Criminology is a social science approach to studying law making, law breaking, and the social responses to crime. The principal elements of criminology are social science theory and research methods that explore all aspects of crime and justice issues.
While the criminal justice system includes the police, courts and corrections, our research and teaching explores the broader social context within which the criminal justice system exists. The justice system has developed into a major social institution in modern American society. It consists of over 60,000 local, state and federal agencies with nearly 2 million employees at an annual cost of more than $145 billion.
Students find the subject matter of criminology fascinating and the abundant career opportunities encouraging
What the Criminology Program provides
The Criminology Program at UNCW provides students with a strong social science foundation. Graduates are prepared to directly enter the profession in fields such as corrections, probation and parole, police services or to continue on to graduate school and law school. The rigorous curriculum empowers students with a deep understanding of crime and justice as well as an appreciation of American society and its diversity.
Depending on the concentration selected, Criminology or Criminal Justice, core courses include Introduction to Criminal Justice, Introduction to Sociology, Criminology, Methods of Social Research, Data Analysis and a Senior Seminar.
In addition, students are able to choose among a host of primary electives such as Victimology, White Collar Crime, Collective Violence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Police in Society, Criminal Courts, and Corrections.
A variety of secondary elective courses are offered such as Minorities, Crime and Criminal Justice Policy, Juvenile Justice, Law of Evidence, and Comparative Criminology. Several sociology courses are also required to complete the major.
Students are encouraged to complete a practicum (internship) in a criminal justice agency. Field placements may include the local police and sheriff's departments, the District Attorney's office, Probation and Parole, Juvenile Services, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the Center for Missing Persons. Junior and senior-level students may enroll in the practicum program.
Go to our Public Sociology and Public Criminology Cluster Studies page for more information about the projects faculty and students are working on throughout the year.