The Master of Arts in Criminology is available completely online. The program explores major correlates of crime, delinquency, and deviance, and examines societal responses to crime and delinquency. Students gain insight into correction systems, penology, criminal law, rehabilitation and recidivism, while developing strong research skills to gather and analyze criminological data.
Students are exposed to the empirical study and evaluation of crime patterns in society using a social scientific perspective. The program challenges degree candidates to think about how prior and current research in the field of Criminology can be used to inform social and public policies.
The minimum requirements for acceptance are as follows:
The Criminology MA program only provides a non-thesis option and all courses are taught online using WKU's Blackboard Website.
In addition to courses outlined above, students must complete 5 elective courses for a total of 15 credit hours.
Approved Electives from within the Department of Sociology: Select at least 2 elective courses (6 hours):
Approved Electives from Outside Department: Select up to 3 elective courses (9 hours):
Please note the following as you plan your program of study:
With the Master of Arts in Criminology you will:
Employment opportunities within the field of criminology/criminal justice are expected to be excellent in the upcoming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field of criminology encompasses a broad range of career paths. Positions can be found in government agencies (accounting for approximately 50 percent of jobs), the private sector, and nonprofit agencies. Advanced technology and increasingly complex legal issues have led to specialized work in technology, computer security and intelligence.
Specific examples of entry-level career options include:
The salary range for those working in the field of criminology can range from $40,000 and $122,000 per year, depending on employer, location and level of experience, according to PayScale. The highest paying jobs will usually be with the federal government, though large municipalities may also pay at the higher end of the salary range.
Financial Aid includes grants, scholarships and loans for educational purposes. To qualify for federal student aid you must meet certain requirements. General eligibility requirements can be reviewed on the Federal Student Aid website. Here are a few basics to keep in mind:
WKU is a military friendly school. Veterans and active military are required to file additional forms for military tuition assistance. The Office of Veterans Affairs unit that helps ensure all appropriate information is on file. Visit the Veterans Affairs office website.
Dr. Nicole Breazeale
earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 with a focus in Community & Environmental Sociology, Her research interests include agri-food systems and rural restructuring and development, and the intersection between processes of globalization and localization of agriculture and food. Dr. Breazeale's courses include Community, Environment, & Development; Poverty & Inequality; Global Social Problems; Marriage & Family; Sociology of Agriculture & Food; and Research Methods.
Dr. Jerry Daday
earned his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 2004. His research interests include overlap and divergence between offenders and victims involved in violent crimes; the correlates of fear of crime in African countries; the influence of corruption on cross-national homicide; the influence and effects of health care utilization variables on homicide lethality in the United States, and ethnic conflict and how the international community via the International Criminal Court is prosecuting those accused of committing acts of genocide and crimes against humanity. Dr. Daday's courses include Criminology, Genocide, Sociological Theory, Quantitative Research Methods, and Human-Wildlife Conflict.
Dr. Holli Drummond
earned her MS in Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama in 1999 and a PhD in Sociology in 2004 from the University of Georgia. Her research involves analysis of the influence of circumstance on adolescent perception and behavior. Specifically, she has focused on the psychometric properties of several "Code of the Street" components, and evaluation of "Gendered Pathways" both to street code adoption and gang affiliation, as well as participation in violent behavior and risky sexual activity both in her home state of AL and in Medellin Colombia. Dr. Drummond teaches Juvenile Delinquency, Gender, Crime, and Justice, and Social Inequality. Her research specialty is quantitative analysis via Structural Equation Modeling.
Dr. James Kanan
earned his Ph.D. from Penn State in 1996. His teaching and research interests include: theories for criminal behavior, neighborhoods and crime, residential segregation and homicide, healthcare access and homicide, fear of crime, and the impact of television crime dramas on perceptions of evidence in the courts system (known as the CSI effect). Dr. Kanan teaches the Neighborhoods and Crime course in the Criminology MA program.
Dr. Kate King
earned her PhD from State University of New York at Albany in 1992. Her research interests include AIDS in prison, elderly inmates, women and the justice system, attitudes and language of inmates and correctional staff, and ethical decision-making by law enforcement officials. Current research is focused on the attitudes, experiences, and beliefs of family members of homicide victims; and how power is used by the justice system and the "alternative realities" of those engaged by it.Dr. King's courses include: Prison Culture, Victimology, Death Penalty, and AIDS in Prison.
Dr. Carrie Trojan
earned her Ph.D. from the City University of New York in 2009. She has collaborated with both local and federal law enforcement agencies in the past for research purposes and currently have manuscripts published in several criminological journals. Her research interests include: theories of criminal behavior, homicide and serial homicide, prior criminal offending of homicide offenders, investigative and solvability factors in homicide, behavioral crime scene analysis, criminal justice policy, and empirical tests of offender profiling assumptions. Dr. Trojan's courses include: Homicide, Offending Escalation, Crime Scene Pattern Analysis, Criminal Investigations, and Criminology.
Dr. Douglas Smith
earned his PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include environmental and natural resources, community, health and well-being, education, and collective behavior and social movements. Dr. Smith's courses include: Environmental Criminology, Community Sociology, Environment and Natural Resources Sociology, Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methodology, Social Psychology, Social Movements, Rural Education, and Rural Poverty.
To learn more about the faculty listed above, visit wku.edu/sociology/staff.