Majoring in Criminology

Criminology is a subdiscipline of sociology which seeks to understand from a sociological perspective why people commit deviant and criminal acts. Students in this major learn the social, cultural, political, and economic forces that shape and intersect with crime and criminal behavior within society. The criminology major prepares students for a diverse set of careers in law, policing, corrections, probation, and criminal and forensic investigations, as well as for graduate work in criminology and related fields. A maximum of two courses may be transferred into the major.

Courses in the Criminology Program integrate theory and application into a broad foundation of both scientific and humanistic knowledge about crime and society. All students complete an internship and an original empirical senior thesis as part of their major requirements. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical thinking skills and the application of values to the content of the criminology curriculum. The knowledge and skills gained during the program are crucial to successful performance in graduate school and are also highly valued by a wide variety of potential employers who hire criminology majors directly after graduation.

Degree Requirements

Total program: 60 semester hours

Prerequisite Requirements

8 semester hours

SOC 250Introduction to Sociology4
SOC 305Quantitative Analysis4
Total Semester Hours8

Core Requirements

20 semester hours

SOC 390Research Methods4
SOC 401Criminological Theory4
SOC 497Internship4
Senior Capstone
Two Capstone Courses 18
Total Semester Hours20

e.g., SOC 499A Senior Thesis A and SOC 499B Senior Thesis B or two SOC 499C Senior Capstone C courses. When crosslisted with a Research Intensive course, that course may only be taken one time for credit (either as 499C or as catalog course number).

Breadth Requirements

8 semester hours

SOC 322Introduction to Criminology4
SOC 326Criminal Justice System4
Total Semester Hours8


8 semester hours

Select two of the following:8
ANTH 262
Forensic Investigations
SOC 320
Sociology of Deviance
SOC 329
Correctional Systems
SOC 342
Urban Crime Patterns
SOC 345
White-Collar Crime
SOC 350
Law and Society
SOC 375
Drugs and Society
SOC 380
Political Economy of Crime
Or other advisor approved criminology course.
Total Semester Hours8

Racial Justice and Tolerance (RJT) Breadth Requirements

16 semester hours

SOC 315Race and Ethnicity4
SOC 330Social Class and Inequality4
8 semester hours from the following: 8
SOC 270
Social Problems
SOC 317
Health, Wealth, and Poverty
SOC 325
Racism & Anti-Racism Through Film
SOC 335
Black Experience in the U.S.
SOC 336
Latino Experience
SOC 337
Asian-American Experience
SOC 338
Native American Experience
SOC 341
Urban Sociology
HSTY 315
Intro to Latinx Histories
PSY 409
Multicultural Psychology
Other Advisor Approved RJT course(s)
Total Semester Hours16