The Major

The Anthropology & Sociology program is designed to promote an integrated understanding of biography, history, culture, and human social dynamics. Anthropology explores the full range of human experience by introducing students to the study of tribal and peasant societies, including prehistoric ones, and to the complexities of stratified industrial societies such as our own. Sociology studies the intricacies of modern industrial states and the dilemmas that confront the individual in a mass society. Both disciplines introduce students to classical and contemporary theories that illuminate the contours and contradictions of social experience. BA degrees in Anthropology or Sociology lend themselves to a range of career opportunities, some of which are described here.

Requirements for a major in Anthropology or Sociology

  1. Core Courses: majors must take a sequence of four core courses:
    • For Anthropology majors: ANTH 101 How to Be Human
    • For Sociology majors: SOC 101 Invitation to Sociology
    • Both majors: ANSO 205 Ways of Knowing
    • Both majors: ANSO 305  Social Theory
    • Both majors: ANSO 402 Senior Seminar
    • All ANSO core courses must be taken at Williams, with one exception: ANTH 101 or SOC 101 (or equivalent college-level introductory course in these disciplines) can be taken elsewhere, including study-abroad programs.
  2. Elective Courses: majors must take five electives from the course listings in their respective disciplines or from joint ANSO listings. Two of the courses are normally at the 300 level or above. Majors in each wing of the department are allowed to count up to two courses in the other wing towards fulfillment of their major requirements.

Departmental Honors

Departmental honors are awarded only to students who complete a senior thesis judged to be of outstanding quality. See the department’s guidelines for juniors contemplating thesis work.

More information regarding the ANSO curriculum may be found in this year’s Course Catalog.