Sociology and Anthropology
- Course Work
- Undergraduate Programs
- Graduate Programs
- Anthropology, MAIS
- Sociology, MA
- Admission Requirements
- Extended Studies
- Degree Requirements
- Emphasis in General Sociology
- Emphasis in Sex and Gender
- Emphasis in Conflict Analysis and Management
- Emphasis in Race and Ethnicity
- Emphasis in Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections
- Emphasis in Sociology of Culture
- Master's Thesis
- Financial Aid
- Robinson Professors: Dumont (Anthropology), Weitzman (Sociology)
- Professors:Lancaster, Seligmann, Williams (Anthropology); Borkman, Dennis, Scimecca, Vallas (Chair) (Sociology)
- Associate professors: Haines, Palkovich, Trencher (Anthropology); Guagnano, Hanrahan, Jacobs, Rader, Rosenblum (Sociology)
- Assistant professor: Bryant, Snead (Anthropology); Best, Samara (Sociology)
- Term assistant professors and instructors: Falen (Anthropology); Arabandi, Masters (Sociology)
- Affiliate professors: Avruch (Anthropology); Bainbridge, Bockman, Dopkins, Goldstone, Johnson, Levine, McAuley (Sociology)
- Emeritus: Golomb (Anthropology); Tavani (Sociology)
- Adjuncts:Mashayekhi, Minnich, Nambiar, Pearlman, Sandole-Staroste
This department offers all course work designated ANTH, SOAN, and SOCI in the "Course Descriptions" chapter of this catalog.
Anthropology is the study of human beings and their cultures. It draws broadly from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. Anthropology is thus an ideal undergraduate major, providing sound interdisciplinary preparation for a variety of careers. In addition to satisfying the university-wide general education requirements and the requirements for the BA degree in CAS, students majoring in anthropology must complete the following 36 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.00:
A 9-credit core in anthropology:
- ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- ANTH 390 Theories, Methods, and Issues I
- ANTH 490 Theories, Methods, and Issues II
A 9-credit four-field requirement:
- Archaeology: ANTH 120 or ANTH 420
- Biological Anthropology: ANTH 135 or ANTH 365
- Linguistic Anthropology: ANTH 380
18 credits of 300- and 400-level electives
SOCI 311 and 313 may apply toward the 18-credit elective requirement. LING 326 General Linguistics may substitute for ANTH 380. SOCI 311 may substitute for ANTH 390.
See an advisor to learn how anthropology majors may fulfill the university-wide requirements in global understanding, information technology, and synthesis as well as the CAS requirement in non-Western culture.
Students wishing to pursue careers in anthropology should consider including ANTH 492 (or subfield specialty equivalents, such as ANTH 420, 450, 495, or 496) as an elective in their program of study.
The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in anthropology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing ANTH 490.
Honors Program in Anthropology
Anthropology majors who wish to pursue the honors program in anthropology must meet the following criteria: a minimum GPA of 3.50, 60 credits, completion of ENGL 302 for the social sciences, 3.75 GPA in anthropology courses, and 15 credits of anthropology (ANTH 114, 120, 135; and two additional courses).
Candidates for honors in anthropology are expected to earn 6 credits in one of two possible sequences of special honors sections: ANTH 492h (for those focusing on sociocultural anthropology) or ANTH 420h (for those interested in archaeology or biological anthropology). All honors candidates will undertake additional research leading to the completion of an honors thesis in ANTH 499h. For more information, contact the anthropology coordinator at 703-993-1334.
Minor in Anthropology
Students must complete 21 credits in anthropology including ANTH 114, 332, 120 or 135; and 430 or 450. See an advisor in the department for more information.
For policies governing all minors, see "minors" under "The Undergraduate Academic Program" in the Academic Policies chapter of this catalog.
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology coordinates the concentration in anthropology within the master of arts in individualized studies (MAIS).
Sociology involves the systematic study of social structures, cultural patterns, and human relationships. The sociological imagination combines rigorous methods with theory and observation, yielding insights that challenge commonly held assumptions about the social world. Sociology also informs the practice of social and public service, aiding efforts to address important social problems. Majoring in sociology positions students to pursue a varied set of career paths, ranging from teaching, human service and human resource occupations to positions in the criminal justice system, marketing, and social research. The sociology major is excellent preparation for students considering law school or graduate training in the social and behavioral sciences.
In addition to satisfying the university-wide general education requirements and the requirements for the BA degree in CAS, students majoring in sociology must take 35 credits of sociology courses with a minimum GPA of 2.00. These include 17 credits of core courses (SOCI 101 or 102, 303, 311, 313, and 412), each of which must be completed with a minimum grade of 2.00, and an additional 18 credits of course work in sociology at the 300 or 400 level. Of the required 35 credits in sociology, no more than 6 credits of courses with unsatisfactory grades (C- or D) may be applied toward the degree, none of which can be core courses.
Areas of Emphasis
In completing the 18 credits of study beyond the core sociology courses, students are strongly encouraged to select an area of emphasis to suit their interests and career objectives. An area of emphasis consists of 12 credits as described below. Students who are invited to participate in the sociology honors program may apply 3 credits of honors course work (480, 481, 482) to their selected area of emphasis.
Deviance, Crime, and Social Control
- Focuses on the sociology of crime and delinquency; legal and political systems of social control; informal patterns of norms and values that regulate human action; and the social forces that produce deviant behavior and responses to it. This area of emphasis is appropriate for students interested in the criminal justice system and the law. Choose 12 credits from SOCI 300, 301, 302, 310, 332, 340, 352, 402, 503.
Social Inequality and Social Conflict
- Focuses on race, class, and gender inequalities; the social bases of social and political conflict, including protest movements and collective action; and debates over human rights and equality in a global context. This area is of central interest to students interested in social change, political reform, and nonprofit organizations. Choose 12 credits from SOCI 300, 307, 308, 310, 315, 326, 332, 340, 352, 390, 401, 450; ANTH 365 or 488.
Applied Social Research
- Focuses on the social and institutional forces that give rise to social problems in various institutional contexts, including the family, urban communities, and formal organizations. This emphasis is appropriate for students interested in pursuing careers involving human services, social policy, and business organizations. Choose 12 credits from SOCI 304, 305, 309, 320, 332, 352, 383, 410, 413, 421, 441; ANTH 333 or 365.
Sociology of Culture
- Focuses on the social and institutional forces that shape religion, the arts, language, gender, and cultural norms and tastes. This area is relevant for students interested in a wide array of pursuits ranging from museums and cultural memory to music and market research. Choose 12 credits from SOCI 309, 314, 315, 332, 377, 385, 401, 414, 505; ANTH 332 or 488.
Health and the Environment
- Focuses on the complex interplay between nature and human life; the relation between ecology and human well-being; and the social bases of health and illness, including both mental and physical health. This emphasis is relevant to students interested in health care organizations and kindred human services. Choose 12 credits from SOCI 320, 332, 352, 373, 390, 401, 441; ANTH 381 or 332.
The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in sociology may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing SOCI 412.
Honors Program in Sociology
Sociology majors who have completed 75 credits (with a minimum of 15 credits in sociology, 6 of which must have been taken at Mason) and who have a 3.50 GPA overall and a 3.50 GPA in sociology may apply for admission to the honors program in sociology. To graduate with honors in sociology, students must complete SOCI 480 and 481 with a minimum GPA of 3.50 overall and in sociology courses presented for graduation. The 6 credits of honors courses may be counted toward the major requirement in sociology. For more information or application procedures, contact the Sociology and Anthropology Department.
Minor in Sociology
Students can select one of five emphases in sociology offered by the department. A minor in sociology requires 21 credits in one emphasis with a minimum GPA of 2.00. All emphases require SOCI 101 and 311 with a minimum grade of 2.00 in each one. See an advisor in the department for more information.
Accelerated MA in Sociology
Highly qualified undergraduates may be admitted to an accelerated master's program and obtain both a BA and MA in sociology. Students admitted to this program may take elective graduate courses during their senior year, and up to 9 graduate credits may be used to partially satisfy requirements for the undergraduate degree. (Upon completion of the undergraduate degree and a GPA of at least 3.00 in graduate courses, students have advanced standing in the master's program and complete an additional 24 credits to receive the master's degree. All other master's degree requirements must be met.)
Academically strong undergraduate majors are encouraged to apply to the accelerated master's program after they complete 90 credits. Applicants should have a 3.25 GPA, with a 3.50 in sociology courses. If not, they may submit two letters of reference from faculty in the department. For more information, see the sociology graduate coordinator.
Students who wish to become teachers should consult the CEHD chapter and attend an information session early in their undergraduate career. For more information, call 703-993-2892, e-mail email@example.com, or go to gse.gmu.edu.
The BA, BS, and minor in conflict analysis and resolution are jointly awarded by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) and CAS. Students in this program are considered students in both ICAR and CAS.For details, see the ICAR chapter of this catalog.
See the description of the graduate program in anthropology under Interdisciplinary Studies, MAIS. Anthropology offers a master's program with emphasis in advanced sociocultural training, anthropology and health, anthropology and social justice, and anthropology and environment.
Students may choose an emphasis in general sociology; sex and gender; crime, delinquency, and corrections; race and ethnicity; cultural studies; or conflict analysis and management. The general sociology emphasis allows maximum flexibility in the application of sociological knowledge to the analysis of social processes and systems. All emphases are appropriate for those anticipating further graduate study leading to the PhD in sociology.
The department provides opportunities for students to develop expertise in a variety of areas, including applied methods, community, conflict analysis and management, development and social change, deviance, environmental sociology, gerontology, medical sociology, occupations and professions, policy analysis, race and ethnicity, sociology of science and technology, cultural studies, and survey research.
In addition to meeting the general admissions requirements for graduate study, applicants must present the following:
- A minimum of 3 credits each in undergraduate sociological theory, statistics, and research methods. Equivalent courses in other disciplines may be substituted for some of these requirements with permission.
- Three letters of recommendation from people who have supervised the student's work. If possible, at least one should be from an academic setting.
- A written statement (approximately 600 words) explaining the student's interest in sociology.
An undergraduate GPA of 3.00.
Acceptance of applicants to the program depends upon assessment by the departmental graduate committee.
Students who do not wish to pursue a degree or who have not supplied all required documents to be considered for admission may enroll through extended studies. These students may later apply for admission to the degree program. With approval, a maximum of 12 graduate credits earned prior to enrollment as a degree-seeking student may be applied to a master's degree.
All students are required to complete 33 credits distributed as follows:
- 6 credits of social theory (SOCI 611 and 612)
- 6 credits of research methods and statistics
- 3–6 credits of master's thesis (SOCI 799)
- Elective credits
Emphasis in General Sociology
Additional sociology electives.
Emphasis in Sex and Gender
A degree with this emphasis requires 9 credits in sex and gender (SOCI 505, 525, and 696).
Emphasis in Conflict Analysis and Management
A degree with this emphasis requires 9 credits in the sociology of conflict and conflict management.
Emphasis in Race and Ethnicity
A degree with this emphasis requires 9 credits in race and ethnicity.
Emphasis in Crime, Delinquency, and Corrections
A degree with this emphasis requires 9 credits in crime, delinquency, and corrections (SOCI 607, 608, and 609).
Emphasis in Sociology of Culture
A degree with this emphasis prepares students for the doctoral program in cultural studies. It requires SOCI 614 Sociology of Culture; a 3-credit, master's-level course that also serves as an introduction to a cultural studies feeder program in a department other than Sociology and Anthropology; and CULT 802 Histories of Cultural Studies I.
A master's thesis is required to demonstrate capacity to carry out independent research. The thesis consists of a substantial sociological research or theoretical project that will contribute to sociological knowledge.
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a limited number of graduate assistantships. For more information, call 703-993-1440.