Academic Programs

Academic Units: Department of Sociology and Anthropology

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Sociology Program
Mission Statement
The primary goal of the sociology program is to develop students’ understanding of:
  • The theories that explain, interpret and critique patterns of social relations.
  • The usefulness of viewing oneself and others in the social and historical context of diverse locations and cultures.
  • The varied and contested nature of all views of the social world.
  • The current techniques used in the study of the social components of such forms as philosophy, science, technology, education, work and media.
  • The importance to scientific inquiry of honesty, introspection, logical consistency and openness to refutation.
This primary goal is accomplished by a curriculum organized around three sociological traditions (naturalistic, interpretive and critical paradigms), each providing different theoretical and methodological perspectives.
  Goals
To fulfill its mission, the sociology program is committed to the cultivation of the sociological imagination by developing students’ appreciation of the social component of all dimensions of human experience.
  • Diversity and alternatives in social orientations and practices within and across societies.
  • The importance of social science to social policy decisions; political, social and cultural activity and personal growth.
To instruct with regard to schools of thought and methodological skills within the sociological tradition by enhancing students’:
  • Understanding of the major strands of sociological thought.
  • Ability to place the development and practice of sociology within a social and historical context.
  • Understanding of the logic of sociology’s various methodological skills.
  • Skills in the application of sociological methods.
To nourish disciplined, creative and spontaneous participation in the sociological endeavor by cultivating:
  • The norms of the scholarly community and a democratic society (openness to testing, reinterpretation and refutation, openness to public scrutiny, collegiality).
  • The scholarly traits necessary to practice sociology (objectivity, value clarity, skill development, perceptiveness, creativity, logical consistency, hard work and discipline).
  • Receptivity to the emergent qualities produced by creative and spontaneous sociological reflection.
Back to top of page Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills
Working as a professional sociologist most often requires a graduate degree, but the following careers, some supplemented with collateral training, are representative of our previous graduates.
  • Criminologist, probation/parole officer, police officer, corrections officer
  • Teacher, professor, social worker, researcher, case manager, biostatistician
  • Admissions officer, demographer, data analyst, personnel interviewer
  • Nursing home director, hospice coordinator, day care provider/director, epidemiologist
  • Mediator, congressional aide, writer/author, advocacy worker, job analyst
  • Population specialist, management trainee, sociologist, market research analyst
  • Secret service agent, customs/immigration officer, labor relations specialist
  • Personnel administrator, public relations specialist, public health statistician
  • Urban/regional planner, race relations specialist, underwriter, fund raiser
  • Education specialist, community services director
A major in sociology provides skills and perspectives that enhance all careers. Students who study sociology gain:
  • Increased general knowledge.
  • Broadened viewpoints informed by sociological perspectives.
  • Sensitivity to organizational issues and social change.
  • Abilities in critical thinking, analysis, writing and communication, examination of attitudes and values, and enhancement of computer skills.
Back to top of page Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
  • Alpha Kappa Delta, the Sociological Honorary Society
  • Student Research Symposium
  • The Sociology Club
Back to top of page Degree and Major Requirements
  Requirements for Admission to the Sociology Major
Students who meet the following requirements will be admitted to the Sociology Program as a major:
  • Students are automatically admitted to the sociology major program if: A) they have an overall GPA of 2.5, or B) they receive at least a “B-” in SOCI 200 and at least a “B-” in one of the following introductory sociology classes: GSOCI 210, GSOCI 240, SOCI 101.
  • Transfer students will be admitted to the sociology major after earning at least a “B-” in SOCI 200 and at least a “B-” in one of the following courses taken at JMU: GSOCI 210, GSOCI 240, SOCI 101. If transfer credits have been awarded for the equivalent of GSOCI 210, GSOCI 240 and SOCI 101, transfer students will be admitted after earning at least a “B-” in SOCI 200.
  • Students admitted to the major must earn at least a “C-” in all sociology classes or any course that is substituted for a sociology core course credit. If a student earns below a “C-” in a course, he or she can re-take the course once in order to meet the “C-” standard.
  • Students with an overall GPA of at least 2.0 may apply for admission to the sociology major for a limited number of spaces through an application process. To download an application, visit the sociology department Web site at http://www.jmu.edu/sociology/.
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Degree Requirements
Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education1
41
Foreign Language classes (intermediate level
required)2
0-14
Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)
3
University electives
23-37
Major requirements (listed below) and electives
40

120
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Language’s placement test.
Major Requirements
To earn the B.A. degree with a sociology major, students must complete a minimum of 40 credit hours in sociology. Of these credit hours, 19 are required courses; the remaining 21 credit hours are electives chosen from over 30 sociology courses.
Courses
Credit Hours
SOCI 200. Development of Social Thought and Method
4
SOCI 331. Introduction to Social Statistics1
3
SOCI 380. Critical Analysis
3
SOCI 382. Interpretive Analysis
3
SOCI 384. Naturalistic Analysis
3
SOCI 480. Senior Seminar2
3
Sociology electives
21

40
1 Students can substitute SOCI 331 with MATH 220, PSYC 210 or COB 191, if SPSS is used in the course, but must take an additional sociology course to complete the required 40 hours of sociology.
2 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
Bachelor of Science in Sociology
Degree Requirements
Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education1
41
Quantitative requirement2
3
Scientific Literacy requirement2
3-4
University electives
32-33
Major requirements (listed below) and electives
40

120
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education requirement.
Major Requirements
To earn the B.S. degree with a sociology major, students must complete a minimum of 40 credit hours in sociology. Of these credit hours, 19 are required courses; the remaining 21 credit hours are electives chosen from over 30 sociology courses.
Courses
Credit Hours
SOCI 200. Development of Social Thought and Method
4
SOCI 331. Introduction to Social Statistics1
3
SOCI 380. Critical Analysis
3
SOCI 382. Interpretive Analysis
3
SOCI 384. Naturalistic Analysis
3
SOCI 480. Senior Seminar2
3
Sociology electives
21

40
1 Students can substitute SOCI 331 with MATH 220, PSYC 210 or COB 191, if SPSS is used in the course, but must take an additional sociology course to complete the required 40 hours of sociology.
2 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
Back to top of page Concentrations
The sociology program encourages majors to select electives that create a coherent program of study suited to their special needs and interests. Such a focus would involve four or more courses that share a common focus. With the assistance of his or her sociology adviser, a student may choose an appropriate set of classes to form a concentration. Students in the past have developed such focused inquiries in areas such as applied sociology, deviance and criminology, family and lifestyles, occupations and bureaucracy, social psychology, sociology of education, and multicultural experience.
Back to top of page Recommended Schedule for Majors
B.A. and B.S. Majors
The following is an example of a four year course of study for a student seeking a degree in sociology:
First Year
Credit Hours
SOCI 101. Introductory Sociology, or GSOCI 210. Social Issues in a Global Context, or GSOCI 240. Individual in Society (prerequisite for SOCI 200)
3
SOCI 200. Development of Social Thought and Method
4
Sociology Elective
3

10
 
Second Year
Credit Hours
SOCI 331. Social Statistics
3
SOCI 331. Social Statistics
6

9
 
Third Year
Credit Hours
Choose two of the following:
6
SOCI 380. Critical Analysis
SOCI 382. Interpretive Analysis
SOCI 384. Naturalistic Analysis
Electives
6

12
 
Fourth Year
Credit Hours
Choose one of the following:
3
SOCI 380. Critical Analysis
SOCI 382. Interpretive Analysis
SOCI 384. Naturalistic Analysis
Sociology Elective
3
SOCI 480. Senior Seminar (majors take this during their final semester at JMU)
3

9
 
Back to top of page Minor Requirements
B.A. and B.S. Majors
To minor in sociology, a student must complete a minimum of 18 credit hours of sociology course work including four core credit hours and 14 elective credit hours.
Core Requirements
Credit Hours
SOCI 200. Development of Social Thought and Method
4
Sociology electives
14

18
Back to top of page Credit by Examination
Consult the department head for information about credit by examination.
Back to top of page
Anthropology Program
Mission Statement
As the discipline that studies humans as both biological and cultural beings through time and across place, anthropology takes a holistic approach that bridges the natural and social sciences and the humanities. The anthropology program provides students with an excellent undergraduate education in the major subfields of anthropology: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology and archaeology. This education seeks to introduce and explain the nature and diversity of human biology and culture as it is currently understood. The anthropology major provides globally oriented courses that stress critical thinking, cultural and scientific interpretation, intensive reading and rigorous writing and the application of learning and research technologies used by anthropologists to understand contemporary human problems.
  Goals
To fulfill its mission, the anthropology program is committed to the following goals:
  • To provide students with the fundamentals of evolutionary theory, the fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution and the relevance of human biology for understanding contemporary human populations, biological variation and disease.
  • To enhance students’ understanding of culture and different cultural systems, their social organization and the methodological and theoretical basis for interpreting human cultural differences and similarities.
  • To develop students’ understanding of the cultural origins and development of humans by analyzing the material remains (artifacts) of prehistoric and historic cultures.
Back to top of page Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills
Working as a professional anthropologist usually requires a graduate degree. An undergraduate degree in anthropology, however, provides a solid foundation from which to purse any number of rewarding careers. JMU graduates with a degree in anthropology have secured the following positions:
  • Anthropologist
  • Archaeologist
  • Archivist
  • Business executive
  • City planner
  • College librarian
  • Cultural affairs director
  • Genealogist
  • Historical preservationist
  • International development consultant
  • Lawyer
  • Management trainee
  • Market researcher
  • Museum curator
  • News reporter
  • Paralegal
  • Public affairs director
  • Teacher
  • Technical writer
The anthropology major is a liberal arts program that stresses such marketable skills as:
  • Basic research analytical skills
  • Computer skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Global knowledge
  • Rigorous writing
Back to top of page Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
  • Lambda Alpha, Anthropology Honors Society
  • Student Anthropology Club
Back to top of page Major and Degree Requirements
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
Degree Requirements
Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education1
41
Foreign Language classes (intermediate level
required)2
0-14
Philosophy course (in addition to General Education courses)
3
University electives
23-37
Major requirements (listed below) and electives
40

120
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 The foreign language requirement may be satisfied by successful completion of the second semester of the intermediate level of the student’s chosen language (typically 232) or by placing out of that language through the Department of Foreign Language’s placement test.
Major Requirements
To earn a B.A. degree in anthropology, students must complete a minimum of 39-40 credit hours in the major. Fifteen of these are the core requirements of the major. In addition, students must select a concentration in one of three sub-disciplines (cultural, biological, archaeology) or the general anthropology option. Concentrations are designed to allow students to design a curriculum most appropriate to their interests, and consist of one sub-disciplinary theory course and four or more elective courses that share a common focus. An upper-division anthropology course from one of the other sub-disciplines is required of all students choosing a concentration. Because of the range of opportunities within each concentration, it is important that students consult with their advisers to choose courses that suit their particular needs and interests. Students who choose the general anthropology option take two upper-division theory courses from two sub-disciplines and spread their elective course work among the sub-disciplines. For all concentrations and the general anthropology option, up to six credit hours of electives from a discipline outside of anthropology (e.g., history, philosophy, sociology, economics, geology, biology, etc.) may be applied to the major. Elective courses from outside disciplines must be 300- or 400-level courses and approved by the student’s adviser. Students must receive at least a “C-” in a class to have it count toward the anthropology major.
Courses
Credit Hours
GANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology
3
GANTH 196. Biological Anthropology or GSCI 116. Human Ecology
3
ANTH 197. Archaeology
3
ANTH 375. History of Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology1
3
Methods/statistics course approved by adviser (e.g., MATH 220, SOCI 331, ANTH 455)
3
Cultural Anthropology Concentration
ANTH 435. Ethnographic Genres and Methods
4
Upper-division course in biological anthropology or archaeology
3
Electives2
18
Archaeology Concentration
ANTH 455. Archaeology: Methods of Analysis3
0-3
Upper-division course in biological or cultural anthropology
3
Electives2
18-21
Biological Anthropology Concentration
ANTH 420. Evolution of Human Behavior
3
Upper-division course in biological or cultural anthropology
3
Electives3
18
General Anthropology
Choose two of the following:
3
ANTH 420. Evolution of Human Behavior
3
ANTH 435. Ethnographic Genres and Methods
4
ANTH 455. Archaeology: Methods of Analysis3
3-7
Electives (at least one from each sub-discipline)2
18-21
39-40
1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
2 Up to 6 hours of credit from another discipline can be applied to these credits, with the approval of the adviser.
3 Students who choose ANTH 455 as their methods requirement must take an additional 3 credits of electives.
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology
Degree Requirements
Required Courses
Credit Hours
General Education1
41
Quantitative requirement2
3
Scientific Literacy requirement2
3-4
University electives
32-33
Major requirements (listed below) and electives
40

120
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to course work taken to fulfill General Education requirement.
Major Requirements
To earn a B.S. degree in anthropology, students must complete a minimum of 39-40 credit hours in the major. Fifteen of these are the core requirements of the major. In addition, students must select a concentration in one of three sub-disciplines (cultural, biological, archaeology) or the general anthropology option. Concentrations are designed to allow students to design a curriculum most appropriate to their interests, and consist of one sub-disciplinary theory course and four or more elective courses that share a common focus. An upper-division anthropology course from one of the other sub-disciplines is required of all students choosing a concentration. Because of the range of opportunities within each concentration, it is important that students consult with their advisers to choose courses that suit their particular needs and interests. Students who choose the general anthropology option take two upper-division theory courses from two sub-disciplines and spread their elective course work among the sub-disciplines. For all concentrations and the general anthropology option, up to six credit hours of electives from a discipline outside of anthropology (e.g., history, philosophy, sociology, economics, geology, biology, etc.) may be applied to the major. Elective courses from outside disciplines must be 300- or 400-level courses and approved by the student’s adviser. Students must receive at least a “C-” in a class to have it count toward the anthropology major.
Required Core Courses
Credit Hours
GANTH 195. Cultural Anthropology
3
GANTH 196. Biological Anthropology or GSCI 116. Human Ecology
3
ANTH 197. Archaeology
3
ANTH 375. History of Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology1
3
Methods/statistics course approved by adviser (e.g., MATH 220, SOCI 331, ANTH 455)
3
Cultural Anthropology Concentration
ANTH 435. Ethnographic Genres and Methods
4
Upper-division course in biological anthropology or archaeology
3
Electives2
18
Archaeology Concentration
ANTH 455. Archaeology: Methods of Analysis3
0-3
Upper-division course in biological or cultural anthropology
3
Electives2,3
18-21
Biological Anthropology Concentration
ANTH 420. Evolution of Human Behavior
3
Upper-division course in biological or cultural anthropology
3
Electives2
18
General Anthropology
Choose two of the following:
3
ANTH 420. Evolution of Human Behavior
3
ANTH 435. Ethnographic Genres and Methods
4
ANTH 455. Archaeology: Methods of Analysis3
3-7
Electives (at least one from each sub-discipline)2
18-21
39-40
1 This course fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major.
2 Up to 6 hours of credit from another discipline can be applied to these credits, with the approval of the adviser.
3 Students who choose ANTH 455 as their methods requirement must take an additional 3 credits of electives.
Back to top of page Concentrations
Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropology provides students with an in-depth experience in the interpretation and comparison of human cultures, and it is closely linked to the humanities and the social sciences. The goal of this concentration is to provide students with knowledge of culture, different cultural systems and social organizations, and the methodological and theoretical frameworks for interpreting human cultural differences and similarities. Students are encouraged to become proficient in a foreign language and develop a regional area of specialization (e.g., North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, etc.). Also recommended are upper-level electives in history, sociology, economics, religion and political science.
Archaeology
Archaeology is the study of the development and change of human societies from the prehistoric past to the present through the identification, gathering and interpretation of material remains and/or artifacts. Students planning a career in archaeology should enroll in an archaeological field school. Archaeology students are also encouraged to take ANTH 435, Ethnographic Genres and Methods. This sub-discipline shares strong methodological and thematic ties with history, geology, geography, biology and art history, and upper-level course electives from these areas are encouraged.
Biological Anthropology
Biological anthropology seeks to understand the biological nature of humans and biological variation in human populations by studying evolutionary theory, genetics, human biology, non-human primates and the fossil record for human evolution. The concentration allows students to focus on human evolution, biology, and behavior from a perspective that considers the ways that culture and environment impact biological processes. Relevant courses in biology, psychology, geology and health science should be considered.
General Anthropology
This option is for students who find themselves interested in combining work in the different sub-disciplines, or for those who prefer to explore the breadth of anthropology at the upper-division level. Courses should be carefully chosen in conjunction with the adviser.
Back to top of page Minor Requirements
Anthropology Minor
Students complete a minor in anthropology by completing 18 hours in anthropology including the core courses GANTH 195, Cultural Anthropology; GANTH 196, Biological Anthropology or GSCI 116E, Human Ecology; and ANTH 197, Archaeology.
Historical Archaeology Minor
The minor is designed for students interested in the field of historical archaeology, a discipline that integrates the research interests and methods of archaeology and history. For a full description of this program, refer to “Indisciplinary Programs.”
Back to top of page Credit by Examination
For information about credit by examination, consult the program coordinator.