Major Requirements

Seventy-two credits in the department, including the following:

  • SOAN 110: Introduction to Anthropology or SOAN 111: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOAN 239: Explorations in Social Data Analysis
    • or MATH 115: Statistics - Concepts and Applications
    • or MATH 215: Introduction to Statistics
    • or a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Stats exam
    • This requirement must be met before taking SOAN 240.
    • You may not scrunch stats for the major, even if you take MATH 115 or 215.
  • SOAN 240: Methods of Social Research
  • SOAN 330: Sociological Thought and Theory
  • SOAN 331: Anthropological Thought and Theory
  • SOAN 396: Advanced Sociological and Anthropological Writing
  • SOAN 400: Comps
  • And 30 credits from other SOAN courses

Students should take the theory courses (330 and 331) and the methods course (240) in their junior year. 396 is taken in the fall of the senior year. Comps is spread out over senior year, with most of the work in fall and winter terms.

A maximum of 12 credits can be applied to the major from relevant courses in off-campus programs.

Cross-Cultural Studies 210, Archeology 246, 395, Women's and Gender Studies 200, 240, and 250 may also be applied toward the major.

In keeping with our philosophy of comparative studies and commitment to understanding human societies other than the one we live in, majors are strongly urged to develop an in depth study of a culture other than their own. This may be done through regular courses, independent study, or off-campus programs. Students should speak with their advisers about ways of integrating such an in-depth study into their work.

We can't overstate how important it is that every SOAN major gain a deep, integrated understanding of another culture, and, through this experience, learn about the practical and philosophical obstacles that make achieving such understanding difficult. Doing an intensive study of some other culture is not easy. Nor does it guarantee that you will understand that culture. If you don't make the effort, though, you miss out on two crucial and distinctive aspects of sociology and anthropology: 1) the fight against ethnocentrism through both empathetic and intellectual understanding of other cultures, and 2) the practice of certain techniques in achieving such understanding.

Another important reason for gaining such in-depth knowledge of other cultures is that doing so will put you in a better position to understand and critique theory and method in sociology and anthropology. Your own efforts to understand another culture should lead you to appreciate the illumination that theory can shed on features of human society that seem to resist all comprehension. At the same time, the insight you achieve can point to the strengths and weaknesses of particular theories for answering certain questions.