Diverse and Progressive

At the heart of our disciplines lies a determination to understand complex social and cultural issues – both past and present – so that we may inform the future.    

Message from the Sociology Department at North Carolina State University

By William R. Smith and Troy Case

We recognize that the pain, suffering, and outrage caused by recent events, combined with long histories of oppression, are not equally distributed in our community. Nor have the precipitating events been outliers. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery reflect deep flaws in how the institutions that are supposed to deliver equal justice for all actually work. These failings are in turn linked to larger systems of inequality that permeate U.S. society. We, as a department of sociology and anthropology, are keenly aware of how conscious and unconscious bias in housing, employment, education, and health care produce systematic advantages for some groups and disadvantage for others. We want to recognize that people of color in our own midst—in our own university, college, and department—have suffered in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death, because it symbolizes the racism that they themselves have endured as students, staff, and faculty. As a department, we want to support each other, especially those most impacted by recent events. We will work harder to demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and to achieving equity as part of our teaching, service, and research here at North Carolina State University. We will strive to build a community and create an environment where everyone’s well-being is valued and people are supported, not just heard.

I realized that the changes I want to inspire cannot be achieved without social and systemic change. My education here has given me the knowledge and training I need to make those ideas reality.


Meet Marlaina

Investigating Society, Culture and Behavior

Founded in 1920, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology is diverse and progressive. We are dedicated to excellence in research, teaching, extension and outreach. 

Our research and outreach serve the citizens of the state, including business, industry and government. Our wide-ranging research encompasses poverty and inequality, archaeological science, school diversity, child abuse, family issues, food environments, obesity, health and physical activity, gender-related issues, crime and criminal justice organizations, to mention a few areas.

We offer students the chance to study and practice in the disciplines that critically analyze human society, culture and behavior. Undergraduates can pursue studies in sociology, criminology and anthropology, either as a major or minor. NC State also offers a minor in forensic science

At the graduate level, we offer a Doctorate in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Anthropology, both of which prepare graduates for successful careers in teaching and research.

Our department is one of the largest of its kind in the United States and one of the largest on NC State’s campus. With around 30 full-time faculty, as well as lecturers and instructors, we teach more than 9,000 students each academic year.