Course of Study in Sociology
Students in the sociology concentration complete courses in five areas. First, courses required in the Sociology-Anthropology (SOAN) Common Core provide broad-based knowledge of society and culture, as well as an introduction to statistical techniques used by sociologists to analyze data. Second, lower-level sociology electives introduce specific examples of the subject matter of sociology and more closely examine the sociological perspective on society and the sociological imagination. Third, courses in sociological theory and research methods give the foundational understanding of sociology as a discipline and provide the knowledge and tools for both formulating and answering sociological questions. Fourth, the combined applications, engagement, and advanced study requirement involves the in-depth exploration of sociological concepts to understand and address contemporary issues in the social world. Here students pursue an additional applied data analysis or theory course, an external internship, a capstone seminar that culminates in the writing and presentation of a scholarly paper, independent research under the tutelage of a specific faculty member, or the first course leading to the honors thesis. Fifth, upper level sociology electives allow for closer study of a range of critical substantive areas within the discipline of sociology. Courses are offered on a variety of subjects built around the areas of expertise among faculty in the department. Students interested in pursuing the Ph.D. degree in sociology or engaging in higher-level research are encouraged to complete the departmental honors sequence and other recommended methodologically-based courses beyond the minimum 39 hours. A minor in sociology is also available in the department.
Sociology Key Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course of study in sociology, students should be able to:
Course of Study in Anthropology
Towson University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice offers both a major concentration and a minor in anthropology. Students who pursue either course of study are expected to successfully complete core courses in human evolution and prehistory, cultural anthropology, statistics, anthropological theory, and ethnographic or archaeological methods. Concentrators also choose among three areas of study that reflect the program’s greatest strengths: cultural anthropology, archaeology, or globalization and development. Students select seven elective courses related to one of these areas to both enrich their understanding of the field of anthropology as a whole and to delve deeper into a specific realm of anthropology. In addition to their regular coursework, anthropology students are encouraged to participate in the department’s honors program and in a variety of hands-on research, field study, and internship experiences. There are opportunities for interested students to participate in archaeological research at several local excavation sites. We actively encourage our anthropology students to study abroad, and in recent years our students have participated in ethnographic and archaeological fieldwork programs other places in the U.S., Korea, Kenya, and Mexico. Anthropology concentrators can gain pre-professional experience and earn up to six units of credit by taking part in internships in businesses, cultural institutions, and agencies in the community.
Anthropology Key Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course of study in anthropology, students should be able to:
Course of Study in Criminal Justice
All students in the criminal justice concentration take four required courses that establish the foundational disciplinary framework for the study of criminology and criminal justice. Included are basic introductory courses in sociology and criminal justice, a course on crime theory, and a basic statistics course. Students must also select one additional upper level advanced study course in either sociological theory, research methods, or data analysis, depending on their interest. These courses establish a deeper understanding of the sociological origins of many crime theories or provide exposure to the range of research approaches in the social sciences. Beyond this disciplinary and scientific core, students then select five content courses that focus on the themes of social control, criminology, and special issues in the field of criminal justice. Our social control offerings include courses on institutional or community corrections, the linkage between law and society, the organization of policing, or even criminal forensics. Our criminology offerings include courses that address crime and inequality, other forms of social deviance such as mental illness or suicide, youth gangs or youth crime, crime profiling, or lethal or sexual violence. Our special issue courses focus on ethics, domestic violence, campus violence, conflict resolution, moral panics and public fear, police work, and criminal investigation, among other topics. Completion of the concentration also requires that students select two supporting courses in sociology or anthropology that underscore the context of crime and control, including courses on American culture, race and ethnicity, the family, social class, urban life, or small group interaction. Finally, students select two additional elective courses from among seven contributing departments, including psychology, computer science, geography, political science, health, history, or philosophy. The concentration provides students with a wide choice of courses and opportunities for study in many areas of critical concern to criminal justice professionals today.
Criminal Justice Key Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course of study in criminal justice, students should be able to:
All majors in sociology-anthropology are encouraged to seek advising in the department on a regular basis. Students should visit the department office to have a major advisor assigned to them. All full-time faculty in the department participate in advising students in our concentrations. Beyond receiving important guidance about course selection in the major, faculty advisors provide insight about career opportunities and future goals, and can offer valuable information about the campus culture and upcoming scholarly events within the college and across the university.
When students visit the department office to seek advising, an advising file is created to help track the progress of students. During this initial visit, students are given a concentration check sheet outlining the curriculum they must complete, and they also receive a list of some of the basic university requirements the department has compiled as a general guide that must be met to graduate. All students are also asked to complete the Declaration of Major form in the department even if the major has been declared elsewhere, so that the correct concentration is recorded.
Importantly, while the department routinely accepts transfer credits in the major (up to six courses or 18 credit hours), students must see a faculty advisor in the department to determine whether or not a transfer course will actually count towards completion of the major. This is a separate process from transferring courses into Towson University. For USM schools or Maryland community colleges or universities, the department asks students to supply the course description for each course they would like considered. For courses completed outside of Maryland, a syllabus must be submitted to the department advisor for review and consideration.
Because of the strong demand for many courses, we ask our students to seek advising from faculty in the major substantially prior to the beginning of the registration period.