Criminology examines the making of laws, the nature and extent of crime and criminality, and efforts to control crime. The criminology program provides students with a strong foundation in sociological theory and research to foster a comprehensive and contextual understanding of crime and justice in society and the capacity to think critically and creatively about what does and doesn’t work in current crime control efforts. The organizations and institutions developed to respond to crime, in particular the criminal justice system, will be examined along with the related concepts of law and justice. Courses focus on the social construction or definitions of crime, the causes of crime and delinquency, and on the origin, nature, and consequences of societal reactions to criminal offending, including practices in both public and private justice agencies. Students pursuing careers in traditional criminal justice fields, such as policing, probation & parole, corrections and reintegration, will develop a strong foundation to work and effect social change in these fields. Criminology majors interested in careers in legal advocacy, community activism and social research will have the skills and knowledge enabling them to become transformational leaders in their profession.
The criminology curriculum emphasizes the importance of research-based knowledge, theoretically informed practice, critical analysis and ethical decision-making. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in experiential learning through courses and in the internship program with placements in criminal justice, juvenile justice, victim advocacy, and community-based agencies.
The criminology major prepares students for careers in the adult and juvenile justice systems – including law enforcement and criminal investigation, the courts, probation and parole, corrections, non-profit community based agencies, and victim services – or for graduate and professional programs in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, law, or legal and justice studies.
Students must complete all the major degree requirements. In addition, students must complete the world language requirement as specified in the Academic Policies section of the University Catalog. This requirement includes completion of the second level of a world language or completion of WL 100 Intro to Comparative Linguistics (3 c.h.) and ANTHR 106 Language, Thought and Culture (3 c.h.)/ENG 106 Language, Thought and Culture (3 c.h.), or completion of the second level of American Sign Language.
- Completion of 36 credit hours of criminology coursework is required for the major. All criminology majors will work with a faculty advisor who will assist in the selection of courses to complete academic requirements.
- A minimum grade of C is required in all courses counting toward the criminology major.
Specific Requirements for the BS Criminology Major
|CRIM 101||Introduction to Criminology||3|
|CRIM 205||Research Methods||3|
|CRIM 310||Criminological Theory||3|
|Select 27 credit hours of criminology electives||27|
A total of 27 credit hours of criminology electives are required for the major, including a minimum of 18 credit hours of upper-division electives. Electives accepted toward the major can include a maximum of 6.0 credit hours of anthropology and/or sociology. These courses must be approved by a criminology faculty advisor.
|CRIM 203||The Criminal Justice System||3|
|CRIM 212||The Forensics of Bones||3|
|CRIM 261||Cannabis and Society||3|
|CRIM 291||Special Topics (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
|CRIM 303||Crime and Deviance||3|
|CRIM 304||Race and Crime||3|
|CRIM 305||Women and Crime||3|
|CRIM 306||Delinquency and Juvenile Justice||3|
|CRIM 321||Cross-Cultural Perspective on Crime||3|
|CRIM 359||Community Corrections||3|
|CRIM 361||Cannabis Policy||3|
|CRIM 374||Crime in Film||3|
|CRIM 376||Crime & Society in Science Fiction||3|
|CRIM 401||Crime and Justice Studies||3|
|CRIM 405||Law and Society||3|
|CRIM 407||Family Violence||3|
|CRIM 410||Structural and Elite Crime||3|
|CRIM 411||Police and Society||3|
|CRIM 413||Patterns of Homicide||3|
|CRIM 414||Serial Murder||3|
|CRIM 415||Forensic Criminology||3|
|CRIM 417||Forensics & Homicide Investigations||3|
|CRIM 418||Crime, Drugs and Social Policy||3|
|CRIM 422||Terrorism and Mass Murder||3|
|CRIM 424||Organized Crime||3|
|CRIM 425||Gangs in Contemporary America||3|
|CRIM 426||Collective Violence and Rioting||3|
|CRIM 453||Inside-Out Prisoner Exchange||3|
|CRIM 455||Hate Crimes||3|
|CRIM 492||Research (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
|CRIM 494||Field Experience (CREDITS VARY)||1-12|
|CRIM 495||Independent Study (CREDITS VARY)||1-3|
The general education requirement for graduation includes a total of 35 semester credits in two categories: Skills Component and Knowledge Component. Please see the General Education Requirement section under Academic Policies for more information.
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of a BA or BS degree in Criminology:
- Students will be able to comprehend and criticize the major theoretical perspectives that inform modern criminological thought. Specifically, students will be able to:
- show what these perspectives have in common and how they differ and
- critique these different perspectives in terms of their explanatory strengths and weaknesses for purposes of understanding what each reveals and obscures about the subjects of criminological inquiry.
- Students will learn to apply a range of research methods in conjunction with criminological theory in order to explain and analyze complex social relations and organization, including crime, victimization, social control, law enforcement, courts, corrections, and victim services. Specifically, students will be able to demonstrate that they can:
- identify, define, and give examples of various methods used in criminological research on issues related to crime, law and justice, and
- recognize and interpret research methodologies used in criminological literature.
- Students will learn to apply social analysis to substantive criminal justice issues and diverse social concerns relevant to law, crime, and justice in contemporary society, including such areas as race, gender, power, inequality, and globalization. Specifically, they will be able to apply criminological theories and methods in these substantive areas in order to understand social problems impacting crime and to inform relevant policy and practice decisions, including crime-specific policy.
- Students will be able to engage in critical thinking about various aspects of social life and organization, with emphasis on deviance, crime, social control, and community and government organizations and institutions that respond to criminal victimization and offending behavior.