- Discover human societies and how they work.
- Explore social processes that operate in the communities, businesses and groups we encounter every day.
- Examine social problems and analyze solutions.
In addition to undergraduate studies, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology offers a M.A. and three Ph.D. programs:
Ph.D. in Sociology (Crime)
The study of crime, social control and violence has become arguably the fastest growing subfield within sociology. At its heart, the study of social control and violence speaks to what it means to have society and community, as many of our most basic human relations are shaped by notions of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable.
Ph.D. in Sociology (Community)
Studies of community have been the core of sociology from the beginning of the discipline. Sociology faculty in Community at West Virginia University bring this tradition into the modern era by using innovative research methods and theories to study important sociological problems in urban, rural and suburban places.
Ph.D. in Sociology (Culture)
The specialization in culture includes three overlapping areas of inquiry: culture, social psychology and media. The underlying goal that unites these areas of inquiry is to examine micro-macro linkages and discover the relationships between society and the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of individuals. The first area, culture, involves the study of how systems of ideas shape other social structures.
How will I focus my studies?
Courses in the department also are intended to facilitate the application of sociological and anthropological principles to a wide range of contemporary social problems.
Courtney Miller, Buckhannon, W.Va.
Courtney Miller was drawn to sociology because of her fascination with people. “I believe strongly that social influences are a huge factor in the why people behave and live the way they do. I also sought to understand a larger margin of demographic than I previously knew, growing up in a rural Appalachian town.” Courtney recommends the sociology major for any student who hopes to expand their outlook on life. “This major gives you the opportunity to explore and find what you’re passionate about. It requires you to use a higher order of thinking and apply it to your world and your experiences. The topics are very real and affect us because it is the society we live in.” Courtney is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling with a goal of working as an elementary school counselor.