Department of Sociology and Anthropology | Students

Lehigh University Sociology and Anthropology - broken bowls

Q: Why major in sociology or anthropology?

A: Because these fields are rewarding, and in more ways than one. Students who major in social sciences tend to love what they do, both during and after college. According to 2014 Gallup survey data, social science grads are among the most likely to express strong interest in their jobs, even above graduates with business or engineering degrees. The same study finds that, on average, social science grads enjoy a level of financial well being comparable to that of business grads.

The long-held belief by parents and students that liberal arts graduates are unemployable ignores the reality of the modern economy, where jobs require a mix of skills not easily packaged in a college major. A 2017 study by a Havard economist showed rapid growth in jobs requiring both "soft skills" and "thinking skills, and in their pay. 2017 data from PayScale put Lehigh's arts and science graduates among the best-compensated in the nation. For the majority of employers, according to Harvard Business Review, the most important part of a job candidate's education is a “demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems." Our majors leave Lehigh equipped not only to compete in the global workforce, but to understand the world around them and to build meaningful lives for themselves within it.

Some helpful external links:

To declare your sociology or anthropology major or minor, email Professor Munson to make an appointment to come in and sign up.Lehigh University Sociology and Anthropology -  girls posing

TRANSFER CREDIT?: To apply, click here

See links to the Course Catalog (upper left of this page) for a listing of departmental offerings. Click on a link below to see the department's offerings by semester:

The department offers three bachelor of arts majors: "anthropology", "sociology and anthropology", and "sociology". The three programs are parallel in structure and requirements and each consists of 40 credit hours of course work. The "sociology and anthropology" major is an interdisciplinary program for students desiring a wider familiarity with social science fields, whereas the separate anthropology and sociology majors are for students desiring more traditional, disciplinary programs of study.

Testimonial. Read how a liberal arts degree prepares students for the coming "artisan economy." You might also consider descriptions of five fascinating jobs for people with sociology degrees, published in Cosmopolitan magazine in November 2014.

Research Opportunities. It is the explicit aim of the department to involve majors, minors and other interested students in the ongoing research activities of faculty members. Second-semester sophomore, junior and senior students interested in a supervised research experience are encouraged to consult with the department chair or talk with the appropriate faculty member. Course credit can be received for research experience.

Support for Student Research. The department will fund up to $1000 for field research for an undergraduate Sociology, Anthropology, or Sociology & Anthropology major.

Internship Opportunities. The department maintains close, working relationships with a variety of social agencies and institutions in the area. Majors can earn course credit by carrying out supervised work in field settings, e.g., hospitals, private and public agencies devoted to social services, courtrooms, prisons, etc. This useful experience allows a student to apply the concepts learned in the classroom to a field setting and to evaluate vocational aspirations and interests.

Senior Thesis. All majors are encouraged to do independent research culminating in a senior thesis; this is especially recommended for students intending to go on to graduate or professional school. The best time to begin discussing possible projects with faculty is during the second-semester of the junior year. The department chairperson should be consulted for further details.

Departmental Honors. To be eligible for departmental honors, students must have at least a 3.3 GPA in the major. In addition, students pursuing honors must take ANTH or SOC 399 and write a thesis during their senior year. Awarding of departmental honors is contingent on both the quality of the thesis, as judged by a department committee and the candidate's GPA at time of graduation.

Careers. Click on the links at top left for more about career paths for people with sociology or anthropology degrees. For a list of jobs held by recent department graduates, click here (PDF).