Dec 04, 2022  
2018-19 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-19 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Criminology and Sociology

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Criminology and Sociology

Department Chair-Kardaras

Professors - Kardaras

Associate Professor - Mong, Poteet

Assistant Professors - Brennankane


Sociology and Criminology offers majors and minors in both fields.Major and minor requirements are found in the “Sociology and Criminology” section of this bulletin


Sociology is the systematic study of society, social institutions, social organization, and social behavior, focusing primarily on the influence of social relationships upon people’s attitudes and behaviors and on how societies are established and changed. Sociology has an extremely broad scope, encompassing, for example, the study of social theory, social change, social structures, gender, ethnicity and race. A major goal of sociology is to identify underlying and recurring patterns that shape and influence social existence and behavior across a wide range of dimensions and social relations. A sociology major who declares a second major in criminology or psychology is waived from the corresponding Seminar courses.

Criminology is the study of crime and criminal behavior, including forms of criminal behavior, the causes of crime, the definition of criminality, and the societal reaction to criminal activity. Related areas of inquiry may include juvenile delinquency, victimology (the study of crime victims), theories of crime and prevention, policing, and corrections. The criminology major requires students to complete course work in criminology and sociology. A criminology major who declares a second major in psychology or sociology is waived from the corresponding Seminar courses.

Mission Statement for Sociology and Criminology

Grounding in the liberal arts tradition is essential preparation for a strong undergraduate major and minor in sociology and criminology that prepares students for continued engagement with the world, social and civic responsibility, and the pursuit of graduate study and lifelong learning.

Sociology and Criminology Goals

The fundamental goal of an undergraduate education in sociology or criminology is to teach students to think scientifically about society, and social and individual behavior.  Scientific understanding requires:

  1. recognition of social, cultural, gender, ethnic and racial diversity;
  2. a broad and deep knowledge base incorporating both social and natural science aspects of each specific discipline;
  3. theoretical, methodological, and statistical competence;
  4. practical research, laboratory or field experience to generalize a scientific style of thought to the realm of application;
  5. effective communication skills; and
  6. sensitivity to ethical issues.

Sociology and Criminology Learning Outcomes


  1. can articulate the significance and complexity of the diversity of U.S. society (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, age, etc.).
  2. can assess the role of theory in shaping sociological and criminological knowledge.
  3. are able to demonstrate how social and structural factors influence human behaviors and the development of social existence.
  4. are able to express sociological and criminological ideas, respectively, clearly and coherently both in writing and orally.
  5. are able to apply critical thinking skills to social phenomena.
  6. can illustrate the importance of civic and ethical engagement and how applying the sociological perspective can reduce social problems in their communities, society, and the world.
  7. are able to recognize and ethically apply basic social science research methods, including: research design, data analysis, and interpretation.


Integrated with Capital University’s liberal arts core educational goals, the sociology and criminology major and minor prepares students with a curriculum that reflects a commitment to human understanding of social diversity and ethical practice in the pursuit of knowledge, professional careers, and graduate study. In the advancement of knowledge, sociology and criminology students throughout the curriculum are assigned primary source material, e.g., classical and contemporary scholarly works, journal articles, and research material.

As a community of learners, thinkers, and scholars, students have the opportunity to attend the sociology and criminology lecture series, colloquia, and to join national honor societies based on high academic achievement, e.g., Alpha Kappa Delta for sociology majors and Alpha Phi Sigma for criminology majors. Students with high academic achievement may qualify for membership in multiple honor societies.

Under the direction and/or supervision of sociology and criminology faculty, students have the option to complete an Undergraduate Thesis, study and research specialized topics, pursue additional majors and minors in, e.g., sociology, criminology, psychology, cultural studies, business, environmental science, international studies, and computational science. Students can further participate in faculty supervised internships, volunteer activities, and service-learning in a variety of private and public agencies, local, state, and national government, business, community-based organizations and social services, and law enforcement agencies.

A strong liberal arts curriculum is an integral element of an undergraduate major in any of the behavioral sciences and a vital component of professional practice and lifelong learning.  In addition to major requirements, students fulfill the undergraduate General Education goals and develop an individual degree plan of liberal arts and pre-professional electives.

World Languages and Cultures Requirement

Recognizing the importance of studying and understanding society, Sociology and Criminology majors are required to fulfill the language requirement by any of the following means:

  1. A student achieving an Advanced Placement (AP) language test score of 4 or better.
  2. A student that is fluent in a second language (bilingual or multilingual) can take a test to demonstrate proficiency. Proficiency in a second language is determined as having the equivalent to or greater than placement in a second year college language course.
  3. A student with second language proficiency acquired in high school can take a test to demonstrate proficiency. This requires having proficiency in a second language that is equivalent to or greater than placement in a second year college course.
  4. A student can complete two semesters of a world language at the college level (a student with prior world language experience may test out of first semester).
  5. A student can complete a semester-long study abroad experience in a non-English speaking country.
  6. A student in the Adult Education Program is exempt from the world languages and cultures requirement.

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