Contact Us

Anthropology & Sociology
East Hall, Room 301
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Anthropology & Sociology

The fields of anthropology and sociology enable us to better understand humans and human behavior of the present and the past. From culture and biology to social patterns and institutions, the areas of specialty within these discipline are expansive, reflecting the complexity of the human experience.

At USD, our faculty are active scholars who are committed to excellence through their teaching and mentorship, research and scholarship, and service to the community. Our students actively pursue the questions that spark their curiosity, gaining invaluable experience through opportunities like conducting research alongside faculty in the community, the field and the Archaeology lab; interning at local museums and non-profit organizations, presenting research at our departmental symposium, and more. USD students learn to think critically and analytically as they prepare for careers where a thorough understanding of humans, human behavior, culture and society are valuable. Our graduates go on to satisfying careers in archaeology, social and human services, non-profit development, foreign relations, museum management, public relations, law enforcement, park services and more.

Join our community of sociologists, anthropologists and scholars.


Meet the Department

Get to know faculty and staff in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology. Our faculty are experts in their fields, contributing to scholarship in archaeology, radiocarbon dating, medieval epidemics, paleodemography, religiosity, globalization, sociology of education, the family, medical sociology, sociology of the law and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Karen Koster

Karen Koster

Chair-Anthropology & Sociology


Plant Physiology, Cell Biology
Bio Image for Faculty Member Isaiah Cohen

Isaiah Cohen

Assistant Professor


Education, Marriage & Family, Law, & Mixed Methods
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cheryl Hartman

Cheryl Hartman

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Saige Kelmelis

Saige Kelmelis

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Anthony Krus

Anthony Krus

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Louisa Roberts

Louisa Roberts

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Crystal Sheedy

Crystal Sheedy

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Stephanie Spars

Stephanie Spars

Senior Lecturer

Known For Excellence

At USD, you'll find a high quality educational experience strengthened by our faculty's research and creative scholarship. See what makes our department exceptional.

Student Opportunities

If you are curious about human history or the societies we now inhabit and co-create, the USD Department of Anthropology & Sociology is the place for you.

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in the Department of Anthropology & Sociology.
USD Students in the Archaeology Laboratory.

Archaeology Laboratory

The USD Archaeology Laboratory (ARCHLAB) is the research facility for the anthropology program at USD, home to laboratories, curation facilities, a wet lab and more.

Students working in the dirt doing archeology research

Hands-On Experiences

On campus, the USD Archaeology Laboratory provides the equipment and resources for in-depth analysis of archaeological finds. Student researchers have examined bones, seeds and other items from locations in South Dakota and around the world. Off campus, our program offers the Susan Tuve Archaeology Field School each summer to give students hands-on experience in archaeological field research. 


Sociology students gain valuable research experience through courses that encourage them to ask questions about the social world and then teach them the qualitative and quantitative skills to answer those questions. Students can present their findings at our annual social science interdisciplinary symposium and may also expand their research into a full undergraduate thesis. Recent students have researched social barriers to health care for college students and the social consequences of globalization.

Student using a metal detector in a grassy area

Unique Programs

Not only does USD offer the state's only undergraduate anthropology degree at a public university; the university is also home to several unique programs like a forensic anthropology certificate and an archaeology minor. No matter what your interests are, you'll find a minor or certificate that enriches your education. 


Our sociology program is equally unique, with a flexible curriculum that enables students to easily double major and position themselves for success in a variety of fields. Plus, the sociology major is offered in Vermillion, in Sioux Falls and online – ensuring students can realize their educational goals no matter where they live.


For students preparing for careers in health care, our health and culture certificate builds is a great addition to your education and will help build cultural and societal awareness.

Students posing for a picture.

Mentorship and Advising

In the USD Department of Anthropology & Sociology, we believe that the best learning and discovery happens through individualized attention and collaboration. Our class sizes are small, allowing students and faculty members the opportunity to pursue mentorship connections and work together on research projects.

student success story

Caitlin Sandstedt smiling.
I have always had an interest in people and cultures, but I also wanted to work outside and travel. The A&S department is small so that helped us get to know one another. The student to professor ratio is low so we can get extra help. To help prepare students after graduation, the professors will set up internships, work studies or volunteer work in the archaeology lab or at the W.H. Over Museum to help get work experience for your resumé.

Caitlin Sandstedt

B.A. Anthropology & Sociology '23

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