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Department of Sociology,
Anthropology, and Social Work

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Box 41012 Lubbock TX 79409-1012
T 806.742.2400, F 806.742.1088,

About the Program

This department supervises the following degree programs:

        • Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
        • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
        • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
        • Master of Arts in Anthropology
        • Master of Arts in Sociology

In addition, the department participates in the Women’s Studies, Community and Urban Studies, Ethnic Studies, Environmental Studies, Family Life Studies, Religion Studies, and Asian Studies minor programs. The minimum number of hours required for majors in all baccalaureate programs in the department is a total of 120 hours.Back to Top

Undergraduate Program

Sociology Program

Sociology is the study of groups in society and individuals in those groups. Areas of specialization and faculty expertise include criminology and delinquency, intimate relationships and families, race and ethnicity, inequality, gender, aging, social psychology, medical sociology, religion, social research methods, and social theory. A major or minor in sociology is beneficial to students planning careers in a variety of areas, including business, law, law enforcement, government, international development, medicine, and social services. The department also offers a criminology concentration for sociology majors who wish to specialize in this area. Courses in sociology fulfill core curriculum requirements in the social and behavioral sciences and multicultural core requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences and the university.

A student majoring in sociology must complete 30 hours in sociology, 18 of which must be upper-division courses (3000 or 4000). A maximum of 9 hours of transfer credit may be accepted for the major. Core course requirements are as follows:

  • SOC 1301, 3391, and 3392.
  • Either SOC 3393 or 3394. Student expecting admission to graduate work in sociology should take both of these courses.
  • Either SOC 4395 or 4399. SOC 4395 is offered regularly. SOC 4399 is not offered regularly and is by invitation and under direction of a professor only.

Criminology Concentration. Criminology is the sociological study of law-making, law-breaking, and social control. Sociology majors who wish to specialize in the study of criminology and receive the notation “Criminology Concentration” on their transcripts are required to complete the core course requirements for the sociology major plus the additional requirements as follows:

  • Two core courses, both of which must be taken: SOC 3327 and 4325.
  • Three alternate courses to be chosen from SOC 2333, 2335, 3326, 3333, 3335, 3368, 3383, 4327;
  • ANTH 2305, 2308, 4343; PSY 4384
  • Two sociology electives.
  • The sociology major with a concentration in criminology requires a total of 36 hours of sociology and/or approved courses in the above related areas.

Minor. Students minoring in sociology must complete 18 hours of sociology, including SOC 1301.

Students must receive a grade of C or better in each sociology course if they wish it to count toward a major or minor in sociology or in the criminology concentration.

The minimum prerequisite or co-requisite that is recommended for all advanced courses is SOC 1301 or consent of instructor, unless otherwise indicated in the course description.

Anthropology Program

The anthropology program reflects the broad scope of the discipline, including the four areas of cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Well-equipped laboratories support research in archaeology and physical anthropology. The Summer Field School in Archaeology and field trips in Texas and the surrounding region are highlights of the curriculum.

A student majoring in anthropology must complete 35 semester hours in anthropology, which include 14 hours of introductory-level coursework and 12 hours of foundational courses. The introductory courses include ANTH 2100, 2101, 2300, 2301, 2302, and 2315. Students are required to take at least one advanced course in each subdiscipline of the field. These foundational courses include ANTH 3310 or 3311; ANTH 4305; ANTH 3305 or 3300 (if the topic is linguistic in nature); and ANTH 3342, 3343, 3344, 3347, or 3348. The remaining 9 hours are elective courses within the program. Students must complete two writing intensive courses within the discipline. A maximum of 9 hours of transfer credit may be accepted for the major. With prior departmental approval, 3 advanced hours in related disciplines may be counted toward the major. Anthropology majors must make a grade of C or better in each ANTH course. No more than 6 hours of individual studies or field courses may be credited to the major.

Forensic Anthropology Concentration.The department offers a concentration in forensic anthropology for students seeking the notation “Forensic Anthropology Concentration” on their transcripts. The concentration requires five 3-hour courses (15 hours) with a grade of C or better from the two following groups:

  • ANTH 2305, 3314, 4343 (required core courses)
  • Two courses chosen from ANTH 2308, 3300 (Archaeology of Death) 4320, 4341; GIST 3300; GEOG 3301

The anthropology major with a concentration in forensic anthropology requires a total of 41 hours of anthropology courses. Students must receive a grade of C or better in each course that counts toward the forensic anthropology concentration. The minimum prerequisites recommended for all advanced courses are ANTH 2300 and 2100 or consent of instructor.

Minor. A minor in anthropology consists of 18 hours, with at least 6 hours in upper-level courses. No more than 6 hours of transfer credit will be accepted for the minor. Students seeking a minor in anthropology must make a grade of C or better in each ANTH course.
Anthropology courses provide distribution credit in three areas of Arts and Sciences: humanities, natural sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Courses so indicated give humanities or natural sciences credit; some others give social and behavioral sciences credit. In addition, anthropology courses fulfill a variety of humanities and social science requirements in other colleges of the university. Students in these colleges should check with advisors in their major departments to learn which anthropology courses fulfill their college and core curriculum requirements.

Social Work Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the Baccalaureate Level Social Work Licensure Exam in Texas and in many other states. The curriculum is based on the generalist social work model which is intended to prepare graduates to work in a wide variety of social work settings with diverse populations. A graduate of the program is prepared for several types of entry-level social work positions in public, private, and voluntary social agencies. Certain professional concentrations in social work require completion of graduate training. For those interested in pursuing their social work education at the master’s level, the bachelor’s in social work provides an important advantage by making the student eligible for advanced standing in most graduate schools of social work, thereby reducing the number of hours required at the graduate level. The Texas Tech Social Work Program also offers a minor in social work.

Pre-Social Work Major.A student with the intention of obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree with less than 45 hours of completed coursework should first declare as a pre-social work major through the College of Arts and Sciences and begin the required sequence of courses outlined below. Upon successful completion of a minimum of 45 hours, a student will be listed as a social work major. Normally, a pre-social work major will become a social work major at the time their degree plan is filed with the College of Arts and Sciences

Advising. Pre-social work majors are required to report for initial advising which will include a discussion of the sequence of social work classes and their prerequisites as well as options for the required 18-hour minor. All social work students are expected to report for advising as requested by the academic advisor, L.D. Harper, who may be contacted at for an appointment. Students may be required to meet with a social work faculty member instead of or in addition to Mr. Harper.

Social Work Major. Social work majors are expected to complete the core curriculum requirements of the university, the General Degree Requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, 30 hours of structured social work classes (SW 1300, 2301, 3311, 3312, 3331, 3332, 3333, 3339, 4311, 4340), the 6-hour social work field placement (SW 4611), an 18-hour minor, and the following two adjunct requirements:

  • Human Biology (before or with SW 3312) — Choose BIOL 1402 or ANTH 2300/2100 or a combination of both BIOL 1403 and 1404 or a combination of both ZOOL 2403 and 2404.
  • Statistics or research methods (before SW 3339) — Choose SOC 3391, MATH 2300, or PSY 3400.

Freshmen should refer to the sample curriculum table for the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Sophomores, junior or seniors who are considering changing their major to social work should first visit with the social work advisor. A minimum of four long semesters are required to complete the social work sequence.

Candidacy in the Social Work Program. A student must apply and be approved for candidacy to be able to enter and complete the practice courses, beginning with SW 3332. Applications for candidacy will be reviewed by the social work faculty to ensure that the student is in good standing (refer to the section below) and to ensure that the student has successfully completed the human biology adjunct requirement as well as SW 1300, 2301, 3311 and 3312 with a grade of C or better in each while maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA in these social work classes. If candidacy is not approved, the student may be placed on probation with the program.

Good Standing. Students may continue as social work majors as long as they remain in good standing in the program. To remain in good standing, the student must:
Demonstrate compatibility with the social work profession. Compatibility is reflected in respect for social work ethical standards and values.

  • Demonstrate potential for success in the social work profession. Potential for success is reflected in the ability to retain social work knowledge and perform social work skills at a level appropriate for progress in the program.
  • Maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in social work (SW) courses.

A student who is a social work major and fails to remain in good standing is typically placed on probation within the program and given one long semester to remedy the cause. The student will be notified by e-mail if probation is required.

Social Work Field Placement. The field experience allows students to demonstrate their abilities to assess client system situations and to apply generalist skills and the social work code of ethics with populations at risk across micro, mezzo, and macro systems. It is a 400-hour, closely supervised individual experience using social work knowledge, methods, skills, and ethics in a social agency selected and certified by the social work program.

Due to the nature of the field placement, the number of slots available in a given semester is limited. Students should refer to the Social Work Student Handbook for details about the placement process. An Application for Field Experience must be completed early in the long semester prior to the field placement. Some of the approved field sites require background checks before placement. Early in their social work education, social work majors should read, ask questions about, and sign the Field Expectations Form. The field experience must be taken pass/fail. Only social work majors may participate. Professional liability insurance is required and payment is the responsibility of the student. Note: Due to potential scheduling conflicts, students should not attempt to take other degree-required courses in their field placement semester.

Transfer Students and Transfer Credit. Transfer students who enter the university with less than 45 hours should declare as pre-social work majors. Transfer students with more than 45 hours of transcript credit may declare social work as their major, but they must also immediately complete a degree plan for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Under the Texas Common Course Numbering System, the College of Arts and Sciences and the social work program typically accept the equivalent of SW 2301, 3311, and 3312 for transfer, especially if these are from a CSWE accredited program. However, transfer credit for SW 3331, 4311, 4340, and 4611 will not be accepted by the program. Requests for transfer credit for all other social work courses will be considered based on a faculty review of course syllabi to ensure course compatibility with the program goals and objectives and with the curriculum expected within the degree program. It is the intention of the social work program to avoid repetition of foundational courses taken through CSWE approved programs. The program will typically accept up to 9 hours of transfer credit for social work courses.

No Credit for Life Experience. The social work program does not give credit for work or other life experiences.

Social Work Minor.Students majoring in other disciplines may choose to enhance their educational programs by selecting a minor in social work. All Texas Tech students are encouraged to consider this option, especially those who may be working with diverse populations or in social service agencies. A minor in social work could be particularly helpful for nursing and pre-med students, as well as education, psychology, sociology, political science, and human science majors. The purpose of the minor is to provide an understanding of social work knowledge, values, and perspective. It should be noted that in Texas, as in many other states, a social work degree in a program accredited with CSWE is required to obtain social work licensure and to call oneself a social worker.

The minor in social work consists of SW 1300, SW 2301, SW 3311, SW 3312, SW 3331, and either SW 3339 OR SW 4311 (note that SW 3339 has statistics as a prerequisite).

For further information, contact Laura Lowe, Ph.D., LCSW, Director of the Social Work Program, at or refer to the Social Work Student Handbook (

Curriculum Tables


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Graduate Program

The graduate degree programs are designed to provide broad training for students who wish to enter a Ph.D. program, prepare for undergraduate or community college teaching, or pursue a nonteaching career for which M.A.-level training in sociology or anthropology is appropriate and useful. Both programs emphasize training in basic theory and methods.

Decisions on the program of study, specific courses, and thesis topics are made through consultation with the graduate advisor in each program and other faculty members as appropriate on the basis of the student’s background, interests, and objectives. With departmental approval, requirements may be amended for individuals with exceptional qualifications or additional courses may be required for applicants with inadequate undergraduate preparation.

Admission. General admission requirements are those established by the Graduate School. The best preparation is an undergraduate major in the same field, either sociology or anthropology, or equivalent. However, students from other fields are also encouraged to apply. More specific information regarding admission procedures or other aspects of the graduate programs may be obtained from either the sociology or the anthropology graduate advisor.

Sociology Program

Coursework. The sociology program provides coursework specialization in such areas as family, criminology and deviance, social psychology, social change, minority relations, demography, urban problems, medical sociology, gerontology, and sociology of religion. Six of the 36 required hours may be taken as a minor outside the department. Selection of a minor requires approval of the graduate committee. In lieu of a foreign language, each student is required to demonstrate proficiency in computer analysis of data. A grade of B or better is required for graduate credit.

Thesis, Non-Thesis Options. Students in the sociology program may select the thesis option or non-thesis option. The thesis option is strongly recommended for students who plan to continue their graduate studies by applying to a doctoral program. Students choosing the thesis plan in sociology are required to take 30 hours of coursework (including two required courses in theory and two in methods) plus 6 hours of thesis credit. They are also required to complete a thesis that is acceptable to the student’s departmental thesis committee and demonstrate proficiency in a computer language. Students may petition the Graduate Committee to substitute another organized course from within the department for one of the required theory and/or methods courses. Students choosing the non-thesis plan are required to take 36 hours of coursework (including one course in theory, two courses in methods, and 3 hours of SOC 5331). They are also required to complete a paper on a topic related to their professional interests that is acceptable to the student’s departmental committee.

Assessment. In the sociology program, a final examination is required. The final examination in the thesis plan involves at least one of the various areas in sociology listed above. Students may present at two conferences in lieu of taking the final exam. In the non-thesis plan the examination includes coursework taken, work experience outside the department, and the topic of the formal paper.

Anthropology Program

Coursework. The anthropology curriculum requires 12 hours of core courses in the following four subfields: archaeology, physical anthropology, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. Students are required to take ANTH 5305, 5341, 5352, and either 5311 or 5312. Thirty-six total hours of graduate credit are required, including 18 hours of elective courses. Students, in consultation with the graduate advisor, will also elect the thesis or non-thesis option for 6 hours of graduate credit. The elective courses may include a 6-hour minor or courses outside of anthropology. A grade of B or better is required to receive graduate credit for a course. Coursework is planned in consultation with the graduate advisor or thesis director soon after admission to the graduate program.

Thesis Option. Students in the anthropology program are strongly encouraged to write a thesis, particularly if they plan to continue their studies in a doctoral program. Students choosing this option are required to take 30 hours of coursework (including 12 core hours and 18 elective hours) plus 6 hours of thesis credit. The thesis is based on original research done in consultation with the thesis advisor. Students must submit a thesis prospectus prior to initiating their research and must defend the completed thesis to the department before the thesis may be submitted to the Graduate School.

Non-Thesis Option. Students choosing the non-thesis option are required to take 36 hours of coursework (including 12 core hours, 18 elective hours, and 6 additional hours of electives). In addition to the coursework requirement, students must choose a three-person committee (two of these faculty must be in the anthropology program) to administer a three-day exit examination in their final semester.

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Course Descriptions

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Click here to view alphabetical listing of all TTU faculty and their academic credentials.

Jennifer L. Dunn, Ph.D., Chairperson

Professors: Dunn, Koch, Paine, Roberts
Associate Professors: Bradatan, Dunham, Elbow, Houk, Lowe, Morrow, Ramirez, Schneider, Smithey, Walter
Assistant Professors: Flores-Yeffal, Jordan, Maloney
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