Jump to content

visual anthropology and how to choose the school?


Recommended Posts



Now, I have got three admissions from USC, San Francisco State University and Chico State. The USC's degree is MA in visual anthropology and the others are MA in anthropology but has the specialty in visual media. USC's program is one year plus a summer film workshop. The courses are mainly focusing on documentary filmmaking. The other two schools are two-year programs, first year design of the general basis in anthropology theories, then the second year in visual direction.


It seems that USC has a better reputation in this field than the others. USC is definitely more expensive, but an only one-year program. During all programs, the professor, probably the future mentor, in SFSU shows the biggest interested in me, we have many discussions through email.


I am an international student. After the study, I am planning to find a job at Sates in the related field and I have no interest in purchasing PhD to go deeper in the academic community. LA and San Francisco are big cities. Chico is a small town. By the way, I checked the school welcoming video on youtube, and SFSU building is all new and today's style, seems quite boring.


Does anyone know more about visual anthropology and these three schools? Appreciate any your suggestions and idea.

Edited by Chong0318
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello :)  I wanted to provide a brief, somewhat limited, response based on my experience attending SFSU as an anthro undergrad (focus in sociocultural). I know for a fact that SFSU boasts a really great film department in general, and the anthro department there is honestly SO solid as well. These two factors combined, from my outsider perspective, make the program a great contender for anyone considering visual anthropology.

I had a few colleagues in undergrad who were attempting to focus on visual anthropology and some even ended up attending SFSU for an MA in it. The anthro dept at SFSU is particularly great for visual anthro because most of them are activists of some kind and are passionate about representing the underserved across all kinds of media. I have heard only good t hings about professors specializing in visual anthropology.

This in mind, however, you will find that the faculty and campus is very political and many of the students/faculty are pursuing visual anth to make a difference in the world, or even the SF community. San Francisco is going through an absolute crisis right now with regards to gentrification and extreme racial division with so many neighborhoods being gutted all throughout the city. Many of the professors are passionate about stopping the city from being swallowed up by silicon valley. I think, from the experience I gathered from my colleagues, you sort of have to be political if you're studying anthropology of any kind, at the undergrad or grad level, at SFSU.

I will say that the professors there are 100% top of the line. They are often people who come from the best schools in the country, both in training and teaching, who take time out of their schedules to be lecturers simply because, and I'm quoting an actual professor I had who was also a professor at UC Berkeley, "I teach here [at SFSU] because the students are passionate, and they are some of the best students I have come across." The professors care so, so much, and they will never stick up their noses at you. The people at SFSU want to change the world, and change it all together. 

Just my two cents! I really enjoyed my time as an undergrad there, and got to work with some amazing anthropology professors. Hope this was helpful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks, man! You seem really know SFSU anthropology department very well and they have a long history in this field.  Can you give some comments on USC and Chico state as well about visual anth and overrall? USC seems also quite strong in visual anthropology field.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use