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Undergraduate Major in Criminology

As a scientific discipline, Criminology emerged from the field of Sociology. Core Sociological concepts inform explanations of crime and society’s response to it. WKU’s Bachelor’s program in Criminology provides students with the opportunity to understand the theoretical principles which guide practical solutions to issues associated with offending, victimization, and interactions with the Criminal Justice System. Compared with traditional criminal justice programs, Criminology has a strong interdisciplinary focus. Our program continues this tradition by studying crime through a societal lens as we examine theoretical explanations, policy developments, and the broader implications of solutions on the health and wellbeing of communities and society.

What Can You Do With A Major In Criminology?
Employment opportunities for graduates from the Criminology major program are expected to grow at a better than average rate over the next decade. The need for qualified graduates in Criminology is apparent in the recent growth of Criminology major programs. 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. Courses are available during the traditional spring and fall semester, online, during the summer and winter terms, and through independent learning.

 Required Coursework (22 hours)

CRIM 101 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 332Juvenile Delinquency (3 hours)*
CRIM 380Penology (3 hours)*
CRIM 499Senior Seminar (1 hour)

Elective Coursework (12 hours)

ANTH 300  Forensic Anthropology; CHEM 111 Intro to Forensic Chemistry; CHEM 430 Forensic Chemistry;CRIM 222 Introduction to Crime Mapping; CRIM 232 Introduction to Law Enforcement; CRIM 233 Alternatives to Confinement; CRIM 234  Crime and Popular Culture; CRIM 238 Victimology & Victim Advocacy CRIM 346 Special Topics in Criminology; CRIM 361 Race, Class, and Crime; CRIM 430 Comparative Systems of Juvenile Justice*; CRIM 432 Sociology of Criminal Law; CRIM 434 Organized Crime; CRIM 437 The Death Penalty in America; CRIM 439 Internship in Criminology; CRIM 446 Gender, Crime & Justice; CRIM 447Life-Course Criminology; CRIM 448 International Justice and Crime; CRIM 451White Collar Crime; CRIM 456 Homicide and Serial Homicide;CRIM 489Criminology Study Abroad; HIST 445 American Legal History to 1865; HIST 446American Legal History Since 1865; SOCL 359 Sexuality and Society; SOCL 389 Stigma and Society; SOCL 435 Family Violence*; PH 165 Drug Abuse*; PH 467 Drug Abuse Education; PH 472 Illicit Drug Policy in the US; PS 220 Judicial Process; PS 326 Constitutional Law; PS 328Criminal Justice; PS 350 Political Terrorism; PSY/PSYS 440 Abnormal Psychology; PSY 441Aspects of Alcoholism; PSY 470  Psychology and the Law;SWRK 356Services to Juvenile Offenders; PLS 225 Introduction to Law

 Primary Contacts for the Criminology Program:

Dr. James Kanan
112 Grise Hall

Dr. Carrie Trojan
110 Grise Hall


Dr. Kyle Maksuta
111 Grise Hall


Dr. Matt Pruitt
127 Grise Hall

Dr. Brittany Martin
107 Grise Hall


Dr. Pavel Vasiliev
104 Grise Hall

*Available by correspondence. Contact: WKU office of Independent Learning, Garrett Conference Center Room 101 270.745.4158



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 Last Modified 11/11/21