Welcome to the Anthropology and Sociology Department at Marshall University. Here students receive personalized mentoring, training in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and dedicated academic support. Our faculty are active researchers and mentors, committed to guiding you on your academic journey. 

You have the flexibility to choose your path with major and minor programs in both anthropology and sociology. Additionally, you can delve into specialized areas of emphasis in the RBA program or take your studies to the next level with our graduate program in sociology. 

Whether you’re passionate about social justice, cultural studies, human behavior, or the dynamics of our ever-changing world, Marshall University is the perfect place to start your journey. Join us, and let’s explore the complexities of society together. 

Degree Programs


Why Social Science?

Each month, Gallup Poll surveys ask a representative sample of Americans “What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?” The main problems identified include jobs, unemployment, the economy, inflation/the high cost of living, immigration, the environment/climate change, race relations, family decline, crime and violence, health care, and education. Issues such as these have clear social, behavioral, and economic aspects that need to be better understood, and social, behavioral and economic research can contribute to understanding and addressing them. Issues pertaining to business, medicine, engineering, or computer science all have social and behavioral components, such as patients’ understanding of medical information, the nation’s response to disease and government mandates, or community responses to proposed highway development, or worker responses to technological/environmental changes like AI or communication technology allowing work from home. The pandemic altered many of our social institutions, particularly how we experience social life in the workplace, schools, and within the family unit. This is why we need sociologists and anthropologists more than ever.

Through our course offerings and electives, we can prepare students for success in this ever-changing global society. Core strengths of our faculty include social movements and social change, language, gender, race, inequality, stratification, cultural diversity, social interaction and group processes, migration, globalization, environmental health, social institutions (religion, family, work and occupations, health care, politics and the economy, sports and leisure), and gerontology. The curricula are designed to provide our students with a wide range of options in pursuit of their academic and professional goals and interests, while also providing solid training in core foundations of the two disciplines. Students learn both qualitative and quantitative research methods and are exposed to a variety of subfields and theoretical perspectives. Visit this link to read more about why social science is so important.

A 21st Century Liberal Science Education

Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

The broad goals of liberal education have been enduring even as the courses and requirements that comprise a liberal education have changed over the years. Today, a liberal education usually includes a general education curriculum that provides broad learning in multiple disciplines and ways of knowing, along with more in-depth study in a major.