Sociology and Anthropology

Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
Academic Division The College
Offerings Major
Students who major in Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) are fundamentally curious about how society and culture work, and they care deeply about solving social problems to make the world a better place. Typical Sociology and Anthropology students choose research methodologies that most match their interests, work closely with professors in the classroom and through independent research projects, and push the boundaries of their knowledge through study, travel and community engagement.

Why Study SOAN at W&L?

Sociology and anthropology provide opportunities for students to understand people’s motivations, beliefs and actions. These skills are essential for any job. Our majors have achieved success in finance, law, marketing, industry, medicine and academia.

Our classes feature a free-form style of learning where students apply readings to real-life situations and explore their own topics of interest. When working with peoples and cultures different from their own, students learn how to see the world from other perspectives.

About the Department

The department offers one major (SOAN) with a concentration in either anthropology or sociology. We also house an interdisciplinary minor in archaeology.

The Sociology and Anthropology Department trains students to engage with theoretical perspectives and practical skills that are highly applicable to their lives both on and off campus. Our department provides methodology classes such as network analysis, qualitative (ethnographic) methods, archaeology lab and field methods, and survey design. This mixture of topical and practical training is quite unique at Washington and Lee, and it makes our graduates well-equipped for entering a variety of graduate schools and careers.

Our courses cover the following themes: archaeology and historical social science; gender, sexuality and human development; global cultures; health and society; identity and inequality; and politics, economics and culture.

Opportunities for Students

With support from the Leyburn Scholars Program in Anthropology and the Emory Kimbrough Jr. Sociology Fund, students have engaged in independent research in the United States and throughout the world. Our majors have conducted ethnographic, sociological and archaeological projects in places such as Appalachia, New York City, Western Europe, India, French Polynesia, Nepal, South Africa, Madagascar, Romania and Peru.

“To those looking for a drop of practicality in a sea of ethereal guidance, it is possible to get a job you thoroughly enjoy that enables you to sustain an independent lifestyle having majored in sociology and anthropology.”

Lev RaslinCLASS OF 2012

Sascha L. Goluboff

Department Head

Peggy Herring

Administrative Assistant

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