Sociology and Anthropology

Go beyond headlines, blogs, and sound bites to gain a stronger understanding of the world in the Sociology and Anthropology Bachelor of Arts degree program at Wells.

The Sociology and Anthropology program allows you to take courses in both disciplines—exploring human societies, traditions, and cultural differences over time. Professional development and hands-on learning are core components of the bachelor's degree program, as you make valuable career and personal connections in the local New York community and around the world. Our sociology and anthropology majors gain valuable real-world experience through internships and study abroad, presenting their own research at conferences and to peers, and even working with professors on research projects for professional publication. In addition to the Sociology and Anthropology major, we also offer a separate minor in sociology and a minor in anthropology.

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Poster presentation
Oddline festivities
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A Look Inside the Sociology and Anthropology Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

By merging the studies of sociology and anthropology, our undergraduate program offers a unique lens through which to evaluate and understand social inequalities, connect people and place, and find ways to foster social change. 

You’ll explore subjects such as family and education, the food system, genocide, and the relationships between culture and religion, the environment, and development. Courses on the Pacific, Latin America, and Indigenous North America examine cultural survival in a globalizing world. 

Classes are small and led by dedicated, accessible instructors who provide close mentorship and collaborate with students on research projects. Guest speakers also visit classes to talk about their sociology and anthropology work with diverse cultures all over the world.

What You’ll Learn as a Sociology and Anthropology Major

  • A rich understanding of communities, societies, and cultures found in the United States and around the globe
  • An appreciation for human diversity and multiculturalism through explorations of gender, race, class, and sexuality
  • An understanding of your place in the world in relation to issues of social justice, sustainability, social inequality, cultural survival, and global change

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Sociology and Anthropology Bachelor’s Degree Program

In the Sociology and Anthropology program, a variety of internship opportunities and hands-on learning experiences complement your liberal arts education with real-world expertise and enable you to begin to develop a strong professional network as you pursue your bachelor’s degree.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Bring your knowledge of culture and society out of the classroom and into the real world with an internship experience. Wells sociology and anthropology students have recently completed internships in the following areas: 

  • Activism: annual Activism Symposium at Wells College
  • Cultural Groups: African Immigrants in Paris; Native American Reservations
  • Crime: Domestic Violence Shelter, Auburn, New York
  • Education: Aurora Pre-School, Aurora, New York; Bellevue School, Syracuse, New York
  • Health: Hospice of Ithaca, New York
  • Human Rights: Human Rights Commission, Syracuse, New York
  • Legal: law offices in various cities
  • Mental Health: group homes in various cities
  • Social Services: Crisis Intervention, Ithaca, New York

Want to study culture, ecology, and society in Hawaii? Or conduct archeological field work here in the Cayuga Lake Basin? Wells makes it possible. Sociology and anthropology majors can pursue fascinating programs across our country and around the world. Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.

Related Minor Degree Programs

If you’re interested in studying Sociology and Anthropology, you might also consider a minor in programs such as: 

Career Options for Sociology and Anthropology Majors

In the Sociology and Anthropology bachelor’s degree program at Wells, you’ll gain well-rounded preparation for graduate study in sociology and anthropology, as well as many other areas within the social sciences. 

Recent graduates of our undergraduate program are currently working in education, volunteer and community services, counseling, social work, and a broad range of administrative positions.

Wells sociology and anthropology majors are also pursuing advanced degrees in graduate and professional programs across the country, including the Syracuse University College of Law, City College of New York, the New School for Social Research, University of Denver, Portland State University, and SUNY Albany. 

Current Research in the Sociology and Anthropology Bachelor’s Degree Program

Laura McClusky, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, spoke for a panel on Sexual Assault on College Campuses hosted by the Gender Based Violence Topic Interest Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology. McClusky spent her recent sabbatical leave continuing her research among Maya in southern Belize.

Associate Professor of Sociology Dan Renfrow's recent work centers the body within sociological analysis. He often gives his students the chance to contribute to research and publications—resulting in published work in the Handbook of Social Psychology, Sociology of Sport Journal, and Routledge Handbook of Deviance Studies

Professor of Anthropology and Religion Ernie Olson's interests include the anthropological study of the Pacific, particularly Tonga, Hawaii, and Native America. The specialized areas for his teaching and research include environmental justice, culture change, ritual studies, religion, and colonialism.

Apply Now to Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Anthropology

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Wells College. Apply now.

Request More Information

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Sociology and Anthropology Bachelor of Arts program? Request more information. 

"[As a Wellsian] you can change things, and you can dictate what happens to you. You have a voice."

Brad Murray '15
Sociology Major, Current Albany Law School of Union University Student
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Program Faculty
Laura McClusky
Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Ernie Olson
Professor of Anthropology and Religion
Daniel Renfrow
Associate Professor of Sociology
Share Your Work

Students choosing the Sociology and Anthropology major have many opportunities both on and off campus. Professor Renfrow often works with students on research projects for professional publication—these have included examinations of men's perceptions of each other in the gym, the practice of "sexting" on campus, and when and why fans rush sports fields. Guest speakers visit classes to talk about their work in multicultural fields; recent lectures have featured work by the San Pedro Sister Community Project and Brazil's Landless Worker's Movement. Students gain valuable experience in presenting their own research at conferences as well as in front of their peers when their thesis is completed.


Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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