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Dr. Roksana Badruddoja
Chair of the Department

Dr. Madeleine Novich
Director of Criminology

Criminology, as an interdisciplinary major, builds on the strengths of the social sciences and humanities, and ties together the Department’s areas of interest, including qualitative and quantitative methods of research (mixed methods approaches), economics, gender, class, critical race theory, social movements, crime, terrorism, social service, anthropology, and geography. The major focuses on contemporary empirical issues like policing, mass incarceration, cybercrime, drugs, and comparative criminal justice.

The program objectives are threefold:

  1. Criminal Etiology: Students in the degree program will learn criminological theoretical foundations to objectively determine root causes of criminal and socially deviant behavior in terms of extraneous factors, including behavioral, social, sociological, cultural, and economic.

  2. Penology: Students will develop evidence-based, effective, and humane/socially just means for analyzing deviant behavior and understanding culturally appropriate responses to crime and criminality. 

  3. Sociology of Law: Students will examine how laws are made and enforced.

The program covers a range of exciting, important, and timely criminology topics that will challenge preconceptions and broaden perspectives through a wide variety of courses, including electives such as Modern American Gangs, Contemporary Policing, Criminal Justice Ethics, and Mass Incarceration and Collateral Consequences.

As a criminology major, you will:

  • Analyze the U.S. class structure and how class status affects one’s life
  • Learn the logic and skills of social scientific research
  • Gain first-hand experience collecting and analyzing data
  • Survey major sociological theories, tracing contemporary approaches to classical sociologists
  • Complete a capstone project based on original research

There are a vast number of career trajectories and opportunities for students graduating with degrees in criminology. The program prepares individuals aiming to pursue careers in policy evaluations, program evaluation, justice focused non-profits, law enforcement, political think-tanks, law school, and federal agencies, to name a few. Many criminology students choose to pursue graduate work, including law school.

Criminology Major

Requirements for a Major in Criminology

All majors must complete the following 33 credits with a minimum grade of C for all courses in the major:

Criminology Core15
SOC 253Crime Mapping (Spring)3
SOC 270Criminology (Spring)3
SOC 294Gender, Crime & Justice (Fall)3
SOC 307Research Methods (taken Fall of Junior/Senior year)3
SOC 416Seminar in Sociology (taken Spring of Senior year) Prerequisites for criminology majors: SOC 270, SOC 307, and Structural Inequalities3
Criminology Electives15
PSYC 257Forensic Psychology3
SOC 273Mass Incarceration and Collateral Consequences3
SOC 275Issues in Contemporary Policing (Fall)3
SOC 308Juvenile Justice3
SOC 310Sociology of Deviance3
SOC 313Family Law (Fall)3
SOC 317Anthropology of Drugs3
SOC 323Constitutional Law: Governmental Powers (Cross listed: POSC 323)3
SOC 326Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties (Cross listed: POSC 324)3
SOC 327Power and Conflict3
SOC 361Criminal Justice Administration3
SOC 362Modern American Gangs (Spring)3
SOC 364Law and Society (Spring)3
SOC 366White Collar Crime3
SOC 367Criminal Justice Ethics (Cross listed: RELS 399)3
SOC 369Current Issues in Criminal Justice3
Structural Inequalities Distribution3
SOC 290Codes of Gender (Fall)3
SOC 295Capitalism (Fall)3
SOC 296 Introduction to Human Geography (Spring)3
SOC 302Race and Resistance (Spring)3
SOC 304Social Inequalities (Spring)3
Total Credits33

Criminology majors interested in Geographic Information System (GIS), e.g. crime mapping--create, manage, analyze, and map crime data--can choose to pair the major with either a concentration or minor in Geography and requires consultation with the geography departmental advisor and must be approved by the Department Chair Dr. Roksana Badruddoja. Criminology majors interested in concentrating in Social Services requires departmental advising and must be approved by the Department Chair Dr. Roksana Badruddoja. A double major in Criminology and Sociology requires departmental advising and must be approved by the Department Chair Dr. Roksana Badruddoja

The Department strongly recommends that all students in the criminology major complete a faculty-supervised internship for elective credit in a local social service agency: Sociology 475. Internship (3 credits). Assistance with locating a suitable placement is available with the Director of Criminology Dr. Madeleine Novich or at the Center for Career Development.