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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.

Declare a Criminology Major


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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.

Core Required Coursework (23 hours)

CRIM 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM 199 Collete & Careers in Criminology (1 hour)

SOCL 300 Using Statistics in Sociology

SOCL 301 Social Statistics Lab (1 hour)

SOCL 302 Strategies of Social Research 

SOCL 309 Social Deviance

CRIM 330 Criminology

One of the following Correlates Electives

     CRIM 332 Juvenile Delinquency

     CRIM 361 Race, Class, and Crime

     CRIM 446 Gender, Crime, and Justice

One of the following Systems of Social Control Electives

     CRIM 340 Criminal Courts &   

     CRIM 370 Issues in Policing

     CRIM 380 Punishment & Society

     CRIM 430 Comparative Systems of
     Juvenile Justice

     CRIM 432 Sociology of Criminal Law

     PS 328 Criminal Justice Procedures

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 370 Issues in Policing

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 447 Life-Course Criminology

CRIM 448 International Justice and Crime

CRIM 451 White Collar Crime

CRIM 456 Homicide and Serial Homicide

CRIM 489 Criminology Study Abroad

HIST 445 American Legal History to 1865

HIST 446 American 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

PHIL 211 Why are bad people Bad

PHIL 427 Philosphy of the Law

PS 220 Judicial Process

PS 326 Constitutional Law

PS 328 Criminal Justice

PS 350 Political Terrorism

PSY/PSYS 440 Abnormal Psychology

PSY 441 Aspects of Alcoholism

PSY 470  Psychology and the Law

SWRK 356 Services to Juvenile Offenders

PLS 225 Introduction to Law


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.

This 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.

Criminology Careers


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 Last Modified 10/24/23