About the Program
Sociology and Anthropology, with their emphasis on understanding human culture and behavior, provides students with global and local perspectives and the ability to think systemically about the world around us. The Sociology major offers a broad base for understanding different cultures, classes, religions and ethnic backgrounds. The study of social processes and social institutions provides a necessary perspective and set of tools for managing the complex social landscape.
- Preparation for graduate school in a variety of careers
- Preparation for diverse careers including social and human services, business, law, health care, social policy analysis, and schools
- Minors in Cultural Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Pan African Studies
- Internship and practicum opportunities
- Senior research project
- Opportunities for faculty-student research
- Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities in the world
At the core of the curriculum is the study of social inequalities and social justice, with emphasis on the social institutions and systems that shape and individual’s and a group’s role within society. The breadth, adaptability and utility of sociology lead to many employment opportunities for graduates as it teaches you to think, read and write critically, to analyze social institutions and to understand how organizations influence how we live and interact as groups. Grounded in a liberal arts tradition, the degree in sociology helps students develop specific skills, such as analytic proficiency, evaluative assessment and polished writing.
The Sociology program at Arcadia University offers students the opportunity to learn a range of research techniques that can be applied in a variety of employment settings—universities; public agencies at the federal, state or local level, businesses or industrial firms, or research institutes in the non-profit or advocacy sector.
All Sociology majors take a group of core courses and then choose Sociology electives based on individual career goals. Students and their advisers meet regularly to develop and review their academic plan and career goals.
Internships and Practicum
Career emphasis is expanded through an optional internship experience during the junior or senior year. Recent practicum settings have included nursing homes, human resource departments, child welfare agencies, police departments, schools, and hospital research departments, non profit agencies, girls empowerment groups, the US Marshall’s Office.
Senior Capstone Experience
During the senior year, all sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice majors engage in an independent research project that integrates their unique areas of interest and focus with instruction in advanced theoretical and methodological approaches to inquiry. Each student will choose one of three capstone courses in the fall of their senior year: SO 430 Empirical Research Capstone Seminar, or SO 489 Capstone Writing Seminar. Each course will provide a rigorous capstone experience, combined with individualized mentorship, culminating in a written senior thesis. During the spring semester, all majors take SO 491 Senior Professional Seminar, which provides training in professional development skills. They also prepare for their thesis presentations in this course.
Sociology majors are encouraged to study abroad, and many opportunities can complement studies in sociology. Social problems and issues need a global and local perspective. Because of the flexibility and breadth in the Sociology program, study abroad can easily fit into the program and the Undergraduate Curriculum requirements.
Students are encouraged to meet with their advisers to discuss their career interests and goals. It is important to have this discussion and formulate a plan early so that the international program is integrated with required and elective courses for the major. Most students use their study abroad courses and experiences to explore international perspectives on sociological and cultural issues.
Sociology majors typically study abroad during their sophomore or junior years because of the senior-year focus on independent research and thesis. Depending on which semester a student is abroad, he or she will select a course that substitutes for a major requirement, an elective in Sociology or a course in Anthropology or Gender and Women’s Studies. Studying abroad can provide students with the opportunity to take a course that is not available at Arcadia University, and to learn from a different point of view.
Visit the University’s website for more information. Since it is important that students plan ahead for study abroad, they should consult with their advisers as soon as possible and make their intentions known to the Department Chair and the Office of Study Away ((215) 572-8514), which is located on the first floor of Taylor Hall.
(44–48 credits as listed below, plus University-wide requirements and electives to total 128)
Common Curriculum for All Majors
(27-31 credits as listed below)
One additional theory course (select one)
Six Electives (21–24 credits)
In addition to the common curriculum, students select six of the following courses, one of which must be a course in Cultural Anthropology. The courses are selected by the student in conjunction with the adviser and are chosen on the basis of the student’s future career goals.
International Studies Minor
A major in Sociology or Cultural Anthropology can be combined with a International Studies, Minor for those students who are interested in acquiring practical experience in international affairs and who want a more global understanding of the world. The program is supplementary to the major and can readily mesh with the student’s individually tailored curriculum in Sociology.
The International Studies minor combines study abroad with international courses here at Arcadia University and modern language preparation.
The Cultural Anthropology, Minor offers students the opportunity to explore the rich diversity of cultures around the world. Students majoring in fields such as Art, Business, Communications, Education, History, Political Science, Philosophy, Pre-Law, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Medicine or Psychology will find that anthropological theory and method both complement and challenge their understanding of the world.
Criminal Justice Minor
The Criminal Justice, Minor provides students with the conceptual and research knowledge necessary to think critically about issues in criminal justice. Further, the program creates and instills a set of values respecting human individuality and dignity that will guide the manner in which criminal justice tasks and responsibilities are carried out. The criminal justice minor, in conjunction with a student’s major, also builds a base of knowledge and constructs a process of evaluation and critical inquiry upon which criminal justice professional training and/or graduate-level education can readily take place.
The Sociology, Minor provides an opportunity for students majoring in fields such as Business, Communications, Education, Political Science, Pre-Law, Pre-Physical Therapy and Psychology to select courses that will provide them with sociological and anthropological theory and research findings useful to their careers and enriching to their lives in the liberal arts tradition.
Gender and Sexuality Studies, Minor
The Gender and Sexuality Studies, Minor offers an in-depth study of gender, sexuality, and women’s issues from the perspective of different disciplines. Informed by varied feminist paradigms, the minor provides the opportunity to analyze and integrate knowledge from the unique vantage point of gender. Along with core courses in the social sciences and humanities, students can concentrate on how gender and sexuality affect our everyday lives and examines the critical intersection of race, class and gender.