Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

Do you have a passion to study crime and its impact on communities? Go beyond the legal definitions of criminality with a major in criminology. The understanding of criminal activity changes as society continues to change, and the need to understand how and why such behavior occurs will continue to grow.

Criminology treats crime as the product of complex social forces, seeking to understand its nature and causes as well as the successes and failures/limitations of criminal justice approaches and processes. Students acquire knowledge of social structure and culture along with analytical tools that are highly valued in careers in criminal justice, social services, and business. The major also provides an excellent foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate or professional study, such as law. 

Career Opportunities

The holistic societal perspective prepares graduates to pursue a broad range of careers such as policing, security, corrections, law, social services, and business. The major also prepares students for graduate studies in the social sciences in pursuit of academic or applied research careers or for professional training in law, public administration, social work, and related fields.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.

Benchmark Expectations

Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 overall and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all SOCA and CJ courses counting toward major requirements.  All majors must meet with their adviser every semester.  Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all SOCA and CJ courses required in the major.
GEF Elective Requirements (2, 5, and 8)15
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
MATH 124Algebra with Applications (GEF 3)3
SOCA 101Introduction to Sociology (GEF 4)3
STAT 211Elementary Statistical Inference (GEF 8)3
SOCA 105Introduction to Anthropology (GEF 7)3
SOCA 232Criminology3
CJ 101Introduction to Criminal Justice3
WVUE 191First Year Seminar1
SOCA 200-level Elective3
ECAS Fine Arts Requirement (GEF 6)3
Foreign Language12
Total Hours60

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
SOCA 101 (GEF 4)3ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3
MATH 124 (GEF 3)3SOCA 105 (GEF 7)3
WVUE 1911Foreign Language3
ECAS Fine Arts Requirement (GEF 6)3GEF 23
Foreign Language3GEF 53
Elective 2 
 15 15
Second Year
SOCA 2323ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
STAT 211 (GEF 8)3CJ 1013
Foreign Language3SOCA 200-level Elective3
GEF 23Foreign Language3
GEF 83GEF 83
 15 15
Total credit hours: 60

Major Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of the A.A. degree, Criminology majors will be able to:

  1. Describe the social roots and implications of criminal behavior and the operation of the criminal justice system.
  2. Apply the theoretical and methodological tools of sociology to make sense of crime and social control in modern society.
  3. Distinguish between criminology’s sociological approach to crime and the related field of criminal justice, which emphasizes the procedural activities of criminal justice agencies.  



  • Catie Snider - M.A. (University of Montana)
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