Although Saint Louis University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology covers a wide range of topics, our students and faculty are united by theoretically informed empirical analyses of the timeless questions of the human condition.
Anthropology literally means "the study of humans" and involves both sociocultural and biological aspects of humankind. Anthropology students examine human cultural and biological variation, as well as human complexity, through a combination of scientific and humanistic methods. The anthropology program at Saint Louis University is holistic, historical and interpretive, highlighting both conceptual understanding and hands-on fieldwork experience.
Sociology is the scientific study of human groups, their characteristics, changes, causes and consequences. Through teaching, research and service, faculty and students in the sociology program reveal a critical understanding of the different ways people relate to one another through the organization of society and how its structures and cultures influence our lives. Subject matter in sociology courses ranges from family life to large-scale organizations, from crime to religion, from the divisions of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, from poverty to prosperity, from the sociology of work to the sociology of sport.
Forensic science utilizes the methods, tools and perspectives of biology, chemistry, anthropology, sociology, physics, mathematics and medicine to achieve a better understanding of the intersection of law and science. Students in our program are in a prime position to address the scientific basis of civil and criminal law through further legal studies or research.
The study of geographic information systems (GIS) combines geospatial theory, practical training and remote sensing software. The program prepares students to become experts qualified to meet the increasing demand for experts in geospatial analysis. Students apply GIS, remote sensing, geovisualization, spatial analysis and statistics, database management and GIS programming within natural science, social science, and integrative human-environment domains using innovative technologies and software programs (e.g., ArcGIS, ENVI+IDL, SARscape, R).