When you sign a sociology major with a concentration in social and criminal justice, you’ll be submerged in a world that emphasizes community-based justice. This includes offender accountability and rehabilitation, meeting the needs of victims, and supporting community efforts to promote safety, security and conflict resolution. You’ll take courses in criminology, community corrections and alternative sentencing, inequalities and justice processes, and juvenile delinquency, and you’ll pursue internships with social, human service and justice agencies.
Put Your Degree to Work
Career opportunities include being a community corrections officer, juvenile court worker, prison counselor, probation and parole officer, victim advocate, or youth case worker. Careers in alternative sentencing and diversion programs, day treatment, community mediation, or social and human services are common. You’ll also be well prepared to pursue advanced professional studies.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Correctional officer||$38,970 per year||5% (23,000 more jobs)|
|Sociologist||$74,960 per year||15% (400 more jobs)|
|Social/community service manager||$59,970 per year||21% (27,700 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Sociology Major, Social and Criminal Justice Concentration
Total: 42 semester hours
Required Courses I
Systematic introduction to the field of sociology, its theories, concepts, and methods. Explores social relationships within the context of social structure. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Introduction to Social Research and Analysis
First in a two-part methods sequence with SOC 350. Basic research issues. Univariate, bivariate, multivariate analysis techniques in sociology and social work. Computer applications. Prerequisites: SOC 100; completion of math competency.
A review of sociological thought within its social and historical context, focusing on Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and the perspectives of symbolic interactionism and feminism. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
Social Research Methodologies
Second in methods sequence with SOC 200. Research methodologies. Observation and surveys; two from: experiments/single subject design; program evaluation; interviewing/focus groups; ethnography/community studies. Prerequisites: SOC 100; 200 with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better; or for PSY majors, PSY 211 with a grade of "C" (2.0) or better; six additional hours of sociology and/or social work.
Required Courses II
Select one of the following:
Study of class, gender, and other forms of social inequality, the impact of inequality and discrimination, and factors linking and perpetuating systems of inequality. Prerequisites: SOC 100 or 201 or 221. (University Program Group IV-A: Studies in Discrimination)
Racism and Inequality
Relations among dominant and subordinate groups focusing on racism as structural inequality. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group IV-C: Studies in Racism and Cultural Diversity in the United States)
Required Courses III
Introduction to Social and Criminal Justice
Components of the justice system. Social, criminal, and community-based focus. History, structure, functions, and philosophy of criminal justice system, and relationships to a just society. Prerequisite: SOC 100.
Nature, distribution, social construction, and theories of crime. Introduction to criminal justice processes. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or SOC 201 or SOC 221.
Inequalities and Justice Processes: Race, Class and Gender
Empirical and theoretical critique of class, race, and gender inequalities in justice processes that impede effective solutions to social problems. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or SOC 201 or SOC 221.
Community Corrections and Alternative Sentencing
Justice policies and practices of community corrections and alternative sentencing are featured, including intermediate sanctions, probation, parole, and prisoner reentry. Prerequisites: SOC 300 or both SOC 200 and 350; SOC 301; SOC 220 and an additional 9 hours of social and criminal justice coursework; or regular admission to the Sociology Graduate Program.
Internship in Social and Criminal Justice
Supervised practical experience in a criminal or social justice organization. CR/ NC only. Prerequisites: SOC 523 with a grade of C or better; permission of the course instructor.
Select one of the following:
Youth, Deviance, and Institutions
Sociological theories and research on youth considered "deviant" and their experiences with social institutions. Emphasis - topics such as runaways, prostitution, foster children, anorexia, addictions, sexuality. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
Nature, distribution, social construction, and theories of delinquency. Social reactions to delinquency including development of juvenile court and actions of juvenile justice agencies. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or SOC 201 or SOC 221.
SOC 422/SWK 422
Issues pertaining to youth welfare are related to broader organizational and structural features of society, including historical and comparative (international) perspectives. Identical to SWK 422. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisites: SOC/ANT 101 and a signed Global Justice Minor; or SOC 100 and a signed Youth Studies Minor; or SOC 200, SOC 301, and SOC 350.
Select two of the following:
Note: SOC 399 may be applied only when the special topic pertains to a social and criminal justice area, with permission of advisor.
Social Issues through the Prism of a Prison
Examination of core sociological areas of study including theory, class/gender/sexualities/race, collective action, and deviance. The course is offered inside a correctional institution. Prerequisites: SOC 100; permission of instructor.
Government and Corporate Crime
Definitions, concepts, theories and contemporary examples of organizational corporate and government (state) crime will be explored from a sociological perspective. Prerequisite: SOC 100. Recommended: SOC 220.
Special Topics in Sociology
Consideration of subject matter not included in courses currently listed in catalog.
Victimology is the scientific study of victims. Different forms of victimization, victim-offender relationships, and the interactions between victims and social systems/institutions are examined. Prerequisite: SOC 100.
This course examines modern-day human trafficking within the context of social justice and human rights. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or ANT 205 or SOC 205 or PSC 351.
The structural organizational, and functional dimensions of custodial institutions in American society, emphasizing social process of jails, prisons, training schools, mental hospitals, and nursing homes. Prerequisites: SOC 300 or SOC 200, 350 or PSC 280; SOC 301; or regular admission to the Sociology Graduate Program.
Sociology of Law
The association of law and social justice, social organization, stratification, and social control. Current issues in justice, law, and conflict resolution. Prerequisites: SOC 200, 350 (or SOC 300); SOC 301; or graduate standing.
Police and Community Relations
Community and police perceptions of police role in democratic society, police discretion, use of force, community policing, and related topics. Prerequisites: SOC 301, 350.