• <a href="/live/image/gid/83/width/650/86534_SOAN_main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86534"> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(max-width: 500px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86534_SOAN_main_image.rev.1607736302.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86534_SOAN_main_image.rev.1607736302.jpg 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" media="(min-width: 501px)" srcset="/live/image/gid/83/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86534_SOAN_main_image.rev.1607736302.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86534_SOAN_main_image.rev.1607736302.jpg" alt="Maryann Bylander, associate professor of sociology, hosts students during her office hours. " width="720" height="690" data-max-w="1150" data-max-h="1200" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a><div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption"> Maryann Bylander, associate professor of sociology, hosts students during her office hours. </div>

Why Choose a Degree in Sociology and Anthropology?

Our program builds on the overlapping concerns and distinctive strengths of our two disciplines: sociology and anthropology. Rather than establishing separate tracks, we follow an integrated curriculum dedicated to providing solid preparation in the theories and methodologies of these intersecting fields. You will join in critical investigation of pressing issues of the day: capitalism, environmental sustainability, food systems, health care, migration, nationalism, religious commitment, social injustice, technological innovation, tourism, violence and suffering, and more. Our courses are attuned to how these matters impact the everyday lives of people globally.

We also believe in collaborating with students on research projects—whether through classes during the academic year, a paid humanities research summer program, or both—and helping them find and secure internships or practica in Portland and beyond. Our students graduate with research, writing, and analytical skills that equip them well for a wide range of professional endeavors and graduate programs.

What You’ll Study

Our curriculum stresses the relationship between cultural formations and social structures set in historical context. Courses draw heavily on cross-cultural examples, focusing on areas of faculty expertise in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. The study of inequality across race, gender, class, and other forms of social difference provides a critical point of conjuncture for our joint curriculum. Our faculty are strongly committed to teaching a variety of methodologies and perspectives, including ethnographic fieldwork and interviewing, statistics and survey research techniques, textual and discourse analysis, historical methods, and computer-mediated modes of inquiry. This approach, which is in keeping with recent trends in both sociology and anthropology, provides a strong foundation for engaged student research that culminates in a senior thesis project.

We believe in collaborating with students on research projects around the world—whether through classes during the academic year, a paid humanities research summer program, both, or other channels—and helping them find and secure internships in Portland and beyond. Recent internships included placements with an Oregon senator’s office, immigration and refugee community-organizing groups, a local newspaper, and National Geographic. Many of our students also earn course credit while on an overseas program, and draw on their experience abroad in their senior thesis project.

Outside the classroom, our faculty and students come together for barbecues, hikes, pizza dinners, brunches, research presentations, and other departmental events throughout the year.


Complement Your Education With One of These Minors

The most popular minors for our sociology and anthropology majors are entrepreneurial leadership and innovation, ethnic studies, and gender studies.

What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Working with IME as a peer education coordinator has taught me so many skills, including public speaking and networking with faculty and students. IME has also given me a community that surrounds me with love and support.

    Sabrina Murray BA ’21
    Sociology and Anthropology | University Place, Washington
    More about Sabrina
  • In the fall of my sophomore year, I took my first sociology class and immediately knew that sociology and anthropology was for me. Since then, I have taken an incredible breadth of classes within the major, and have loved each one partially due to the incredible faculty in the department.

    Helen Guyton BA ’23
    Sociology and Anthropology | Environmental Studies and Japanese (double) | Cologne, Germany
    More about Helen
  • What I love most about my international affairs and sociology and anthropology double major is that the professors are incredibly passionate about what they teach. They are approachable, friendly, and extremely good resources.

    Rocío Yao BA ’24
    International Affairs and Sociology and Anthropology (double) | Cuidad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guangzhou, China; Northglenn, Colorado, United States
    More about Rocío

What Can You Do With a Degree in Sociology and Anthropology?

Our alumni use their BA in sociology and anthropology to pursue graduate studies and professional work in a wildly diverse set of fields that range from medicine to urban planning, law to secondary education, public policy to cultural studies.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Meet the Professors

  • 29+33 

    Lewis & Clark offers 29 majors and 33 minors.

  • Top 

    Lewis & Clark earned a spot on Princeton Review’s 2023 “Best Colleges” list.

  • 10% 

    of our undergraduate students are from outside the U.S.

  • 19 

    Average class size for undergraduate students

  • 54 

    nationalities represented in our undergraduate student body

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate with their bachelor of arts degree in four years that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

Students can join a variety of student-run organizations that relate to their sociology and anthropology major, like Students for Transformative Action, Abolition, Resilience (STAAR). Don’t see what you’re looking for on the club list? Start something new and build your own community of peers!

Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

  • Take classes that inspire and interest you. Make connections with people and make the most out of this time to explore who you are and what you’d like to become.

    Andrea Blobel Pérez
    Sociology and Anthropology | Political Economy | Santiago, Chile
    More about Andrea
  • I strongly believe that the work I did here prepared me for law school, particularly because the L&C professors gave such great feedback.

    Jillian Jin BA ’21
    Sociology and Anthropology | Renton, Washington
    More about Jillian
  • My education at Lewis & Clark allowed me to build the foundation to reach this height in my career as a young professional, and supported me in my belief that I could achieve it.

    Hannah Singleton BA ’21
    Sociology and Anthropology; French Studies | Corvallis, Oregon
    More about Hannah

Sociology and Anthropology Events

December 4

SOAN Senior Thesis Presentations FA23 (DAY 1)

Come hear from SOAN Seniors as the present their thesis research - learn something new, hear about some amazing research, and enjoy free food! We’ll have two nights of presentations, so don’t miss out.

December 6

SOAN Senior Thesis Presentations FA23 (DAY 2)

Come hear from SOAN Seniors as the present their thesis research - learn something new, hear about some amazing research, and enjoy free food! We’ll have two nights of presentations, so don’t miss out.

More News and Events →