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Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Undergraduate Specialization in Criminology

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The Department of Sociology offers a specialization in criminology designed to prepare students for careers in the criminal justice system (including law enforcement, correctional institutions, and court services) as well as advanced study in law or graduate work in sociology, criminology, or criminal justice. Our students are exposed to a broad array of issues, theories, concepts, and practices by dedicated and enthusiastic faculty. This specialization therefore offers students interested in learning about crime and justice issues the intellectual tools required to make real and substantive differences in the course of their careers.

Students seeking a criminology specialization will be required to take a combination of sociology and criminology courses. View a more thorough description of the requirements for the criminology specialization (pdf)

Graduates of the program are currently working in law enforcement agencies, juvenile and adult correctional facilities, adult and juvenile courts, probation and parole services, investigative services, and a variety of community corrections programs. Graduates often continue their education in graduate programs and advance in various careers including those in teaching and research institutions. 

Criminology Faculty

In addition to broad and comprehensive expertise offered among our faculty within the discipline of sociology, our faculty also contains faculty devoted to criminology with expertise in areas including courts, corrections, policing, inequality and criminal justice, intimate partner violence, and technocrime, to name a few. Below is a list of our criminology faculty with links to their department webpages.

Examples of Criminology Courses (course descriptions)

  • Sociology of Criminal Justice Systems (SOCIO 361)
  • Police and Society (SOCIO 362)
  • Youth and Crime (SOCIO 460)
  • The Criminal Justice System and Family Violence (SOCIO 470)
  • Criminology (SOCIO 561)
  • Sociology of Deviance (SOCIO 500)
  • Death Penalty (SOCIO 500) 
  • Crime, Media & Culture (SOCIO 500)
  • Technocrime, Security, & Society (SOCIO 550)
  • Social Construction of Serial Murder (SOCIO 562)


During their junior or senior year, students in the program may participate in a professionally supervised internship in a criminal justice or social service agency directly related to their career interests and aspirations. The aim of the supervised internship is to prepare beginning professionals for careers in a setting related to their major. Our students have held internships with the FBI, district attorney’s office, municipal and state police departments, family crisis centers, and community corrections. For details, contact Dr. Lisa Melander. 

Criminology Club

Students in the criminology specialization also have the opportunity to participate in the K-State Criminology Club. The group’s Facebook page can be found here.


Several scholarships are awarded through the department to students majoring in either sociology or criminology. Below are two examples of scholarships available to our students:

  • The Damon and Carrie Hininger Scholarship in Sociology, awarded to a sociology or criminology major.
  • The CCA Correctional Solutions Scholarship, awarded to a criminology major.

Criminology/Criminal Justice Professional Organizations

Below is a list of academic and professional organizations relevant to criminology students are encouraged to investigate.

Useful Links for Criminology Students

Below is a selection of links current or prospective criminology students might find handy.

Hear more from K-State Criminology Alumni!

Samuel Shubert - Detective, Riley County Police Department

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Erin Friedline - Captain, Riley County Police Department, Investigations Division

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Kristen Czugala - Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department Victims Services

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Maria Chavez - 2017 Graduate and Former Criminology Intern

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Kristina Smith - Savio House and Correctional Psychology Associates, Denver, Colorado

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Brie Madden Rodman - Attorney at Law

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Steven Waters - Special Agent, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives

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