Sociology and Criminal Justice Department


The mission of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department is to enable students to understand the complexities of social life and to develop an awareness of the connections among themselves, their communities, society at large, and the global environment. By analyzing human behavior at these multiple levels, students are challenged to deepen their appreciation of cross-cultural perspectives, increase their understanding of patterns of inequality, and explore possible forces for social change. 

The Sociology and Criminal Justice Department serves the University's Mission by:

  • Offering courses that provide students with a scientific and systematic approach for evaluating social issues in their personal and professional lives;
  • Providing opportunities for students to explore, critique, and evaluate issues of difference in their daily lives, and opportunities for students to form alliances and to create solutions for social problems;
  • Offering students opportunities to explore their own political beliefs, personal convictions, cultural and faith traditions in the context of the classroom, community, and global diversity;
  • Challenging students to discover their potential as stewards who are empowered to make positive choices as they journey through relationships, neighborhoods, and workplaces that are increasingly diverse;
  • Further developing student commitment to issues of social justice, and encouraging engagement with social issues as a lifelong pursuit.

The Student Learning Outcomes for a criminal justice major are: 

  • Plan careers within the field of criminal justice after developing an understanding of basic principles relative to the field of criminal justice.
  • Build a solid base of knowledge from which to draw in the performance of their work in the field of criminal justice.
  • Gain practical experience and insight into the criminal justice system.
  • Gain a wider and deeper understanding of the society in which they will perform their duties and of the societal issues that contribute to and influence the work they will perform as criminal justice practitioners.
  • Realistically assess the requirements of a specific criminal justice career and their interests, aptitudes, desires, and abilities as well as build a substantial foundation on which to build their future professional lives.
  • Refine their oral and written communication skills appropriate to the level of academic achievement and the criminal justice employment opportunities sought by them.

 The Student Learning Outcomes for a sociology major are:

  • Develop analytical and critical thinking skills appropriate to evaluating the theoretical perspectives that comprise the disciplinary framework of sociology.
  • Develop the skills necessary to contribute positively to their communities, society, and the global context through professional leadership and sociological insight.
  • Critically evaluate their sense of vocation and their ethical values in relation to social problems at the local, national, and global levels.
  • Gain insights into their own personal experiences as positioned members of social institutions (SOC).
  • Practice appropriate and effective communication in both oral and written form that expresses their understanding and appreciation of diversity at multiple levels.