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Department of Social Sciences


The Department of Social Sciences studies different aspects of humanity in all places throughout time.

Anthropology explores what it means to be human. Students at Clarion who major in anthropology or who enroll in anthropology general education courses gain a holistic, comparative understanding of human biological and cultural similarities and differences. The expansive, integrated nature of anthropology makes it extremely relevant to learning about important contemporary human issues such as human evolution, cultural diversity, heritage protection, globalization, and cultural survival.

Anthropology is composed of four traditionally recognized subfields: anthropological archaeology, biological anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. The mission of the Anthropology program at Clarion University is to provide students with training in all four sub-disciplines. The program is linked to several other departments on campus, allowing students to pursue a range of interests. The program, through its cross-disciplinary curriculum and its emphasis on practical training, prepares students for a broad array of both public and private sector employment in anthropology related fields or for entrance into graduate school.

History studies the human past. History studies the causes and effects of change through an examination of social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual developments. The department's goal is to help students view issues from a variety of perspectives. To assure breadth and depth, the history faculty offer courses in areas that span the globe.

The Political Science major provides students with the tools necessary to understand the range of factors shaping the local, national and global environments in which we live, to think critically and independently concerning pressing political issues. It also allows students to come to critically reasoned conclusions as to how we can organize the life we share with our fellow citizens and millions of people around the world.

Philosophy is unlike other disciplines with the breadth of its subject matter. Since philosophy discusses all aspects of life, it provides an opportunity to think about topics that range from the existence of God to the confirmation of scientific theories. Additionally, Philosophy asks the big questions that form the foundation of our belief systems and are rarely discussed. Philosophy challenges you to answer questions ranging from "What is the nature of consciousness?" and "What makes life truly meaningful?" to "Why should I be moral?" Philosophy can help you to understand those issues that are most fundamental to your experiences.

Sociology provides students with an understanding of the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Students are encouraged to explore their own position in and relationship to society as well as consider relevant social problems and inequalities in interpersonal, institutional and global relations. We strive to prepare graduates to become engaged citizens in an increasingly knowledge-intensive and diverse world. Sociology offers undergraduate majors in sociology and sociology/psychology as well as minors in sociology, social work and gerontology.