Degrees & Minors

Featured Student

Troy Russell

BA in Sociology

Sociology is the "study of social life, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior" (www.asanet.org). Sociologists study topics from welfare to health care reform, from organized religion to cults, from poverty to concentrations of wealth to health care reform, from war to natural disasters, from aging to population change, from social media to music and film, from deviance to social order, from law to crime, from divisions of race/class/gender to shared cultural meanings. Students may go on to careers in areas such as social services (juvenile justice system, battered women shelters, disaster planning/relief), administrative support (information technology, human resources, employee training), social science researcher and/or analyst, law, education (graduate school, professor), marketing (copy writing, technology or software), and law enforcement.

BA in Anthropology

As the study of humankind, anthropology examines the culture, society, and biology of humans and their closest relatives across time. Anthropology encompasses the following sub-disciplines.

  • Cultural Anthropology - the study of human cultures across the globe
  • Archaeology - the study of human past through material culture
  • Physical Anthropology - the study of human evolution and biological diversity
  • Linguistics - the study of human language and its meaning in social context

Students may go on to pursue careers in fields such as public health, nursing, law, education, business, urban planning, and museum studies.

BS in Anthropology (Forensics Concentration)

The Department of Sociology & Anthropology is proud to offer a B.S. in Anthropology with a Forensic Concentration. This degree is the first Bachelor-level Forensic Anthropology concentration in Kansas. Our majors will take classes, and get hands-on training, in our new lab in the state-of-the-art Kansas Bureau of Investigation Forensic Science Center on Washburn’s campus. They will also collaborate with faculty and students in the other forensic programs such as chemistry, biology, criminal justice, and computer science. Students may even have the opportunity to intern with KBI forensic scientists at the new facility.

The Role of Forensic Anthropology

Forensic anthropology applies the scientific knowledge of physical anthropology to the collection and analysis of legal evidence.

Due to training in anthropology, skeletal biology, and osteology, forensic anthropologists serve a unique role in forensic science:

  • They determine if the remains are of human origin, from a single or multiple individuals, and the identity (age, sex, stature, ancestry) of the individual(s).
  • They document pathological conditions and trauma affecting the remains.
  • They can help determine the circumstances surrounding death.
  • They analyze soil and vegetation patterns to properly find, excavate, and collect skeletal remains and other physical evidence.
  • They work in cases resulting from mass disasters, explosions, fires, homicides, and other types of situations resulting in badly decomposed bodies and highly fragmented, burned, or otherwise unidentified human skeletal remains.
  • They have been prominent in the recovery and identification of remains from the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center, and mass gravesites in places like Iraq, Guatemala, and the former Yugoslavia.

Career Opportunities

Forensic anthropologists work in laboratories, at crime scenes, in offices, and in morgues. They may work for federal, state, and local governments; international organizations; public and private laboratories; medical examiner’s offices; hospitals; universities; police departments; or as independent forensic science consultants.

Students earning a B.S. in Anthropology (Forensic Concentration) would be eligible for jobs within criminal justice that sought baccalaureate degrees in forensic science or natural science, such as:

  • Criminalist
  • Forensic Crime Scene Specialist
  • Police Evidence Specialist
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Crime Scene Technician

Students would also be eligible for jobs outside the criminal justice field, such as:

  • Working at Museums of Natural History
  • Culture Resource Management (surveying, documenting, and/or excavating sites)
  • Working at state historical societies

Many forensic anthropology students go on to earn a Masters or Ph.D. in physical anthropology. Students who obtain their Masters-level degrees would have additional job opportunities, such as:

  • Working in Coroner or Chief Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Adjunct faculty at a college or university

Board-certified forensic anthropologists have earned a Ph.D. in physical anthropology with an emphasis in skeletal biology. Most are university professors who consult for coroners, medical examiners, and possibly human rights organizations.

For more information, visit washburn.edu/anso, email sociology-anthropology@washburn.edu, or call 785.670.1608.

Minor in Sociology

The minor in Sociology consists of 15 credit hours. SO100 (Introduction to Sociology) is required, along with 12 other hours, 6 hours of which have to be upper division. One of the upper division courses must have been completed at Washburn University.

Minor in Anthropology

The minor in Anthropology consists of 15 credit hours. AN112 (Cultural Anthropology) is required, along with 12 other hours, 6 hours of which have to be upper division. One of the upper division courses must have been completed at Washburn University.