Anthropologists study humankind and its diversity from beginnings to the present day. They focus upon humans' many answers to the common problems of existence and their differing understandings of reality. Sociologists study the impact of social institutions upon individual lives, how individuals are affected by family structure; government, economic and religious institutions; schools; hospitals; courts; and other organizations. Anthropology and sociology attract students who are interested in social problems and social services, management, administration and policy development, the development of Third World nations, diversity in lifestyles, world views and value systems, and ancient civilizations.
The Anthropology and Sociology Department emphasizes the mastery of research skills. This is done for two reasons. First, students develop a better grasp of abstract concepts and theories when they can apply them to real life situations. Second, research skills such as problem definition, test design and evaluation of data sets prepare students for employment and for graduate study in a wide range of fields. The department tries to incorporate student research projects into all classes and encourage students to pursue independent research under faculty guidance. Students are also assisted in finding internship placements where their skills can be applied, and those who wish to do so may obtain fieldwork experience in ethnography and archaeology during the summer.