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Sociology and Anthropology

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Fast Facts

Faculty: 8

Available for: Major, Minor

Emphasis Within the Major
Students select an emphasis of their choice

Popular Second Majors
Political Science
Religious Studies
American Studies
Environmental Science

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Sociology majors design and execute independent empirical research studies.

At Stetson University, a major or minor in sociology or a minor in anthropology invites students to learn about the social world while challenging them to question the obvious and customary, to ponder provocative questions, to investigate social problems and to learn how to make our world a better place.

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology provides opportunities for students to use familiar social settings to investigate social phenomena. Sociology students investigate facets of social institutions (such as the family, law, work or sport), social issues and inequality (criminology, social deviance, gender, race/ethnicity) and social change (population and environment, developing societies, or the city). Sociology majors are trained in the core areas of sociological theory, research methods and data analysis, and they apply the knowledge and skills in designing and executing their own independent empirical research study for their senior projects.

The anthropology minor focuses on two aspects of anthropology: cultural anthropology and archaeology. Cultural anthropologists attempt to describe and explain human behavior within a social context. They study the customs, traditions and expressions of culture. Issues such as kinship, migration, political and economic institutions, religion and the ways in which cultures adapt to change are the primary topics of inquiry. Archaeologists try to unravel the mysteries of cultures that no longer exist.

Sociology and anthropology students develop unique skills and vital strengths. Understanding the social structure, culture and forms of expression of societies and peoples from all over the world, past as well as the present, fosters creativity and reinforces critical thinking and research skills. Our students understand the value of diversity and tolerance. They learn to place twenty-first-century American culture in its unique context. The opportunity to learn the ancient classical languages, Greek and Latin, gives them a distinct edge, should they decide to pursue careers in the health sciences, law or business, or attend graduate school.

A Distinctive Program

Sociology and anthropology students benefit from small classes, close faculty-student mentorship, a challenging curriculum, and a variety of teaching approaches, including seminars, experiential and collaborative learning, community-based research and internships. 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 implementation, facility with the latest statistical software and technical and interpretive skills.

Sociology majors find many opportunities for designing creative, stimulating projects and bringing them to fruition. At Stetson University, sociology majors take the core sequence of courses (sociological theory, research methods, senior thesis, etc.) as a cohort; hence, they develop close and supportive peer relationships.

Additionally, the department offers sociology majors the chance to concentrate in criminology and to earn a criminology certificate.

Academics and Research

Independent Research

Students have the opportunity to pursue individual interests through class projects, internships, independent studies, study abroad programs and field schools.

Facilities and Opportunities

The department houses the Stetson Institute for Social Research, an educational, research, consultation and evaluation resource for Stetson University students, faculty and administrators and for the surrounding community. SISR employs and trains students for short-term, intermittent studies to enhance their education by guiding them in meaningful research and instilling in them a strong sense of the social value of quality research. Hence, SISR prepares students to be knowledgeable research users, evaluators and participants; anticipate the uses of social research in their careers in public service, education and the private sector; and interact appropriately with research professionals and their clients.

Preparation for Graduate Study

The sociology major provides an excellent foundation for graduate school in sociology and for other social science disciplines, as well as for interdisciplinary (gender studies, media studies) and area (Latin American and Latino Studies) fields. It is a gateway to professional schools and fields, such as law, social work, business, public administration and health. The anthropology minor is good preparation for many master's programs in anthropology, archaeology and forensic science.

Awards and Recognition

Distinguished Faculty

Our faculty members and their interests include:

  • Rachel Core, Ph.D., The John Hopkins University; Global Health, Sociology of Societies, Medicine and Health
  • Diane Everett, Ph.D., Duke University; sociology of families, gender, education, work
  • Laura Gunn, Ph.D., Duke University; public health, biostatistics
  • Sharmaine Jackson, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine; J.D., Rutgers University; urban ethnography
  • Asal Mohamadi Johnson, Ph.D., Florida State University; public health, social epidemiology
  • Sven Smith, Ph.D., University of Florida; Sociology, Criminology, Law

Grant-Funded Research

Students are encouraged to take part in the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience. Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project.

Undergraduate awards and honors

Annually, the department may recognize one or two sociology majors with an award for their senior thesis projects: the Durkheim Prize for Research Excellence in Sociology is the highest honor bestowed on a sociology major for excellence in research, as demonstrated in a senior thesis project. The Joel Stanton Wright Sociology and Anthropology Award for the Outstanding Senior Thesis recognizes the significant achievement of a sociology major for a senior thesis project and paper that demonstrate the highest standards of student scholarship.

Courses and Curriculum

» View the Stetson University Course Catalog for more information on the curriculum and courses for this academic program.

Beyond the Classroom


The department offers a supervised internship program in various occupational settings for junior and senior majors and minors seeking to explore research and vocational interests for college credit. Students have interned in such places as the medical examiner's office, local law enforcement agencies, Rape Crisis Center, Domestic Abuse Council, Council on Aging, local schools, social service and nonprofit agencies and legal aid.

After Stetson

Diverse Careers

Stetson University students who graduate with a major or minor in sociology or a minor in anthropology are equipped for and have entered a wide range of occupations and professions. (For more information on who to study sociology, see the article "Why a Sociology Major?").