Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why is the United States so violent?
  • Why do some people in the United States succeed, while others seem destined to fail?
  • Why might men and women view the same issues so differently?
  • How do social and environmental problems in other countries affect us?
  • Why do people from the various races and ethnicities have such vastly different experiences? Why might their perceptions of the so-called American Dream be so different?
  • Why are some people well served by our health care system but others seem to fall between the cracks?

If you find any of these questions thought-provoking and intriguing, then the Sociology major is right for you! The Department of Sociology & Anthropology provides an opportunity for you to use familiar social settings as resources for studying human social life. Topics for research, discussion, and intellectual inquiry are as varied as the questions above suggest, and include:

  • How social structures of communities influence social behavior;
  • How people adjust to the aging process;
  • How schools contribute to social stability and social inequality;
  • How groups form and change their ideas and behaviors.


Our faculty members and their research interests include

  • Rachel Core, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; sociology of health, qualitative methods, China
  • Diane Everett, PhD, Duke University; sociology of families, gender, education, work
  • Sharmaine Jackson, PhD, University of California; sociology, Urban ethnography, subcultures, 
  • Sven Smith, PhD, University of Florida; criminology, law, quantitative methods

Sociology majors find many opportunities for designing creative, stimulating projects and bringing them to fruition. Classroom environments emphasize small group problem-solving, and students are encouraged to form alternative models and explanations to the obvious and customary. Activities are designed to improve basic skills that form the key elements of success in any career. These skills include written and oral communication, research design and development, facility with the latest statistical software, and technical and interpretive skills. The Department also offers a supervised internship program in various occupational settings for junior and senior majors seeking to explore research and vocational interests for college credit.

In addition to the major in Sociology, the Department also offers a Sociology minor and a certificate program in Criminology for Sociology majors. The department also provides Anthropology, through which various Classical Language and Culture courses are offered. Courses in Sociology and Anthropology contribute to the major in Latin American and Latino Studies, and the minors in Women and Gender Studies, Health Care Issues, and Africana Studies.