SBCC Students studying on West Campus lawn on sunny day


About Our Program

The study of Anthropology is the study of humanity — all aspects of humanity — and as such covers a hugely diverse range of seemingly disparate topics. Anthropologists look not just at one particular society, culture or religion, but rather they look at how seemingly divergent cultures, pasts, individuals and social trends are related to one another and to all of humankind as a whole. With this knowledge, anthropologists believe it is possible for us to gain a better understanding of who we are, where we have come from, and where we may be heading in the future.

Anthropology itself is so broad a topic that it must really be broken down into several sub-disciplines, among which are Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistic Anthropology and Applied Anthropology (though the final discipline, Applied Anthropology, really includes the application of the other disciplines’ methods and theories to modern day problems, and is not always included as its own sub-discipline). Through these sub-disciplines, all of human existence can be examined and brought into a greater understanding.

The goal of the Anthropology Program at Santa Barbara City College is to prepare students to use Anthropology’s wide range of studies, research methods, applications and areas of interest to gain a greater understanding of people in general and the world as a whole. The program aims to educate students as to the various forms that Anthropology can take, how some of the more specialized technological fields (such as Archaeology and Physical Anthropology) apply their research methods, give students the tools necessary to examine and evaluate the world and cultures around them, show them where we, as a species, have come from, and enable them to competently and confidently effect a change in the society and culture of which they are a part.

Students majoring in Anthropology have been successful in transferring to four-year university programs in Anthropology and other disciplines, and have acquired employment in a range of fields and for a variety of employers. Examples include heritage resource managers for the National Park Service and other state and federal agencies, museum curators, forensic anthropologists for city and county law enforcement, marine salvage specialists, and corporate cultural sensitivity trainers.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate basic knowledge of the holistic nature of Anthropology and the concepts of culture and biology as used by contemporary anthropologists.
  2. Describe the development of Anthropology as a profession, explaining why it can be considered both a science and a humanity and how it became a distinct field of inquiry while retaining a relationship with other academic disciplines.
  3. Discuss the four-field nature of Anthropology and the relation of its sub-disciplines to one another, particularly in terms of the biological and social construction of such terms as sex, gender and race
  4. Describe ways in which different aspects of culture — economic, social, political, and religious practices and institutions — relate to one another in a cultural system, and draw comparisons between different cultures, past and present.
  5. Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity enhanced by a holistic perspective on culture as integrated, dynamic, and embedded in broader processes of intercultural connection and globalization.
  6. Discuss their own cultural biases, as well as the biases of others, explaining why these biases exist while retaining the ability to put said biases aside in order to evaluate the cultural syntheses of others in ethnographies, films, news and media.
  7. Articulate the importance of ethics in Anthropology, specifically the fundamental obligations of anthropologists to members of the societies they study, their research sponsors and their profession.

 Full-Time Faculty and Offices: 

Phyllisa Eisentraut, Professor of Anthropology, (IDC 371) Contact:

Tara Carter
, Professor of Anthropology, (IDC 348) Contact: