Criminology Department

Overview

The Department of Criminology offers a four-year program leading to a bachelor of arts degree in criminology. The program provides students with a liberal arts education whose focus is the complex relations among crime, law, and society, and which emphasizes the social sciences. The curriculum is a rigorous series of courses which provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of crime and crime control in contemporary, historical, and comparative perspective. The core of the curriculum is an integrated set of required courses. These courses are designed as a cumulative set of experiences and should be taken in sequence. Elective courses enable students to place their criminological interests in a broader perspective. Many students in the program are interested in social and human service occupations related to criminal, juvenile, and social justice. The program also prepares students for a wide variety of other career options and provides as excellent basis for graduate study in criminology, other social sciences, and law.

The Department of Criminology is well known for its critical perspectives and published research on criminological theory, gender, multi-cultural, and comparative analyses. The faculty have won regional, national, and international awards for scholarship, teaching innovations, and community service. In addition, all faculty members have had significant professional training and experience outside the United States, in Canada, Australia, Britain, Sweden and the former Yugoslavia.

While some students enroll in the major expecting to learn law enforcement skills and strategies, psychological profiling, forensic investigation, and approaches to prosecution, this is not what we teach. Our courses routinely examine social structural foundations of crime, deviance, and social harm, including the social control institutions, as well as the power dynamics involved in defining crime, prosecuting crime, and official sanctions for deviance and those "at risk". We systematically explore the dynamics of racism, sexism, and class inequality as they impact perceived realities of "crime". The faculty do not accept depictions of "crime" at face value. Maybe there are "normal" activities which might be regarded as "crimes"? Conversely, maybe there are "crimes" which might not be regarded as such? We explore the concept and its use within the broader discipline of criminology through our research, teaching, and community service.