The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at UMBC offers majors and minors in sociology and in cultural anthropology.
Sociology is the scientific study of human interaction and the institutions and organizations through which people organize their social lives. The sociology major is designed both for students who intend to enter the labor market upon receiving the bachelor’s degree and for students who plan to enter graduate school, either in sociology, anthropology or a professional program that makes significant use of the social sciences.
Anthropology is the worldwide comparative study of humankind, present and past. Anthropology majors learn to gather and analyze complex material, communicate across difference, and recognize how cultural perspectives shape understandings of events and interactions. Courses in the discipline help students gain an understanding of the complexity of current events within the U.S. and internationally with topics ranging from anthropological theory and research methods to applied anthropology. Students have the opportunity to explore critical contemporary problems, globalization, urban life, family, gender, health, and technology, to name just a few through the lens of anthropology.
The subfield of cultural anthropology examines the relationship of culture, human meaning, and the social, political, and economic forces that affect our worlds. Cultural Anthropology students develop an understanding of cultural diversity, human social organization and social structure, and social research methods. There is also a three-course sequence on physical and forensic anthropology.
Upon graduation, majors are well prepared to obtain employment in our increasingly multicultural workforce, including positions in business, health, government, and law, among others. Majors also have been very successful in obtaining admittance to graduate school, including Ph.D. programs in Anthropology and Master’s programs in Applied Anthropology, Public Health, and Social Work.
Membership in the Council of Majors for Anthropology and Sociology is open to declared majors. The council publishes a newsletter, and meets regularly throughout the academic year.