Department of Anthropology

Link to Current Event: RAI Film Festival March 4-5, 2016

Best known for its pioneering role in visual anthropology, USC's Anthropology Department has strong research programs in all four fields of the discipline (i.e., Archaeology, Socio-cultural Anthropology, Linguistics, and Physical Anthropology). The Department offers a B.A. in Anthropology with concentrations in visual anthropology and urban applied anthropology; a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Archaeology; minor programs in cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, folklore and popular culture, Southeast Asia and its people, and a progressive 5th year M.A. in visual anthropology. At the graduate level, the Department currently offers both an M.A. in Visual Anthropology and a Certificate in Visual Anthropology. Students interested in a doctorate degree in Physical Anthropology apply through the Department of Biology's Integrative Evolutionary Biology program.


Current Special Event: Sunday, September 14:

Master of Arts in Visual Anthropology Thesis Projects Premiere 

Anthropology brings a global comparative perspective to the study of human beings, across both time and space. At USC the study of anthropology is linked through its subdisciplines (i.e., medical anthropology, visual anthropology, legal and political anthropology, primatology, etc.) to many other fields in the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.

The USC Department of Anthropology requires students to become involved in ethnographic research and fieldwork while offering them a firm theoretical foundation in anthropology. Special departmental areas of emphasis at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are provided by programs in visual anthropology and primatology. Undergraduates may take a number of courses in visual anthropology that focus on the analysis and understanding of human behavior and are encouraged to include visual media in their senior field methods practicum. The Center for Visual Anthropology provides support in terms of equipment and editing space for both undergraduates and graduate students.

Regional areas of faculty research interest include an emphasis on East and Southeast Asia and the island Pacific. Department of Anthropology faculty are also affiliated with the Annenberg School of Communication, the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, the Center for Religion and Civic Culture, the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Program, the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, and the Gender Studies Program.


An important event sponsored by the department's Center for Visual Anthropology is a Los Angeles venue of the Royal Anthropological Institute's International Festival of Ethnographic Film. The XIV event will take place in 2016 on March 4-5 on the USC campus.

Faculty Books

  • Department of Anthropology
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Ave.,Suite 352
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-2537