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High Quality Advising

Faculty in the EIU’s Department of Sociology & Anthropology practice high quality, personalized advising.  Faculty members are personable and friendly and genuinely interested in our students graduating from the university and moving into challenging and rewarding occupations. Our advisors are well versed with respect to EIU’s general education requirements as well as the full range of sociology and anthropology courses – for majors and minors and for all students interested in the disciplines. In addition, our faculty provides students with a wealth of information regarding graduate programs/schools and offer keen insights into potential careers for which sociology is a superb background.



Research Opportunities

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at EIU offers opportunities for undergraduate students to hone their methodological and statistical skills working with experienced and well-respected publishing scholars. Students have expanded on in-class papers and research projects with the help of faculty mentors and the results of this collaboration have been student presentations at state and regional conferences, participating in archaeological “digs” in Canada, and, in some cases, published articles in respected social science journals. This kind of activity can be crucial for EIU students who wish to pursue graduate degrees in sociology or anthropology, something that clearly distinguishes them from students at other universities and colleges.


Can You Dig It?

Dr. Donald Holly

Dr. Donald Holly takes his students on archeological digs searching for clues of a distant past. Read more...



Enthusiastic, Personable and Engaging Faculty

An Appetite for Change

Poverty and hunger are a very real problem in Coles County and the surrounding area. In fact, you might not realize just how widespread these issues are in east-central Illinois; Michael Gillespie certainly didn’t know it when he took a job in EIU’s Department of Sociology back in 2010.

Since then, however, Dr. Gillespie has fully immersed himself in not only identifying and researching poverty and food insecurity within the 14-county region served by the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, but also becoming active in the fight against them and encouraging Eastern students to do the same.


Faculty in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology have distinguished themselves in the three primary area of university life: teaching, research and service. Student evaluations consistently rate the faculty highly in terms of their enthusiasm, genuine concern for students, and ability to transmit knowledge. Faculty offer courses in terms of the full range of the disciplines, from gender studies and criminology to sexuality and language. Faculty research, often in tandem with undergraduates, has been presented and published in a variety of outlets -- from state and regional conferences to scientific journals. Faculty are highly involved in university and community service, from serving on the boards of homeless shelters to "hands on" work with such agencies as the America Red Cross, local food pantries, and university RSOs. Often recognized by their faculty peers via Achievement and Contribution Awards (ACAs) for their exemplary teaching, research and service, the department is proud to boast of a former Faculty Laureate recipient and a Fulbright scholar.

Community Impact

William Lovekamp in the field

William Lovekamp’s work in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is helping to preserve the heritage of Cades Cove. Read more...


Expanding Internship Program

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology provides an expanding arena of internship possibilities throughout the state and nation. Departmental interns have interned at a host of sites, from the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) to the Illinois State Police (ISP), as well as within private businesses and corporations. Interns benefit from on-the-job training while at the same time making use of the concepts and theories that they have learned and mastered in the classroom. This combination – classroom knowledge and practical experience – literally helps the internship experience “come alive,” and can prove to be an invaluable asset to students as they enter the job market.



Achieve Your Goals

EIU sociology graduates have a very high (80% or better) acceptance rate at high quality MSW programs (such as UIC, UIUC, St. Louis University, and Illinois State University). The rigor of our courses, our enthusiastic and engaged faculty, and the large number of resources (for example, computer labs, one-on-one mentoring, and honor student tutors) available to students all bode well for students interested in pursuing careers or graduate work in social work or the social services. In addition, three of our faculty have MSW degrees and are only too willing to provide advice and support to students interested in these fields.