Jun 12, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health

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Sarah Chard

Associate Chair

Brandy Harris-Wallace


Marina Adler
B.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1981; M.A., 1984; Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 1990

J. Kevin Eckert
B.A., Ursinus College, 1969; M.A., Northwestern University, 1973; Ph.D., 1978

Associate Professor

Bambi L. Chapin
B.A., University of Virginia, 1988; M.A., University of California, San Diego, 1998; Ph.D., 2003

Sarah Chard
B.A., Bryn Mawr College, 1991; M.A., Case Western Reserve University, 1995; Ph.D., 2001

Brandy Harris-Wallace
B.S., University of Alabama, 1998; M.A., 2001; M.S., Florida State University, 2003; Ph.D., 2006

Loren Henderson
B.A., Northeastern Illinois University, 2006; M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago, 2008; Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014

Andrea L. Kalfoglou
B.A., University of Virginia, 1991; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1999

Christine A. Mair
B.A., University of Florida, 2005; M.S., North Carolina State University, 2007; Ph.D., 2011

John G. Schumacher
B.S., John Carroll University, 1986; M.A., Bowling Green State University, 1994; M.A., Case Western Reserve University, 1997; Ph.D., 2000

Dena T. Smith
B.A., Goucher College, 2003; M.A., Rutgers University, 2006; Ph.D., 2011

Takashi Yamashita
B.A., Tokyo Gakugei University, 2003; M.A., M.A., Ball State University, 2007; Ph.D., Miami University, 2011; M.P.H., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2017

Assistant Professor

Jennifer A. Callaghan-Koru
B.A., University of Virginia, 2002; M.H.S., Johns Hopkins University, 2008; Ph.D., 2011

Aubrey L. Jackson
B.A., Rice University, 2005; M.A., Ohio State University, 2008; Ph.D., 2013

Camee Maddox-Wingfield
B.S., Towson University, 2008; M.A., University of Florida, 2010; Ph.D., 2015

Brian Soller 
B.A., Saint Mary’s College of California, 2005; M.A., California State University, East Bay, 2008; Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2013

Research Faculty

Assistant Research Scientist

Laura M. Girling
B.S., Clemson University, 2007; M.S., Loyola University, 2010; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2015


Katie K. Birger
B.A., Virginia Commonwealth University, 1994; M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2013

Meryl Cozart
B.S. Morgan State University, 1995; M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1996

Postdoctoral Fellow

Mercedez D. Dunn
B.A., Spelman College, 2013; M.P.H., University of Michigan, 2016; M.A., 2017; Ph.D., 2021

Anthropology Core Faculty

Bambi Chapin, Director
Sarah Chard
J. Kevin Eckert
Camee Maddox-Wingfield

Public Health Core Faculty

Katie Birger, Director
Jennifer Callaghan-Koru
Meryl Cozart
Andrea Kalfoglou

Sociology Core Faculty

Marina Adler
J. Kevin Eckert
Brandy Harris-Wallace
Loren Henderson
Aubrey L. Jackson
Christine A. Mair, Director, Undergraduate Program in Sociology
John Schumacher
Dena Smith, Director, Graduate Program in Sociology
Brian Soller

Courses in this program are listed under ANTH, HAPP, and SOCY.

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health is home to undergraduate programs in Sociology (SOCY), Anthropology (ANTH) and Public Health (PBHL). Each undergraduate program offers both a major and a minor. The department also offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in the Social Dimensions of Health. In addition, at the graduate level, the department houses a Master’s in Applied Sociology and Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Applied Social Research Methods, the NonProfit Sector, and the Social Dimensions of Health. An accelerated bachelor’s/master’s is available, as well as special options for double majors in sociology and anthropology, sociology and psychology, sociology and social Work, and public health and social work. The department collaborates with three outstanding Ph.D. programs, including Gerontology (GERO), Public Policy (PUBL) and Language, Literacy & Culture (LLC) and hosts the Center for Aging Studies (CAS), a research center that conducts large scale, federally-funded research.

Throughout these programs, the department emphasizes three core areas: health and aging in society; diversity, gender and culture; and applied social science research. Consistent with UMBC’s goals, the department focuses its core strengths to 1. provide a distinctive undergrad experience, 2. support the development of graduate education, and 3. conduct faculty research that contributes to both undergraduate and graduate education.

Career and Academic Paths

Students pursuing the Cultural Anthropology, B.A.  gain knowledge, skills, and conceptual tools that prepare them for a wide range of careers, professional training programs, and graduate studies.

After graduation, majors have found employment in government, non-profit, and private sector settings. They are especially well-suited for positions that involve human interaction, problem solving, and communication, and where an understanding of diversity is beneficial. This includes employment at social support and development organizations, private marketing firms, and companies involved in international business.

An anthropology major also provides a strong foundation for those intending to pursue graduate studies and professional training in fields such as medicine and public health, psychology and social work, education, business, international studies, public policy, and human services. Students who plan to engage in anthropology professionally generally continue to graduate school, entering M.A. and Ph.D. programs in anthropology around the country.

Upon completion of the Public Health, B.A. , students are prepared for careers in long-term care; hospitals; federal, state and community health agencies and other health-related organizations. After graduation public health majors have found employment with such organizations as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Blue-Cross/BlueShield, the University of Maryland Medical Center, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Maxim Healthcare and Mercy Hospital. Students also have gone on to graduate study at The Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, College Park, George Washington University, Harvard University, University of North Carolina, Virginia Commonwealth University and Yale. The Health Administration and Policy Minor  is designed for majors in other disciplines who wish to add a study of health administration, health policy, and public health to their other major. Students are permitted to take all available classes except the six credit internship to fulfil the requirements of the minor. Minors can also consider entrance into a number of bachelors/masters accelerated programs at UMBC.

The Sociology, B.A.  provides a general overview of sociology for students who plan to enter the labor force after graduation and for those planning graduate study. The department has double majors that combine sociology and social work, sociology and anthropology, and sociology and psychology, as well as a combined social work major/sociology minor. These programs enable students to complete both majors with fewer credits than are required for each major separately. The Sociology Minor  is designed for majors in other disciplines who wish to add a study of social behavior to their other major. Students interested in pursuing the Master of Arts in Applied Sociology offered by the department should consider the combined B.A./M.A. program described below.

The undergraduate major in sociology provides a well established and widely accepted path to careers and professional education in the human services. It is frequently the major of individuals employed in local, state and federal governments and in non-profit organizations. It typically provides appropriate preparation for many professional programs, including law, public health, health services administration, urban and regional planning, social work, human-services administration, human resources management, advertising, public administration and public policy. An undergraduate major in sociology is also appropriate preparation for research and policy-oriented graduate programs in sociology, public policy, health services research, criminology, demography and other disciplines that study social behavior.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is conducted by a dedicated team of faculty and staff who are committed to each student’s academic success.  Advisors are available to assist students in developing an academic pathway towards graduation, as well as to discuss post graduate education and career options. A student’s post-baccalaureate plans for either graduate education or immediate employment are important influences on his or her overall academic program and course selections. With these considerations in mind, early and continuous contact should be established with a program advisor.

Students must meet with their advisors each semester during advanced registration to review their progress toward fulfilling major and university requirements, but students are also encouraged to meet with their advisor at any point during the semester.

For more information about the program’s advising process or for general questions regarding the SAPH program, please refer to the department’s website.

Double Majors

The department offers three double majors: sociology/anthropology, sociology/psychology and sociology/social work. Information about the double majors can be found on the Department’s website.

Honors Programs

SAPH offers majors with honors in the Cultural Anthropology, B.A.  and Sociology, B.A.  designed for students with strong academic records who want to conduct a substantial independent research project, culminating in a thesis, during their final year in the major. Students considering graduate school are particularly encouraged to pursue this option. Interested students should discuss this with their advisors as early as possible. Information describing the requirements for the major with honors is available on the department website.

Accelerated B.A./Master’s Programs

SAPH offers a master of arts in applied sociology, an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in the nonprofit sector. These programs offer students training in the practical side of sociology, including the various methodologies and key substantive areas of the field. the program has core strengths in the sociology of health, illness, and medicine; aging and the life course; diversity, gender, and culture; and applied research methods. Courses prepare students for careers as research analysts in federal and state agencies, research organizations, and nonprofit organizations. The program also prepares students for doctoral-level coursework. In order to earn a master’s in applied sociology at UMBC, students complete 30 credits, including a capstone project. The accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program for undergraduate students allows students to take up to 9 graduate credits to apply toward the master’s degree. The 12 credit post-baccalaureate certificate in the nonprofit sector can be completed as part of the master’s degree, or separately. Students with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 who are interested in any of these programs should contact Dr. Dena Smith, Graduate Program Director, at dtsmith@umbc.edu or Ms. Emily Byrne, Graduate Program Coordinator, at ebyrne@umbc.edu. For admission requirements and deadlines please consult the department website.

Undergraduate public health majors at UMBC with an interest in U.S. health problems and policies can consider continuing their education at UMBC with a Master of Public Policy (MPP) through the Accelerated Pathways Program. Once accepted into the Accelerated Pathways Program, up to 12 credit hours of graduate courses can be counted toward both the B.A. and the M.P.P.

Evening and Part Time Options

The department offers various advanced courses in the evening every semester but does not offer an evening major. Students who are able to take some courses during the day can complete the degree on a part-time basis.

Special Opportunities

Sociology internships are available through SOCY 396 , which is offered in cooperation with The Shriver Center. Students wishing to undertake individual research projects can do so in independent study courses with faculty members of their choice (SOCY 299 , SOCY 399 , or SOCY 499 ).

The university offers multiple opportunities for study abroad. Students seeking further information should contact the Study Abroad Office. Students interested in study abroad also should meet with their advisor to discuss their plans and their pathway for the completion of the major requirements. 

Student Organizations

Membership in the Council of Majors is open to all declared majors. The council meets throughout the academic year.

The Council of Majors sponsors the Anthropology Club, which is open to majors and non-majors alike. Club activities have included a brown-bag lunch film series and discussion, field trips to local museums and events, sessions on the graduate school application process and internship opportunities, and potlucks that showcase food traditions from around the world. Interested students should contact the Anthropology Council of Majors faculty advisor, Camee Maddox-Wingfield, (cmaddox@umbc.edu) for more information. 

Lambda Alpha

Lambda Alpha is the national collegiate honor society for Anthropology. To become a member, an undergraduate student must:

  1. Be an officially declared anthropology major

  2. Be a junior (60-89 total credits) or a senior (90 or more total credits)

  3. Have an overall UMBC GPA of 2.5 or better

  4. Have a GPA in all UMBC anthropology courses of 3.0 or better

  5. Have completed no less than twelve credits in Anthropology

Further details please consult the department website. The induction ceremony is held each year during the Spring semester.

Alpha Kappa Delta

International Sociology Honor Society: Iota of Maryland Chapter (at UMBC)

To become a member, an undergraduate student must: be an officially declared sociology major, be a junior (60-89 total credits) or senior (90 or more total credits), have an overall UMBC GPA of 3.3 or better, and have a GPA in all UMBC (and UMCP) sociology courses of 3.0 or better. For further details consult the Department website. The induction ceremony is held in May of each year.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate students are encouraged to practice and pursue original research through their course work in independent study classes. Anthropology and sociology students also may complete an honors thesis. Students can discuss these options with their academic adviser. In addition, the separtment faculty members at times have external grants and contracts on which undergraduates may work as research assistants. Such arrangements are made individually with faculty members.


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