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We are World Changers

The Department of Sociology & Criminology is a student-centered department, offering programs and course work designed to expand awareness and understanding of the social causes and consequences of human behavior in groups, including diverse societies, cultures, and organizations.

Alumni Student
Sociology Major & Minor
Bachelor of Arts Program

With a degree in Sociology, students have a foundation for understanding and working in a globalizing world. 

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Student in AFT Gear
Criminology Major & Minor
Bachelor of Arts Program

As Kentucky's only Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, our program explores the theoretical principles to guide practical solutions to crime. 

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Certificate in Citizenship and Social Justice
Certificate Program

This undergraduate certificate focuses on the contemporary social issues that prepares students to be effective citizens and civic agents of change for the common good.

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As an academic community whose roots expose social inequality and seek to offer a path toward social change, many recent events have allowed us to see several sociological truths.  The pandemic has brought cascading illustrations of one of our most understood principles—the entanglement of people and their private troubles, with society and its public issues.  The discriminatory brutality and violence experienced in recent years also illustrates the connection between a fabric of inequality throughout our institutions and the personal trauma and grief of those who experience that inequality, all the while seeing the blindness of others in their community to their suffering. 

The Department of Sociology & Criminology at WKU sees the prejudiced, discriminatory, and violent actions occurring throughout our country, and we desire that our students have a framework for understanding these and other social events from a sociological perspective. We want our students to have the critical thinking skills to ask questions about the world around them and the ability to solve problems creatively. Our goal is to develop our students’ sociological imagination so they can see the world with open minds and open hearts. We want our students to think methodologically so they are critical of and ask questions about information they see every day. Finally, we want our students to feel welcome, accepted, seen, heard, and respected. Our faculty and students strive to be life-long learners to achieve our goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our note begins with an offering of solidarity and path for social change through current programming and the degrees we offer. The department of Sociology and Criminology also acknowledges that while our field of study utilizes scientific techniques to examine and illustrate the roots of systematic inequality in our society, we still have work to do as a department of individuals, as a unit in a system of higher education, as authorities over the curriculum we teach, and as a discipline. It is important to also admit that we need your help. As citizens of Kentucky, (perhaps) the US, and the world, public education needs your support. We encourage you to use your own power to make decisions which support unity, and opportunity for all.



Get Started

WKU is a student centered, applied research university. Our shadowing program provides students with an unique opportunity to get a better idea of what it might be like to be a student at WKU with a major in The Department of Sociology & Crimonology.

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Living Learning Student

Living Learning Communities

In a WKU Living Learning Community (LLC), students with similar academic or social interests live together on a residence hall floor and participate in activities tailored to their specific majors or interests. 

Criminology offers a Living Learning Community in the First Year Village's in Meredith Hall.

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Past graduates have pursued careers in: 

  • Social Services--Case Management, Crisis Management, Life Skills.
  • Justice Services--Law Enforcement, Courts, & Corrections.
  • Nonprofit Organizations & Counseling Agencies serving Victims of Criminal Offenses, At-Risk Youth, and Fragile families.
  • Health Services--Substance Abuse Education, Rehabilitation Counseling, Family Planning.
  • Businesses--Community Development, Advocacy, Public & Social Media Relations.


Career Connection Series

WKU Grad


intern student


Internships allow students to receive hands-on career experience, create a network of contacts, and in some cases receive course credit. Some interns find permanent employment with the organizations in which they worked upon completion of the internship. 

To help our students get started we offer Career Workshops on resume building and interview techniques.


Internship Information



Climb With Us

Departmental Faculty, Advisors, Staff, and Peer Mentors facilitate growth through our programs and facilitate connection to life beyond the hill through our research,Career Connections Series, Academic Internships, Study Abroad Programs, the Alpha Kappa Delta honor society, and theCriminology and Sociology Club facilitated by our Student Ambassadors.  


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Featured Sociology Courses


Examines causes of and responses to critical social problems in different world regions, with a focus on the dimensions and impacts of globalizations. Diverse social theories are applied to interpret problems such as environmental degradation, AIDS, family violence, racism, migration, international poverty, and crime. 

Colonnade: Local to Global 

Prerequisite(s): 21 hours of Foundations and Explorations Courses, or junior status

The five primary institutions (family, religion, economy, education government) as they affect and are affected by race, class, and gender in America. Explores interrelationships among those institutions and between various racial and other groups. Note: Consent of instructor. 

Colonnade: Systems Course

Prerequisite(s): SOCL 100 and 21 hours of Foundations/Explorations Courses/ or junior status | Note: Consent of instructor. 

Featured Criminology Courses


Survey of crime in the United States, focusing on theoretical explanations of crime causation, crime classification, and measurement.

Examines how social groups define certain behaviors, beliefs, and conditions as normative violations and the resulting stigmatization and sanctioning of norm violators. Topics include conceptual and theoretical issues, physical deviance, sexuality, and alcohol/drug use.




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 Last Modified 4/3/24