Feb 02, 2023  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Philosophy

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges

Location: Landrum Academic Center 217C
Telephone: 859-572-5259
Fax: 859-572-6086
Email Addresses:


Web Address: http://nku.edu/sap
Department Chair: Augustine Frimpong-Mansoh (Interim)
Other Key Personnel:

Department Coordinator: Mindy Berry

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Philosophy is a multidisciplinary department that houses its namesake programs as well as several interdisciplinary minors. Ancient Civilizations Minor , Celtic Studies Minor , Culture, Society, and Health Minor , Evolutionary Studies Minor , Healthcare Ethics and Policy Minor , Native American Studies Minor , and Religious Studies Minor .

Sociology Programs

Location: Landrum Academic Center 217C
Telephone: 859-572-5259
Fax: 859-572-6086
Email Address: sociology@nku.edu
Web Address: http://nku.edu/sociology

Full-Time Faculty: David Bourne, Joan Ferrante, Nicole Grant, Lynda Hillman, Boni Li, Kristie Vise

Thinking about the discipline: The mission of the sociology program is to provide undergraduate students with the conceptual and applied skills to understand society and how social interactions and human activities are organized and structured. Sociology offers a perspective and set of skills that develop and enhance students’ abilities to observe and think critically about their own and other societies, to become more sensitive to behavioral and value differences among peoples, and to succeed in an information and knowledge economy. Sociology is also a discipline that welcomes and draws upon insights from any discipline. The sociology program mentors students to think of college as a time for engaging in experiences and developing skills that position them for success in an ever-changing labor market of career possibilities.

The program offers a major in sociology leading to the Bachelor of Science. There are six broad career areas that students of sociology may choose to enter: nonprofit, government, business, education/continuing education, graduate school, and self-employment. Students can also minor or focus in sociology.

Special opportunities for our students: Among the many experiences in which students of sociology can participate are opportunities to do co-ops and internships, engage in summer service on Native American reservations in South Dakota, engage in class projects that address social issues, participate in research studies, and publish articles and essays collaboratively with faculty.

There are several vibrant student clubs associated with the sociology program: the Sociology Club, National Sociology Honor Society, and Kiksuya/First Nations Student Organization. Each year NKU’s sociology program presents the outstanding student in sociology award, outstanding student in applied sociology and outstanding student.

It is possible to earn a sociology major or minor taking a combination of online and evening classes and two (for minor) or three (for major) core courses face-to-face. In addition to the major and minor, there is also a focus that consists of any four sociology courses taken at the 300/400/500 level. It is possible to complete a focus in sociology online.

You should also know: Students must earn at least a C (2.00) in the core courses, and earn a C (2.00) average in all sociology courses counting for the major or minor.

Anthropology Programs

Location: Landrum Academic Center 217C
Telephone: 859-572-5259
Fax: 859-572-6086
Email Address: anthropology@nku.edu
Web Address: http://nku.edu/anthropology
Key Personnel:

Archaeology Director: Sharyn Jones
Center for Applied Anthropology Director: Douglas Hume
Museum Director: Judy Voelker

Full-Time Faculty: Zachary Hruby, Douglas W. Hume, Sharyn Jones, Denise Knisely, Jessica Lott, Michael J. Simonton, Judy Voelker, Monica Wakefield

Thinking about the discipline: Anthropology is the study of human beings, both physically and culturally, in the past and present, mostly in the non-Western world, mostly through the method of fieldwork. It includes the subfields of cultural anthropology (study of the great variety of societies and cultures in the world today); archaeology (study of past societies and cultures); biological anthropology (study of the origin and biological nature of humans and our primate relatives); anthropological linguistics (study of language and its relationship to culture); and applied anthropology (the use of anthropological knowledge to help solve practically oriented problems). Through these subfields, anthropology explains differences and similarities among all human groups, at all times, and in all places. In the words of the American Anthropological Association, “Only anthropology seeks to understand the whole panorama - in geographic space and evolutionary time - of human existence.” To study anthropology is to explore the many avenues of what it means to be human.

NKU anthropology majors and minors are students prepared both for career opportunities upon graduation and for graduate work in anthropology. The anthropology faculty provide students with opportunities to do anthropology outside the classroom and develop résumé-worthy skills important in the job quest.

Special opportunities for our students: Among the many experiences in which anthropology majors and minors can participate are opportunities to go on archaeology digs, develop museum exhibits, conduct observations and research at the Cincinnati Zoo, do research with various peoples throughout the state and nation, and travel to places such as Belize, Thailand, Ireland, and Fiji.

There are several vibrant student clubs associated with the anthropology program at NKU: the Student Anthropology Society, Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society, First Nations Student Organization, Kiksuya, and Tuath an Ard Tíre Ardaí: The Celtic Studies Club. Each year the anthropology program presents the outstanding student in anthropology award and the award for academic excellence in anthropology.

You should also know: Students must earn at least a C (2.00) in the core courses, and a C (2.00) average in all anthropology courses counting for the major.

Philosophy Programs

Location: Landrum Academic Center 217C
Telephone: 859-572-5259
Fax: 859-572-6086
Email Address: philosophy@nku.edu
Web Address: http://nku.edu/philosophy

Full-Time Faculty: Gary Blahnik, Robert Brice, Rudy Garns, Augustine Frimpong-Mansoh, Terry Pence

Thinking about the discipline: Philosophy seeks answers to fundamental questions about human existence and examines in a reasoned and systematic way basic questions about the values and concepts central to understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Through careful and critical reflection, philosophers seek answers to questions such as: a) What is the nature of the good, and what is the rational thing to do? (Ethics); b) What is the nature of reality? Does God exist? Do we have free will? What is knowledge and what distinguishes it from mere belief and opinion? (Metaphysics and Epistemology); c) How should society be organized? What is the basis of political obligation? What is the nature and aim of law? (Politics and Law). In pursuing such fundamental questions about the world and human experience, philosophy prepares students to acquire conceptual and applied skills essential to adapting to career possibilities and pursuing a meaningful life. Such skills include critical analysis, creative and innovative thinking, effective written and oral communication, principled ethical evaluation, problem-solving and rational-decision making. These transdisciplinary skills integrate and transcend specific and separate discipline, profession or career; they are requisite for information processing, analysis, syntheses, and application for an informed and efficient decision-making in career planning and choices.

NKU offers a bachelor’s degree in philosophy designed to meet the needs of students who want to pursue any career of their choice. For example, the transdisciplinary transferable skills which students acquire through the study of philosophy prepare them suitably to pursue successful careers in law (and in para-legal professions), education, health care, information and communication technology, ethics consulting, journalism, publishing, politics and public policy, public relations, fundraising and nonprofit work, religion and ministry, business and management, and architecture. As innovative creative thinkers, philosophy students tend also to create and manage their own businesses and services. Few disciplines can boast of contributing to such diverse pursuits! It’s not for nothing then that The London Times recently called philosophy the “ultimate transferable work skill.” This observation seems to be confirmed by a survey of employers conducted recently by the Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (2013). The survey reveals that “Employers are highly focused on innovation as critical to the success of their companies and they report that the challenges their employees face today are more complex and require a broader skill set than in the past.” Notably, the survey indicates that employers prioritize a job candidate’s demonstrated capacity for “critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings” when making hiring decisions. This is one of the distinctive strengths, and key benefits, of studying philosophy. Whereas the knowledge learned in other disciplines may be superseded by future discoveries or made obsolete by changes of circumstances, the general transferable skills (e.g. the ability of critical thinking) acquired from studying philosophy do not become devalued over time. On the contrary, the transdisciplinary skills are invaluable when new situations occur. It is not surprising then that philosophy students rank highly in median mid-career salary; consistently score at or near the top on admissions tests like the LSAT and GMAT; earn entrance to medical school at a higher rate than all other majors, including chemistry and biology; and, more generally, enjoy a well-earned reputation for clear and rigorous thinking. While the best reason to major in philosophy is because it interests you, that choice turns out to be an excellent career move, too.

Special opportunities for our students: The philosophy program at NKU is well-known for a delivery of distinctive academic programs and for dedicated faculty that effectively and efficiently prepare outstanding graduates for success in a fast-growing technology-driven information workplace, economy, and global society. What makes the philosophy program special is that philosophy courses remain “up close and personal.” These small classes help students to participate in the study of questions of philosophical importance, hone writing and analytical skills, and receive more attention from their professors. Students also have the opportunity to participate in intercollegiate competition in the ethics bowl and become a member of the national honor society in philosophy, Phi Sigma Tau. A student philosophy club is active, and the program offers monthly events like a philosophers’ café where issues of contemporary interest are raised in a public forum, and a film and philosophy series where feature films with philosophical themes are screened and discussed. Each year NKU’s philosophy program presents the outstanding senior in philosophy award.

You should also know: At least 20 percent of the total required hours must be taken at NKU. Students must make a C- or better in all courses chosen to meet the core requirements.

Interdisciplinary Minors:



    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges