Major Explorations



Majoring in Anthropology or Sociology

Professor Himmelstein writes on the chalkboard.

Our courses foster the kind of critical thinking that enables students to meet the challenges of global citizenship in the 21st century. Students learn to question conventional wisdom, wherever they find it.
The Anthropology and Sociology program is committed to familiarizing students with the systematic analysis of culture and social life. While anthropology once tended to focus on pre-industrial peoples and sociology on peoples in industrial societies, both disciplines are now thoroughly involved in understanding the contemporary, globalizing world--albeit through the use of somewhat distinctive methodologies. Moreover, both disciplines share a common theoretical and epistemological history such that insights garnered from one are relevant to the other.

Major Program

Students will major in either Anthropology or Sociology (though a combined major is, under special circumstances, possible). Anthropology majors will normally take ANTH 112, 323, and 332, and at least one Sociology course. In addition, majors will take at least four additional Anthropology electives. Sociology majors will normally take SOCI 315, and 316 and at least one Anthropology course.  In addition, majors will take at least five additional Sociology electives.  Courses especially suited for students with little background in sociology include SOCI 112, 225, 226, 230, 234, 237, and 260.   Candidates for degrees with Departmental Honors will include ANTH/SOCI 498 and 499 in addition to the other major requirements. 

Majors fulfill the department’s comprehensive examination by getting a grade of B or better in the relevant theory course (ANTH  323 or SOCI 315). Those who fail to do so will write a paper on a topic in theory set by the Department.