The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Marshall University offers a supportive environment for undergraduate and Masters level students who wish to pursue training in anthropology and sociology. Our accomplished faculty place a strong emphasis on teaching and mentoring while also striving to maintain an active research agenda. 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.
Faculty core strengths 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), gerontology, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and advanced statistical analysis.
We are a combined department of the allied social sciences of anthropology and sociology that each and together provide a 21st Century, science education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. Students can find both major and minor programs in anthropology and sociology, an RBA areas of emphasis in both disciplines, and a graduate program in sociology.
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.
Why Social Science?
Every month the Gallup Poll asks 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, health care, and race relations. 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. Moreover, many other problems that at first glance appear to be issues only of medicine or engineering or computer science have social and behavioral components, such as patients’ understanding of medical information and community responses to proposed highway development. This is why we need social scientists, more than ever.