2019-2020 University Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology and Anthropology

Professors Bigenho (Chair), Hsu, Hyslop, Kerber, Loe, Moran, Ries
Associate Professors Benson, Henke, Lopes, Shever, Simmons, Spadola, Villarrubia
Assistant Professors Abdul-Malak, De Lucia, Juarez, Russo
Visiting Assistant Professors  Kohler, Liu, Shankar, Walsh-Russo

Sociology and anthropology study human cultures and societies, past and present, on a comparative basis. These disciplines are concerned with analyzing and understanding the social structures and values that shape our lives, as well as the institutions and social forces of our own and other societies. The major in sociology or anthropology provides an excellent preparation for graduate study and a variety of careers, including law, education, business, public administration, journalism, health, counseling, and social work. Sociology and anthropology graduates also pursue careers in local, national, and international non-profit organizations. The department offers two majors, an Anthropology Major  and a Sociology Major .

In keeping with the University’s policy, no declarations of major or minor will be accepted after the fall full-term withdrawal period of a student’s senior year.

Honors and High Honors

See the Anthropology Major  and the Sociology Major  pages for honors and high honors information.


The Award for Excellence in Sociology and Anthropology — awarded by the department to a student on the basis of outstanding academic performance in coursework within the department.

The Ramshaw Service Award — established by Warren C. and Molly Ramshaw. Warren Ramshaw taught in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1961 to 1992. The award is presented to an undergraduate student in recognition of outstanding community service and academic achievement.

Off-Campus Study

Students are strongly encouraged to expand the scope of their academic experiences by studying off campus. SOAN faculty help guide each student toward the off-campus study experiences that complement and build on his or her overall course plan; we encourage students not to think of off-campus study as a semester-long break from Colgate but rather as a way to enhance on-campus course work. Students often use off-campus study as a way to collect data for use in senior seminar and honors projects. Since Anthropology majors are required to complete a fieldwork component as part of their coursework, off-campus study can often be a rewarding and useful way to fulfill this requirement. More information on off-campus study can be found on the Sociology and Anthropology web page.

Transfer Credit

Sociology maintains a list of summer and study abroad programs offering courses that are equivalent to departmental standards. These are the only programs that the department accepts transfer credits from. Sociology majors may use two transfer credits to satisfy their elective requirements; sociology minors may use one. The following courses cannot be transferred for major credit: SOCI 101, SOCI 201, SOCI 250, SOCI 453, SOCI 494, and SOCI 495. Exceptions for students transferring to Colgate from another college or university are made on a case-by-case basis.

Anthropology will accept for major credit no more than two courses taken at another institution and no more than one independent study course in the department, except in special circumstances as approved by the department.

The Longyear Museum of Anthropology

The Longyear Museum of Anthropology enhances the teaching and research facilities of the department. The museum, founded in 1965 and named after Dr. John M. Longyear III, professor of anthropology, emeritus, contains archaeological and ethnographic collections from a wide range of cultures around the world. The collections of African art, Canadian First Nations art, Iroquois archaeological materials from central New York, and the central Mexican (Guerrero) stone sculptures are extensive.

Students may take advantage of the resources of the museum in a variety of ways. ANTH 253 - Field Methods and Interpretation in Archaeology (RI)  and ANTH 300 - Museum Studies in Native American Cultures (RI)  offer students the opportunity to become acquainted with the museum holdings and to carry out research projects on selected collections of artifacts. Students may also arrange independent studies working with the museum collections and receive credit in either the Department of Sociology and Anthropology or in the Native American Studies Program, which is sponsored by the Division of University Studies. Students are encouraged to inquire at the offices of the curators of the Longyear Museum of Anthropology concerning independent studies projects in cultural anthropology or archaeology, as well as for information concerning museum internship programs and opportunities in museum studies and summer programs in archaeological or ethnographic fieldwork.

Related Majors

The sociology and anthropology department, along with departments in the social sciences, arts and humanities, and natural sciences, offers an interdisciplinary major in Native American Studies  with a study group in Santa Fe.


Majors and Minors