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.

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 Research Intensive Course courses.

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 350
Law and Society
SOC 375
Drugs and Society
SOC 380
Political Economy of Crime
Or other advisor approved criminology course.
Total Semester Hours8

Completion of Racial Justice and Tolerance (RJT) Certificate: 16 semester hours

Note: completion of this certificate is required for the Criminology major. See Racial Justice and Tolerance Certificate for requirements.