May 18, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Criminology and Sociology

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Criminology and Sociology

Department Co-Chairs-Kardaras, Mong

Professors - Kardaras

Associate Professors - Mong, Poteet

Assistant Professor - Kane


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 inequality, including gender, ethnicity, race and social class. 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 the causes of crime, the definition of criminality, and the societal reaction to criminal activity. Related areas of inquiry may include juvenile justice, victimology (the study of crime victims), the criminal justice system, and white collar crime. 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

Grounded in the liberal arts tradition, the mission of the Sociology and Criminology department is to prepare students to critically analyze social systems and structures and evaluate how these affect human existence and shape life chances.  A variety of foundational learning experiences prepare students to pursue endeavors in a wide range of professions and fields, including advanced studies, graduate school, and law.  The program emphasizes a sustained commitment to social and civic responsibility, and lifelong learning.

Sociology and Criminology Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify, describe, and analyze the significance and complexity of the diversity of society (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, age, etc.)
  2. Assess the role of  theory in shaping sociological and criminological knowledge.
  3. Demonstrate, examine, and critically analyze how social and structural factors influence human behaviors and the development of social existence.
  4. Communicate sociological and/or criminological ideas clearly and coherently in a variety of formats and to diverse audiences.
  5. Apply critical thinking skills to social phenomena. 
  6. Illustrate the importance of civic and ethical engagement and how applying the sociological perspective can reduce social problems in communities, society, and the world. 
  7. 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 classical and contemporary scholarly works, journal articles, and research material.

As a community of learners, thinkers, and scholars, students may have opportunities to participate in faculty supervised internships in local, state, and federal agencies, as well as businesses, and community-based organizations. Students with high academic achievement majoring in Sociology or Criminology may qualify to be nominated to honor societies: Alpha Kappa Delta for sociology majors and Alpha Phi Sigma for criminology majors. 

Under the direction and/or supervision of sociology and criminology faculty, students have the option to complete research on specialized topics, and pursue additional majors and minors in, e.g., sociology, criminology, psychology, cultural studies, business, environmental science, international studies, and computational science. 

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 Signature Learning objectives and develop an individual degree plan of study.

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 or American Sign 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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