Distinguished by its broad scope of research, theory, and application, sociology investigates the causes and consequences of human behavior, the organization of societies and groups, and the sources of social inequality and social change. Students in sociology select one of three emphasis areas:
- Inequalities and Globalization
- General Sociology
Inequalities and Globalization focuses on issues of social, global and environmental justice. Criminology allows students to study the "making of law, breaking of law, and society's reaction to the breaking of law." In the General Sociology emphasis, students select coursework more broadly. In each emphasis students gain critical investigative skills and the ability to understand diverse groups.
Faculty interests and courses include globalization, power and political economy, social movements, gender, race and ethnicity, social class and stratification, deviance, social control, violence, comparative criminal justice and justice policy, corporate crime, environment and society, and religion.
Possible careers include business and public relations, nonprofit administration, social work, health and human services, public policy and planning, international development and aid, politics, personnel work, counseling, and a wide variety of occupations associated with the justice system, from juvenile probation to federal law enforcement.
Anthropology is concerned with the study of humans and their cultures, including prehistoric and historical archaeology, linguistics, biological anthropology, and contemporary cultures around the world. Our anthropology faculty members offer courses in each of these areas, although the major emphases of the program are the prehistory and cultures of the Inland Northwest Plateau region and historical archaeology.
Faculty research and teaching areas include prehistoric archaeology of the Columbian Plateau region, historical archaeology, early 20th century immigrant communities in the Western U.S., Indian Peoples of North America and the Plateau region, indigenous people of South America, international development, U.S. culture, human and primate evolution, and human variation.
Possible careers include cultural resource management, forensic anthropology, governmental and non-governmental agencies, social services, museum curation, and careers that involve cultural diversity. Summer field schools, often supporting part-time employment, are held to train undergraduate and graduate students in ethnographic and archeological field methods.