Affiliation: School of Social & Cultural Studies
The mission of the Sociology/Anthropology program at Truman State University is to offer an exemplary undergraduate education in sociology and anthropology in the context of a liberal arts and sciences environment at a public institution of higher learning. To that end, sociology and anthropology students are introduced to perspectives for understanding human behavior and human conditions past and present. While sociology focuses more on large-scale, industrialized societies like the one we live in, anthropology emphasizes smaller-scale societies and long-term patterns of biological and cultural change.
The goal is that students majoring in Sociology/Anthropology become:
- aware of the global patterns of variation in the structure of human society and/or its interaction with the environment (past, present and future),
- aware of variation in human cultural expression and the human experience,
- aware of history of ideas used to explain such patterns and how these shape inquiry and/or policy,
- aware of the variation in dominant social issues around the world,
- able to participate in the study of these patterns and issues,
- through critical thinking and writing about the ideas current in academic literature, and
- through versatile use of methodological approaches to data collection and analysis, and
- able to communicate ideas clearly in written, oral and visual communication.
In addition, we would like our students to become aware of the connections between these academic disciplines and a variety of career opportunities.
The Sociology/Anthropology curriculum is designed with these goals in mind. Central design principles are:
- that being a successful participant in an academic discipline requires that students are taught the expectations of the discipline,
- that it is necessary to have knowledge to think with,
- that it is necessary to learn skills to read, evaluate, and craft arguments,
- that it is necessary to learn skills to identify and collect appropriate data, perform analysis and report results, and
- that it is important to encourage students to participate in activities that require them to apply and engage the knowledge and skills they learn in classes.
Courses at each level of the integrated curriculum emphasize development of different knowledge and skills. Level 1 courses introduce the broad range of subject matter in each discipline and introduce students to arguments in the professional literature and the many sources of evidence used to increase our knowledge of patterns in human organization and behavior. In addition to an introductory course, students take a 1 credit New Majors Seminar at Level 1 which fosters the development of a learning community and provides a foundation for success throughout the program. Level 2 courses each survey a particular topic within one of these fields. These courses also build skills for analyzing arguments and working with data to evaluate arguments. At this level, students determine the track they are taking through the major by their choice of three courses. The courses for each track are flexible enough to allow some exploration. Level 3 houses an integrated method and theory sequence and forms the core of the major. In these courses, students engage the key ideas used in each discipline and build the skills to design, conduct and report their own research. Level 4 courses are designed to encourage the use of knowledge and skills students build in Levels 1-3. These courses develop a deeper engagement with the subject matter and yield high-investment products. The Senior Seminar provides a capstone experience to guide students through decisions and preparation for graduate programs and careers, and offers an opportunity to polish one of the products from a Level 3 or 4 course for public distribution and/or presentation.
DEPARTMENTAL HONORS IN SOCIOLOGY/ANTHROPOLOGY
To graduate with Departmental Honors in Sociology/Anthropology the student must meet the following criteria:
- An overall Truman GPA of 3.50.
- A GPA in the major of 3.75 OR a Senior Test Score at or above the 90th percentile nationally.
- Leadership and pursuit of knowledge out of the classroom demonstrated by evidence in at least two of the following three categories:
a. Present research at an organized conference, such as Truman’s Student Research Conference, the Women’s Studies Conference, the Environmental Studies Conference, or at a regional or national conference for sociology or anthropology.
b. Achieve a significant off-campus learning experience, such as study abroad, national service or university-sanctioned internship.
c. Demonstrate leadership or excellence in a University activity, such as forensics or athletics, or in a University or community organization or activity, or through service learning beyond course requirements (such as an experience organized through a student organization and approved for the Co-curricular record).
- Approval by the sociology/anthropology faculty.
Note that departmental honorees are noted as such on the graduation program and the honor is recorded on their transcript.