Criminology - Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology - Christopher Newport University

Department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology


Criminology is the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon. Criminologists explore the cause, extent, nature and control of criminal behavior in individuals and society. Critical approach general coursework/topics - Students will take classes that examine the definition of crime, its role in society, and its relation to power and inequality. Students will also learn how to critically interrogate the criminal justice system, the way in which it operates, and its impact on individuals and communities.

The two culminating elements of the criminology major are the capstone research project and the internship. In their capstone research, students design a research project, collect and analyze data, and present their findings. This project gives them experience identifying criminological questions that need to be answered, and then learning how to answer those questions through the original research.

Criminology majors also complete an internship at an agency of their choice. This allows students to better connect concepts learning in the classroom with real-world applications. In addition, it provides students with experience and skills to be more competitive in the job market. Our graduates pursue a variety of fields, including research and policy work, non-profits, prevention and re-entry programs, victim services, and criminal justice agencies.

Sample courses

This course provides a sociological analysis of the nature and extent of crime, beginning by assessing how crime is defi ned and measured. Students will identify patterns and trends in crime and examine elements of crime control and prevention, including police, courts, and correctional systems.

Prerequisite: CRIM 208 or SOCL 321.

This course takes a critical approach to examining the relationships between structural inequality, crime, and crime control. We will identify how social structures such as race, class, and gender are related to crime, victimization, and crime control and will explore a variety of potential causes and consequences of these inequalities.

Prerequisite: CRIM 208 or SOCL 205.

This course analyzes the origins of incarceration and its role in modern society. Topics include the defi nition and history of the carceral state, the evolution of corrections, prison and jail culture, parole, community corrections and alternative sanctions, mass incarceration, and the prison industrial complex. Students will examine how social power infl uences carceral policies and practices as well as how incarceration infl uences structural inequalities. Students will identify problems with the current correctional systems and assess potential reforms.

Accessible Undergraduate Catalog
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