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The Criminology Core curriculum emphasizes criminological theory, criminal behavior and other aspects of crime. The focus of this core is primarily theoretical, incorporating critical aspects of social inequality and social justice. However, there are also opportunities to explore the 3 C’s of criminal justice: cops/police, courts/law and corrections/prisons.

For the Criminology Core curriculum, students must take Criminology and 2 of the courses listed below (9 credit hours):

  • SOCI 5270 Criminology (3)
  • Choose 2 of the following
    • CJUS 5160 Organized Crime (3)
    • SOCI 5140 Race, Ethnicity and Policing (3)
    • SOCI 5240 Violence & Society (3)
    • SOCI 5280 Global Crime (3)
    • SOCI 5600 Approaches to Dispute Resolution (3)
    • SOCI 6500 Seminar in Sociology (3-4; criminological emphasis; must be selected in consultation with advisor)
    • Special Topics in the Field of Criminology (SOC/ANTH/PSYC 5350/6350) only one course from Special Topics can be selected. Must be selected in consultation with advisor.

The foundational component of the core provides the theoretical and methodological foundation. This part of the core includes four (4) required courses (13 credit hours):

  • SOCI 5300 Data Analysis (4)
    OR
    PSYC 6010 Data Analysis and Statistics (4)
  • SOCI 6300 Research Methods in Sociology (3)
  • SOCI 6380 Classical Sociological Theory (3)
  • SOCI 6390 Contemporary Sociological Theory (3)

The program’s electives will provide opportunities for students to focus on other aspects of the fields of crime, criminal behavior, criminal justice, and social justice. Students will be able to craft this aspect of their academic program based on their professional and personal interests. The electives offered will vary, depending on the interest of students and faculty. (6-9 Credit Hours)

List of Electives

  • SOCI 5120 Social Stratification (3)
  • SOCI 5290 Gender & Society (3)
  • SOCI 5340 Political Sociology (3)
  • SOCI 5930 Race and Ethnic Relations
  • SOCI 6900 Independent Study (1-4 VC)
  • SOCI 6920 Independent Research (1-4 VC)
  • SOCI 6980 Field Experience/Internship (1 – 6 VC)
  • ANTH 5220 Magic, Witchcraft and Healing (3)
  • ANTH 5560 U.S. – Mexico Immigration: Border Issues (3)
  • PSYC 5080 Drugs and Behavior (3)
  • PSYC 5660 Psychology of Eyewitness Testimony
  • SOWK 5290 Family Violence (2)

Finally, to complete the degree, students will need to choose one of the following options:

Degree Completion – 2 options

  • Thesis Track – SOCI 6990 (4 credits) and the completion of a thesis with a criminological focus (strongly recommended for students intending to pursue doctoral degree)
  • Professional Paper Track – Additional elective courses at the 6000-level (4 credits) and (1) professional/publishable paper with a criminological focus (recommended for students pursuing a terminal master’s degree)

Total minimum credits required for MA in criminology: 32

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