The Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology, as a department of social sciences, is within the College of Sciences. The Department offers a major in Sociology, a minor in Sociology, an interdisciplinary minor in Criminology, an interdisciplinary minor in Environmental Studies, and an interdisciplinary minor in Anthropology. Fourteen faculty members (12 sociologists and 2 anthropologists) provide a wide range of courses within a sociology program that offers more than 200 majors personal attention and frequent opportunities for faculty-student interaction. Many of the faculty also have active research agendas that afford interested and qualified students the opportunity to gain research experience. Sociology students have opportunity to participate in a number of departmental, extra-curricular activities. The Sociology-Anthropology Club is open to all sociology students, and the departmental chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society, is open to all qualified majors.
The mission of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology is to provide a comprehensive, undergraduate major in sociology while also constituting a substantial presence in the university’s general education curriculum, thus preparing students to contribute to the benefit of community and society and to continue life-long learning in a changing and diverse world. The Department places priority on excellence in teaching, enhanced by student mentoring, and furthered by the intellectual inquiry of research and service to the university, the community and the profession.
• Provide students with an understanding of the organization, structure and change of society and the dynamic interplay of these phenomena and human behavior.
• Teach students the analytical skills (theories, research methods, critical thought) necessary to comprehend human relationships and the influences of social forces on them.
• Inform students of opportunities in graduate school and in the employment market.
Sociology, a social science concerned with the systematic study of human society and based on the scientific method of the natural sciences, emerged in the nineteenth century. Sociology has since become a respected disciplinary presence in the academy and one of humankind’s major sources of self-awareness in the twenty-first century.
As Sociology developed, specialized subdisciplines emerged, and there are now sociologies of science, crime and deviance, politics, education, aging, sport, family, work and occupations, medicine, organizations, collective behavior, environment and numerous other subfields. Beyond the academy, Sociology finds application in areas such as minority relations, city planning, policy development, industrial relations, personnel relations, client/customer relations and advocacy.
Anthropology, as a sister discipline to sociology, is also a social science concerned with the systematic study of human society and it, too, emerged in the nineteenth century. Historically, Anthropology’s focus was on non-Western or traditional society (sometimes erroneously referred to as exotic or primitive society). Like sociology, Anthropology is a major source of humankind’s self-awareness in the twenty-first century.
As Anthropology developed, the discipline became segmented into four major areas: Cultural Anthropology (most similar to sociology); Archaeology; Physical Anthropology; Linguistics. Each subfield may constitute a distinct and discrete area of study.