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Bachelor of Arts in Criminology


Criminology Bachelor's Degree

As sociologists, criminologists study factors such as when and where crimes are most often committed, the reasons for criminal behavior, and the types of crimes most often committed. They may also research crime's effect on society at large, and the government's response to crime. Criminology draws on the fields of sociology and psychology more than the field of forensics. Jobs often rely on the ability to predict criminals' moves. Many graduates work in law enforcement, the prison system, juvenile corrections, probation or parole, or use the bachelor’s degree to prepare for graduate or law school. 

The major in Criminology leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree and requires 34 credit hours in the major program of study (criminology). All required classes are available online with the exception of Penology (CRIM 380). Additional requirements include a minor or second major and completion of the Colonnade program (formerly general education) for a total of 120 credit hours. Complete degree requirements for bachelor degree candidates are available at wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Starting your bachelor's degree program can be completed by following the steps below:

  • Apply for admission 
  • Submit Required Materials:
    • Beginning Freshmen: An official high school transcript (no faxed transcripts accepted) and ACT or SAT scores. Students over the age of 21 may substitute the ACCUPLACER for ACT/SAT.
    • Transfer Students: Send your official transcripts from each college attended to Undergraduate Admissions. You may request electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. This speeds up the admissions process considerably. If your school is not listed with the Clearinghouse, please contact them directly to see if they have another process in place for electronic submissions or request that an official copy be sent by mail. Transfer students with fewer than 24 semester hours of college credit earned, must also submit high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores.

To Apply to WKU:

Complete the WKU Domestic and International Undergraduate Application

Under Planned Course of Study Section, Choose:

  1. Category of Study >>> Bachelor's Degree
  2. Planned Course of Study >>> Criminology
  3. Primary Location >>> Web (online)

Admission Application Deadlines

Kentucky and Out-of-State Residents

  • Fall Semester: August 1
  • Spring Semester: January 1
  • Summer Term: May 1

International Students

  • Fall Semester: April 1
  • Spring Semester: September 1
  • Summer Term: March 1

The major in criminology requires a minimum of 34 semester hours within the major, which includes 22 credit hours of core requirements and 12 credit hours of approved electives, plus a minor or second major and the Colonnade program (formerly general education) for a minimum of 120 credit hours. Currently all core requirements are available online except CRIM 380. Students majoring in criminology may not have a second major in sociology. Please work with your advisor or support staff in WKU Online to identify online options. 

Core Requirements (22 hours)

  • CRIM 231 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 hours)
  • SOCL 300 Using Statistics in Sociology (3 hours)
  • SOCL 302 Strategies of Social Research (3 hours)
  • SOCL 309 Social Deviance (3 hours)
  • CRIM 330 Criminology (3 hours)
  • CRIM 332 Juvenile Delinquency (3 hours)
  • CRIM 380 Penology (3 hours) 
    Penology (CRIM 380) is not currently available online, please contact program advisor for additional options
  • CRIM 499 Senior Seminar (1 hour)

Approved Electives (12 credit hours/4 classes)

CRIM 232 Introduction to Law Enforcement       

SOCL 435 Family Violence

CRIM 361 Race, Class, & Crime

PS 220 Judicial Process

CRIM 432 Sociology of Criminal Law

PS 326 Constitutional Law

CRIM 434 Organized Crime

PS 328 Criminal Justice

CRIM 437 The Death Penalty in America

PS 350 Political Terrorism

CRIM 438 Victimology

HIST 445 American Legal History to 1865

CRIM 439 Internship in Criminology

HIST 446 American Legal History Since 1865

CRIM 446 Gender, Crime & Justice

SWRK 356 Services to Juvenile Offenders

CRIM 451 White Collar Crime

PSY 440 Abnormal Psychology

SOCL 359 Sexuality & Society

PSY 441 Aspects of Alcoholism

SOCL 435 Family Violence

PH 165 Drug Abuse


Recommended Sequence of Courses

Certain courses may offered on a rotating basis, so please plan your program of study carefully. Contact Dr. James Kanan or Dr. Holli Drummond for additional information on course offerings.

Program Contact

Karen Hume
Email: karen.hume@wku.edu
Phone: (270 745-2150

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5173
Toll-Free: (888) 4WKUWEB / (888) 495-8932 

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.



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 Last Modified 4/26/18