College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Criminology (B.A.)
At-a-Glance

Admission to major: No requirement other than good academic standing in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Minimum hours required for major: 38-41 (including SOC 101, 201, 250, 344, 351, 354, 400)

Minimum hours required for minor in Criminal Justice: 23 (see below)

Advising: Undergraduate Adviser and Student Handbook.

Student Honorary Society: Alpha Kappa Delta

Awards: Annual Distinguished Sociology/Criminology Student Award

Student Organizations: Sociology/Criminology Club

For Information: Contact the Sociology and Criminology Department. Phone: 216-687-4500

Criminology is the scientific study of crime and its causes. The major is interdisciplinary but draws primarily from the discipline of sociology. Students who complete the degree receive a broadly based liberal-arts education that hones their writing skills, research abilities, and critical thinking. Above and beyond the teaching of basic aspects and preparing students for careers in the criminal justice system, the program is designed to instill a scientific and systematic orientation towards this subject matter via courses in theory and research methods.

Students pursuing a major in Criminology take core courses in the fundamentals of criminology, additional courses focusing on key areas and issues in the study of crime, and courses in research methods. This program familiarizes students with the principal theories and research findings of criminology and is designed to develop critical-thinking abilities and the knowledge, research and writing skills central to a liberal-arts education. It prepares students for a wide variety of careers in applied criminal justice fields such as corrections, parole or policing, the field of justice research and in social-service settings. In addition, students who complete this concentration are well prepared for graduate work in criminology, one of the social sciences or law.

For more information, call the Sociology Department, 216-687-4500.

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Major-Field Requirements

In establishing the requirements for the major in Criminology, the Department of Sociology and Criminology maintains these objectives: to introduce students to interdisciplinary perspectives on various aspects of crime, to teach the principles of sociological research and the fundamental skills needed to use them, and to prepare students for advanced training at the professional and graduate-school levels.

A minimum of 38 hours is required for a major. The hours must include these core courses:

In addition, students must complete four electives from the two groups listed below, at least two of which must be from Group A:

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Internships in Criminology:

Students may qualify for a 4-credit internship in Criminology (SOC 491) by achieving an overall GPA of 3.0 in the major or minor, completion of the required courses, and junior or senior standing. Students who qualify must arrange an internship with the departmental coordinator (call 216-687-4500). Internships may be for up to 8 credit hours. However, only 4 of these hours may be applied toward the requirements for the major.

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Honors Program

The honors program is intended as an additional experience for criminology majors who have high GPAs and would like more in-depth training in sociology. A variety of honors experiences tailored to students' interests is offered including additional work in an established course, enrollment in a graduate course, participation in a faculty member's research project, supervised independent research, and service learning. Students must apply for the honors program no later than the end of their junior year; have completed 2 of the 4 upper-level core courses and a minimum of 60 credit hours; and have an accumulated GPA of 3.3 or higher in all classes. To graduate with Honors in Criminology, a student must participate in the honors program for two semesters, at least 4 hours per semester; receive a grade of at least B+ in each course taken for honors credit; and graduate with at least a 3.3 overall GPA. For further information contact the Department of Sociology and Criminology office, 216-687-4500.

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Minor Program: Criminal Justice

Students wishing to minor in Criminal Justice must complete three core, one law elective, and three general elective courses from the list below for a minimum of 23 semester credit hours:

  1. Criminal Justice Core Courses
  2. Law Electives:
  3. Elective Courses: (A course taken as a law elective cannot also be counted as a general elective).

For additional information, contact the chairperson of the Department of Sociology at 216-687-4500.

Note: A criminal justice certificate is also available. See College Certificate information .

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