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WKU Owensboro Undergraduate Programs


Criminology as a discipline arose directly from the field of sociology and examinations of crime and society's response to it are intricately tied to core sociological concepts. Criminology programs provide students with not only basic system level knowledge, but also a strong command of research methodologies and the direct application of theoretical principles into practical solutions to the crime problem. Compared with traditional criminal justice programs, criminology has a strong interdisciplinary focus and our program continues this tradition by considering the crime problem in society through an examination of theory, policy, and the broader implications of the crime response for society.

The Criminology curriculum provides a broad background for students pursuing a variety of careers. Specifically, students develop the skills most desired by today's employers including the ability to communicate effectively, frame and solve real world problems, and come to empirically driven solutions. Further, our programs provide preparation for research and administrative positions.

Students interested in government, political, science, psychology, forensics, social work, pre-law, political science, corrections, probation, parole, court administration, or nay related academic field or career will find the major in criminology academically and professionally rewarding. The major in criminology requires a minimum of 34 semester hours.

Employment opportunities for graduates from the criminology major program are expected to grow at a better than average rate between 2010 and 2020. The need for qualified graduates in criminology is apparent in the tremendous growth of criminology major programs over the past decade. The interdisciplinary and research-centered focus of the program will allow graduates to seek employment in a variety of vocations, including occupations within the criminal justice system, social services, nonprofit, governmental and public and private research agencies at the local, state, national or international level. The program will also prepare students for graduate study.



  • Forensics
  • Investigation
  • Research
  • Probation and Parole
  • Prevention Programming

For more careers and information, follow this link to the Career Services Center and select "Connect majors to careers". (Find Sociology)



For a listing of the coursework for this program, follow this link to the academic plan.

More information on course requirements can be found on the departmental webpage.


WKU Owensboro Requirements

120 college-level undergraduate semester hours including the following:

  • 39 semester hours of General Education, or General Education Certified/Associate or Arts/Science degree from KCTCS
  • 42 semester hours of upper-division credit (300-400 level courses)
  • 30 hours must be earned in residence (at WKU), at least 16 of which must be completed after the semester in which the student earned a cumulative total of at least 90 hours.



Internships and volunteering provide more for students than just networking, wages (if applicable) and work experience. These opportunities provide students a chance to take a career path for a "test drive." Internships and observations give students the opportunity to compare career expectations to work life reality and take control of making life decisions about their career. Please contact WKU Owensboro Career Services at (270) 684-9797 for more information or email for an appointment.

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 Last Modified 1/25/17