Department of Sociology & Anthropology

About the Department

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology is intended for students who wish to rigorously analyze and understand our modern, complex society. The faculty in the department of Sociology and Anthropology train students in the theoretical and conceptual foundations of each discipline. Upper-level courses apply that fundamental training to the study of contemporary social issues including education, the health care system, the media, inequality, the family, deviance, and urban phenomena.

A Global Approach

A global approach allows students to investigate these phenomena not only in the U.S. but also in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Students are encouraged to complement their major or minor in Sociology and Anthropology with foreign language training and study abroad. Programs in Mexico and Southeast Asia are directed by faculty in the department of Sociology and Anthropology.

A Tool Kit of Social Research Methods

Faculty members representing both disciplines share a fundamental concern for engaging students in critical comparative study of social and cultural phenomena from a wide variety of ethnographic and historical contexts. The faculty attempt to expand students' intellectual horizons, challenge them to recognize the oftentimes ethnocentric limitations of personal experience and individual biography, and encourage them to become more conscious of the ways human beings come to take the "reasonableness" of their world for granted.

Sociology and Anthropology Students Learn

to take a multidisciplinary approach to problems to conduct independent research
to model phenomena with relevant theory and concepts to write clearly and persuasively
to shift between multiple levels of analysis to assess the quality of empirical data
to gather data via multiple methodological tools to make effective oral presentations


A major in Sociology and Anthropology develops knowledge and skills valued in a wide range of career possibilities in the private or public sectors. It also provides excellent preparation for graduate study in anthropology, sociology, social work, public health, law, criminology, counseling, or public policy. Furthermore, the major is a rewarding end in itself, providing students with valuable experiences for their intellectual growth.

Experiential Learning in SOAN

The SOAN curriculum fosters a truly immersive, experiential, and transformative education that links together the classroom, the community, and the world.

Check out the SOAN blog

On the blog we post updates from faculty, notes from students and alumni, as well as important announcements about upcoming events, and more. Follow the blog so you can keep up with the latest goings on in the department.

Thinking about teaching Social Studies?

One part of preparing to teach Social Studies is a strong preparation in the subject. Learn more about prerequisites for the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Puget Sound.

Follow us on Facebook

Our Facebook page is a great way to keep up on our departmental blog, get to know other SOAN majors and alumni, and to stay current on departmental events and opportunities.