Mission & Vision

Students Talking on Bench


The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice at Towson University is a department that:

  • Educates and empowers students to become informed, effective, and responsible citizens who embrace diversity in their communities, society, and the world.
  • Offers strong undergraduate major programs and exposes majors to the breadth and richness of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice.
  • Contributes essential learning opportunities in sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice to students across the university through general education.
  • Teaches students in innovative, exciting, and effective ways and provides them with independent study, honors, and capstone experiences that deepen learning.
  • Provides students with important opportunities for civic engagement through independent research, internships, and service learning.
  • Provides students with advising that guides their academic progress towards timely graduation and that helps them formulate relevant career goals and choices.
  • Works closely with students in collaborative research and projects that serve the campus, students, and the community.
  • Enables students to use the knowledge and methodologies of their disciplines for conceptual thinking, critical analysis, oral and written communication, and the application of appropriate information technologies.
  • Participates in multidisciplinary relationships and programs and pursues new multidisciplinary curricular initiatives at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Develops and maintains strong associations with potential employers of our students through internships and other partnerships.
  • Recruits and retains outstanding faculty who achieve distinction as teachers, student advisers, scholars, and agents of community engagement.



Our mission in the sociology concentration at Towson University is to prepare students to be critical consumers of information related to social interaction and society and to be insightful social observers, capable of enriching the workplaces, communities, and institutions of higher learning to which they graduate. Through their course of study, students learn to use a variety of theoretical and methodological tools to analyze and interpret social data, to think creatively and communicate effectively about social issues and problems, and to engage their communities as active and responsible citizens oriented towards the welfare of society. The foci of study are social structures and institutions, social processes and interaction, and awareness of inequality and appreciation for diversity in an increasingly complex world. Sociology students develop the ability to adapt to ongoing change in a knowledge-based society and work environment. They are prepared to enter into a wide range of graduate programs and career settings, such as the corporate workplace, government, social services, research institutes, and nonprofit and community organizations.


Anthropology is a broad, holistic field that seeks to understand human biological and cultural variety through time and space. The discipline combines humanistic and scientific approaches to study humans from their origins to their present through the field’s sub-disciplines of archaeological, biological, linguistic and socio-cultural anthropology. An undergraduate concentration in anthropology prepares students for today’s global world where international and cross-cultural activities characterize business, government, medicine, and education. Consequently, anthropology can lead to traditional anthropological careers of teaching and research as well as in applied anthropology or to professional careers in the social services, government, or the private sector. Our mission in anthropology at Towson University is to provide students with the means to understand and respect the variety in human experiences; to encourage students to use anthropological insights to understand their own and other communities’ structures, experiences, and solutions; and to prepare students to apply anthropological perspectives to contemporary social, economic, medical, and political problems throughout the world.

Criminal Justice

The discipline of criminal justice involves the scientific study of crime and criminality, other forms of social deviance, and the official response to crime by law enforcement, the criminal courts and the corrections system. Our mission in criminal justice at Towson University is to enhance understanding of the relationship between liberty and order in a democracy, the processes and causes of crime and deviance that are part of society, and the ways society and the state exercise social control to maintain legal, moral and social order. Students in criminal justice learn a sociological and anthropological approach to the study of crime and justice related issues, as well as an appreciation for the contributions of other disciplines in the liberal arts and behavioral sciences. Our students are exposed to important critical thinking and methodological skills for analyzing data on and for addressing problems related to crime and its control. We seek to provide the humanistic foundation for successful careers in areas such as policing, probation, parole, juvenile justice, victim services, private and public security, and the helping professions and/or for advanced academic study in law, justice studies, or criminal justice administration or policy among other options.