Earlham’s sociology/anthropology (SoAn) program provides you with a broad and deep understanding of how humans interact with and are shaped by society and culture. You also have the option to pursue a concentration in applied social sciences, which emphasizes ways sociology and anthropology can be applied to improve well-being in societies. This concentration prepares you for careers in public policy, urban planning and public health.
As a sociology/anthropology major, you will engage in your own independent projects. Earlham students have studied a broad range of topics including the campus response to a pandemic, life histories of immigrant women and the history of race in Argentina.
The study of sociology/anthropology at Earlham provides you with a strong framework for understanding humans and society. Alumni have found successful and rewarding careers in schools, social service and community development organizations, public health initiatives, business and nonprofit settings, government agencies and human rights organizations.
To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements.
Sociology/anthropology majors must complete at least 40 credits in the department, of which up to four credits may be at the 100 level.
The following classes are normally* required of all majors:
21 credits of SOAN courses
- Including no more than three courses below the 300-level
- May not include more than four credits at the 100 level
- May include the optional course SOAN 487 – Senior Thesis
Note: SOAN 487 Senior Thesis is an optional course that may not be counted towards the major.
Note: In cases where a different configuration would strengthen your course of study in the major, the department will work with you to develop an appropriate alternative.
We strongly encouraged you to include an internship and/or foreign study as part of your studies. If majoring in sociology/anthropology, you may take up to four credits in other departments or on off-campus programs at the discretion of your departmental adviser (and according to departmental criteria established for off-campus programs).
Normally, we expect you to complete a research methods course by the end of your junior year. In addition, in the spring semester of junior year, students meet with departmental faculty to discuss the Senior Capstone Experience requirement.
Concentration in applied social sciences
The concentration in applied social sciences is an option for sociology/anthropology majors who wish to develop hands-on experience that will allow them to pursue careers in public policy, urban planning and public health. The concentration emphasizes the ways sociology and anthropology can be applied to improve wellbeing in societies.
To pursue the concentration in applied social sciences, you must complete the following:
Two Designated Applied Courses:
In the senior capstone course, you will reflect on your practical internship or field study experience in your senior thesis.
To earn a minor in sociology/anthropology, you must complete the following courses:
A minimum of 20 credits, which must include:
Note: No more than one course that counts toward your major or another minor may count toward the minor in sociology/anthropology. Also, at the discretion of the department, one sociology or anthropology course from an off-campus study program may be applied toward the minor. You may file a written petition with the department if requesting a reasonable exception.
91% of work seekers who majored in the social sciences between 2018-2022 were employed, pursuing graduate school or volunteering within six months of graduation.
83% of sociology/anthropology majors from the classes of 2017-2019 were working within six months of graduation.
Top jobs for 2017-2019 graduates were in community and social services, political organizing and administration.
Many sociology/anthropology alumni pursue volunteer opportunities with the Peace Corps, Teach for America, City Year, Americorps and Quaker Voluntary Service.