Criminology is a diverse field grounded in philosophy, which searches for answers to why people commit crimes, or whether there is such a thing as a born killer.


Criminology strives to understand the nature of crime and society, and the theoretical underpinnings that guide how people are punished, controlled or rehabilitated. The curriculum allows you to learn about the Criminological perspective, and gives you an understanding of the theoretical perspectives of the field. 

Students who successfully complete the criminology major will be able to:

  • Define, explain, and use the correct terminology applicable to the disciplines of criminology and criminal justice
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the components and functions of the criminal justice system (police, courts, corrections)
  • Articulate the historical development of key issues, policies, and practices in criminology and criminal justice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to research and analyze crime data
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the link between theoretical foundations of crime and the development of crime policy
  • Understand the ethical and social justice implications of criminology and social justice inquiry 

Criminology Concentrations


In the Justice Studies Concentration, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice provides students with a detailed understanding of the basic institutions of the criminal justice system. Students in this concentration take courses that detail all components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Stressing effective writing and analytical skills, the program also exposes students to criminological theory and research courses, which help them better understand the complex relationships between individuals, society, and the criminal justice system. This concentration is perfect for students who are interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or human services. It is also great for students who have a desire to continue to graduate or law school.


As one of the only programs in the region to offer a Victimology Concentration, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice strives to help prepare future criminal justice and victim service professionals to better understand the impact of victimization and the needs of crime victims. Students in this concentration take courses focusing on the types, scope, and consequences, as well as the resources and services available for victims. This concentration is perfect for students who are interested in pursuing a victim-focused career, such as a victim advocate, counselor, or coordinator at a domestic violence center. It is also great for students who simply have a desire to better serve victims in their future criminal justice professions (e.g., police officer, correctional officer, juvenile probation officer).

Criminology and Criminal Justice Minors:

Criminology Minor

Victim Studies Minor

Graduates of criminology are well prepared for careers in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Criminal investigation
  • Corrections
  • Probation
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Youth counseling
  • Crime analysis
  • Security management
  • Public administration
  • Graduate studies in law, criminal justice, forensic science and more



Additional Resources

  Faculty and Staff

J.W. Carter II
Department Chair & Associate Professor

Pierre Rivolta
Associate Professor

Billy Henson
Assistant Professor