Jun 12, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assistant Professor

Jun Chu
B.S., University of Maryland, College Park, 2013, M.P.H., 2017; Ph.D., 2022

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

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

Sameera S. Nayak
B.A., University of California Los Angeles, 2014; M.A., Columbia University, Teachers College, 2017; Ph.D., Northeastern University, 2022

Senior Lecturer

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

Nicholas S. Welcome
B.A., Plattsburgh State University of New York, 2003; M.A., San Diego State University, 2006; Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, 2013

Anthropology Core Faculty

Bambi Chapin, Director
Sarah Chard
Camee Maddox-Wingfield
Nicholas S. Welcome

Public Health Core Faculty

Katie Birger, Director
Jun Chu
Meryl Cozart
Andrea Kalfoglou
Sameera S. Nayak

Sociology Core Faculty

Marina Adler
Mercedez D. Dunn

Brandy Harris-Wallace
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, PBHL, 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). We also house the Center for Health, Equity, & Aging (CHEA), a research center that supports faculty and student 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

Upon graduation, students with a Cultural Anthropology, B.A.  are well prepared to obtain employment in an increasingly diverse workforce, pursue graduate and professional training, and engage effectively in a complex world. They have embarked on careers in a wide range of government, non-profit, and private sector settings. This includes employment in social service and development organizations, market research firms, and international business. Graduates with an anthropology degree are especially well suited for positions that involve human interaction, problem solving, and communication, and where an understanding of diversity is beneficial. An anthropology major also provides a strong foundation for those intending to pursue graduate studies or degrees in medicine and public health, social work, education, museum studies, 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. The Anthropology Minor  is designed for majors in other disciplines who wish to add an individually tailored set of anthropology courses to their undergraduate degree.

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 Public Health Minor  is designed for majors in other disciplines who wish to add a study of public health to their other major. Students are permitted to take all available classes except the six-credit internship to fulfill 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 website.

Undergraduate Social Dimensions of Health (SDOH) Certificate

The 15 credit Social Dimensions of Health Certificate  involves three required courses (9 credits) in which students analyze the sociocultural forces informing health and illness experiences and the structure and operation of health care and public health systems. Students also complete two electives (6 credits) from selected Sociology, Anthropology, or Public Health courses that provide additional training on the social dimensions of health and illness.

Double Majors

The department offers four double majors: public health/social work, sociology/anthropology, sociology/psychology, and sociology/social work. Information about the double majors can be found on the department 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. Admission requirements and deadlines are published on 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 (M.P.P.) 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

Evening courses are offered occasionally, but generally, no more than one to three evening courses are offered in a single semester. Required core courses are almost always offered during daytime hours only.

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 , 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 Club faculty advisor for more information.

Lambda Alpha

Lambda Alpha is the national collegiate honor society for Anthropology, and UMBC belongs to the Beta Chapter. The purpose of the society is to encourage and stimulate scholarship and research in Anthropology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline among students, faculty and other persons engaged in the study of Anthropology. For further details and membership requirements please consult the department website. The induction ceremony is held each year during the Spring semester.

Alpha Kappa Delta

The International Honor Society for Sociology is Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), and UMBC belongs to the IOTA Chapter. The purpose of the society is to encourage and stimulate scholarship and research in Sociology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline. 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 advisor. In addition, the department 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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