate Admissions.  Please Note:  We are not currently accepting graduate applications in the fields of archaeology and biological / physical anthropology.  Students intending to pursue an MA degree in these fields will not be accepted into the graduate program.


Materials to Submit to CALSTATE APPLY:

The Anthropology Department requires the following documents be submitted with your application to the university via the link above any necessary forms are linked below:

  1. A properly completed Department of Anthropology Graduate Student Application Form. Download the Department of Anthropology MA Admission Application. 
  2. A formal statement of purpose (of about 2 pages), detailing the reasons why you want to conduct graduate work in the Anthropology Program, what you hope to gain professionally from the Program, and a discussion of your short/long term goals.
  3. A research paper or technical report that you feel is representative of your analytical/critical thinking and writing capabilities. 
  4. Two letters of recommendation from persons well acquainted with your work. Please use the form provided here.
  5. CV

Submit these materials via the CAL STATE APPLY link.

FALL 2024 APPLICANTS: Although the final date to apply and be considered for admission to our graduate programs is April 15, we strongly recommend you apply earlier.

We will review applications as follows:

Please Note: Final Department Application Deadline is June 1, 2024.

Early Admission: Applicants who submit all required materials to the university and department by March 1 will be considered for early admissions and thus notified by the end of March regarding admission status.

Regular Admission: Applicants who submit all required materials to the university by April 15 will be notified regarding their admission status in early-May.

Completed applications received after April 15 will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified no later than the end of June regarding their admission status. 

For Graduate Admissions and Advising Please Contact:

Dr. Jayne Howell 
Office: F03-312
Phone: (562) 985-5192

To discuss the program, please make an appointment with Dr. Howell at https://calendly.codr-jayne-howell/

Please check the link below for more information about CSULB Graduate Studies:
Navigating Grad Studies at the Beach