Sociology and Anthropology

Sociology and anthropology are systematic studies of societies, cultures, and human relations. They teach us that human action and experiences are best understood in context. These contexts include human groups, organizations, language, our biological qualities, a consideration of the past through archeology, and more.

Career trajectories for majors link directly to essential 21st century worker competencies, experiences, and perspectives introduced through our curriculum.

Education within and beyond the classroom
When our students tell us they are “hooked” by the major, they cite a variety of reasons. Some say it is the substantive content of the disciplines, others say the chance to apply an understanding of society and culture to human betterment.  All majors learn through traditional classroom courses, electives that involve relevant field trip and applied assignments, internships, full-semester community-based courses and study abroad led by our faculty. We have courses that introduce students to fundamental theories and research methods and offer a curriculum with increasingly challenging opportunities to apply both. The program of study culminates in a capstone senior project involving original research presented at an end-of-semester gathering.

How does the program work?
Majors earn a degree (B.A. or B.S.) in Sociology and Anthropology, but select a concentration in either sociology or anthropology. Each major completes 39 credit hours of coursework: 9 hours of prerequisites, 6 hours of intermediate requirements (research methods and theory), 12 hours of electives in the selected concentration, 9 hours of electives in either anthropology or sociology and 3 hours of a capstone experience. Some of our majors pursue a major or minor in complementary areas (e.g., family studies, psychology, foreign languages, business, government, theatre.)

How does a major in Sociology and Anthropology prepare me for work or future graduate study?
The study of sociology and anthropology supports many practical pursuits in entry-level careers, traditional graduate study in sociology or anthropology and graduate programs in the fields of law, public or global health, curatorial and archivist studies, social work, paleoanthropology, linguistics, environmental studies, urban planning, medicine, counseling, and more. People who major in Sociology and Anthropology obtain objective, problem solving skills. Taken together, our program facilitates the development of abilities that offer a foundation desirable in a range of work, professional or community settings. Employees increasingly value the skills, capacities, and experiences that majors in Sociology and Anthropology accrue: practical study design, data analysis, report writing, critical thinking skills, problem diagnostics, analytic skills, comparative cultural assessments and more. Nationally, 94% of all sociology majors are in the labor force in a related placement, graduate school, or both within 1 ½ years of graduation from college (American Sociological Association, 2014.)

How can studying sociology and anthropology benefit you personally?
People who study sociology and anthropology acquire objective competencies, skills, and a way of viewing social life and culture relevant in day-to-day living. These personal benefits include critical thinking skills, factual and theoretical knowledge of our social and cultural global environment and a richer understanding of effective ways to be an engaged citizen. Students also accrue essential knowledge about the cultural minefield part-and-parcel to a global life.

What are some Berry graduates in this major doing?
Our graduates have careers and graduate education in a wide range of fields and settings, including medicine, social work, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, urban and regional planning, business, finance, public health, human resources, ministry, education, constituent services within a state General Assembly, non-profit management, forensics, counseling and more.

What are some other sources of information about these fields of study and people who practice them in a variety of settings?
For sociology, visit the American Sociological Association at www.asanet. org and the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology at
For anthropology, visit the American Anthropological  Association at www., and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology at

“What influenced me the most during my time as an Anthropology major at Berry, besides the courses, was the supportive relationship that I had with my professors. They all encouraged my scholastic endeavors while helping me to grow as a person. Additionally, I received several wonderful opportunities from Berry including studying abroad in Glasgow, studying in South Korea, and the chance to present at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Boston.”
Ashley-Rose Scholl, Anthropology

“ …through courses and relationships with my professors, I learned that there are numerous fields that sociology and anthropology intersect with…. While my graduate courses demand intense field experience and skills, Berry provided me with a firm foundation to help me excel in my courses.”
Ali Jackson, Sociology

“My sociology and anthropology courses fostered a passion for diverse cultures and a broad, holistic perspective about the effects of culture on all aspects of life and human relations. My studies also afforded myriad opportunities to hone critical thinking and problem solving skills about complex social issues all of which contributed to my emotional resiliency. Last, my courses prepared me to communicate clearly within multi- cultural work environments. Overall, this foundation has enabled me to serve a refugee community needing to rebuild their lives.”
Kayla Heflin, Anthropology

More information
For more information on Sociology and Anthropology,  visit