Anthropology is a broad, holistic field that seeks to understand human biological and cultural variety through time and space. The discipline combines humanistic and scientific approaches to study humans from their origins to their present through the field’s sub-disciplines of archaeological, biological, linguistic and socio-cultural anthropology. An undergraduate concentration in anthropology prepares students for today’s global world where international and cross-cultural activities characterize business, government, medicine, and education. Consequently, anthropology can lead to traditional anthropological careers of teaching and research as well as in applied anthropology or to professional careers in the social services, government, or the private sector. Our mission in anthropology at Towson University is to provide students with the means to understand and respect the variety in human experiences; to encourage students to use anthropological insights to understand their own and other communities’ structures, experiences, and solutions; and to prepare students to apply anthropological perspectives to contemporary social, economic, medical, and political problems throughout the world.
The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice offers an undergraduate major degree in sociology-anthropology (called SOAN), with a choice of three different concentrations for study: sociology, anthropology, or criminal justice. All students in the major are exposed to social science methods and perspectives needed to understand culture and society. Then within each discipline, students learn valuable content knowledge and also develop important problem solving, critical thinking, interpretive, and analytical skills. At the time they declare the major, each student selects and specifies a concentration of study. Each concentration consists of a specialized and distinct curriculum. Students complete the SOAN major by completing any of the three concentrations. To meet the requirements for the SOAN major with a concentration in sociology or anthropology, a minimum of 39 units of study are required, and 21 of these units must be completed at Towson University. To complete the requirements for the SOAN major with a concentration in criminal justice, a minimum of 42 units of study are required, and 24 of these units must be completed at Towson University. A grade of “C” or better must also be earned in all major courses. At the present time, all department courses run under an ANTH or SOCI course code, including all criminal justice courses. A CRMJ course code is forthcoming Fall 2006. Currently the department consists of about 40 full and part time faculty with approximately 650 majors distributed across our three concentrations.
Career Choices and Opportunities
Students often pursue many of the same career paths as sociology students. In addition, students in archaeology may use their academic background for specialized careers in contract archaeology or cultural resource management, or even crime scene analysis. Students in cultural anthropology especially benefit from the international and cross-cultural focus of many courses in this concentration. An academic background in cultural anthropology is excellent preparation for work in yet other fields such as:
Double or Combined Major Options
Students who would like to combine the study of sociology or anthropology with geopgraphy or psychology may choose a double or combined major option involving these disciplines, with a concentration in either sociology or anthropology. Either double major allows students to pursue an integrated curriculum of two majors that requires fewer units than the pursuit of the two majors separately. Further information can be obtained from the Undergraduate Catalog or from either of the sponsoring departments. Ask specifically about the combined double major options. There is no combined or condensed double major option available at this time for students in the criminal justice concentration.
Currently the department offers minors in the disciplines of sociology or anthropology, but there is no minor available in the study of criminal justice. Both minors require the completion of a minimum of 24 units of study, or eight courses total. To meet the requirements for either minor, 15 units or five courses total must be taken at Towson University, 12 units must be upper level (300 or higher) courses, and a grade of “C” or better must be earned in all minor courses. Many students interested in the study of criminal justice can complete either the sociology or anthropology minor and select varied crime content courses as their electives. This is a popular option among students.