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Department Mission Statement

Guided by the traditions of the liberal arts, the Sociology and Anthropology department provides its students with the theoretical and methodological tools to critically analyze the social world. Students become familiar with different cultural contexts and institutional frameworks of society, and apply that knowledge to address the needs of the rapidly changing globalizing world.

Sociology & Anthropology

Our sociology and anthropology department offers two tracks -- sociology and criminal justice and law -- each exploring human social behavior through studies of sociological research and theory. You'll graduate with a knowledge of group dynamics, values and social norms that will prepare you for a career as a counselor, criminologist, statistician, urban planner, community organizer, various professions in the criminal justice system, and social worker, to name a few.

What Is Sociology?

According to the American Sociological Association (ASA) Sociology is:

  • the study of society
  • a social science involving the study of the social lives of people, groups, and societies
  • the study of our behavior as social beings, covering everything from the analysis of short contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes
  • the scientific study of social aggregations, the entities through which humans move throughout their lives
  • an overarching unification of all studies of humankind, including history, psychology, and economics

What is Anthropology?

According to the American Anthropological Association (, Anthropology is:

  • the study of the holistic human experience, past and present
  • a social science that seeks to understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, drawing and building upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences
  • the comparative study of human diversity and interactions through various forms of social relationships, cultural practices, and means of communication across different societies
  • an approach grounded in the four fields (sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistic anthropology) concerned with developing solutions of human problems and promoting intercultural engagement and pluralism
  • the interdisciplinary study of complexities of humankind, past and present, incorporating history, economics, religion, law and society, public health, gender and sexuality, philosophy, literature, and political science

1 Student, 7 Law Schools

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Justin Pilchman '15, sociology, was accepted to all seven law schools he applied to. Learn how his liberal arts education helped him become an ideal candidate.