UIS graduates with the SOA B.A. degree are employed in a wide range of careers in business, government, teaching, public service organizations, and research. Research careers in the disciplines of sociology or anthropology usually require advanced degrees at the M.A. or Ph.D. level.

Past SOA majors have gone on to graduate schools all around the nation and have received M.A.s or Ph.D.s in sociology, anthropology, and in a variety of other fields.

Careers in Anthropology

Famous Sociology & Anthropology Majors

The list of influential individuals who began their educations with a foundation in Sociology and/or Anthropology is a long one. Here are some of the more recognizable names:

Sociology Majors

  • Rev. Martin Luther King
  • Roy Wilkins, former head of NAACP
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Rev. Ralph Abernathy
  • Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator of NY
  • Shirley Chisholm, former Congresswoman from NY
  • Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from Los Angeles
  • Barbara Mikulski, US Senator from Maryland
  • Tim Holden, Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • Cardinal Theordore McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, DC
  • Saul Alinsky, father of community organizing
  • Saul Bellow, novelist
  • President Ronald Reagan
  • Emily Balch, 1946 Nobel Peace Prize winner (a social worker and social reformer)
  • Francis Perkins, social reformer and former Secretary of Labor
  • Richard Barajas, Chief Justice, Texas Supreme Court
  • Michelle Obama
  • Dan Aykroyd, actor/Blues Brother
  • Paul Shaffer, bandleader on David Letterman Show (and before that, Saturday Night Live)
  • James Blunt, singer
  • Kalpen Suresh Modi, White House Liaison for Arts and Humanites (also known as actor Kal Penn from the television show “House” and the “Harold and Kumar” movies)
  • Alonzo Mourning, former center of the Miami Heat
  • Ahmad Rashad, sportscaster
  • E.J.Dionne (Social science BA and PhD in Sociology) columnist and author
  • Guy Carawan (MA in Sociology)  folk musician and musicologist
  • Bong Joon-ho, Korean director
  • Ron Moody, actor
  • Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist  and civil rights activist
  • Stephanie Izard, Chicago Chef and first female winner of Bravo’s Top Chef

Anthropology Majors

  • Rick Bayless, celebrity chef
  • Giada deLaurentis, celebrity chef
  • Michael Crichton, author
  • Tracy Chapman, singer
  • Glenn Close, actress
  • Zora Neale Hurston, author and anthropologist
  • Kurt Vonnegut, author
  • Prince Charles of England
  • Stephen Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble
  • Dr. Kathy Reichs, professor of forensic anthropology and author of the novels inspiring the “Bones” tv series
  • Dr. Ann Dunham, mother of President Barack Obama (she originally majored in Math, but returned to the University of Hawaii school to earn a PhD in Anthropology)
  • Pearl Primus, American dancer and Choreographer whose  work introduced Americans  to the realities of black life in America and to the richness of African  dance.
  • Katherine Dunham, American dancer and choreographer