Bachelor of Science with a Major in Criminology
Building Knowledge, Promoting Justice
The Department of Criminology is committed to providing quality instruction to students on subjects that fall within the scope of the discipline, conducting research that contributes to the body of knowledge in criminology and criminal justice, and engaging in service grounded in the practical application of our knowledge and skills. Its faculty represents broad and varied backgrounds in working within the criminal justice system and human services, as well as conducting research on a wide range of criminal justice issues. We seek opportunities to involve students in a range of professional activities to facilitate their entry into the job market or post graduate studies.
For more information, please see the Academic Catalog. A program map, which provides a guide for students to plan their course of study, is available for download in the Courses tab below.
The B.S. Criminology curriculum encompasses a comprehensive study of both crime and criminal justice systems. The focus for undergraduate students is to achieve academic competencies in criminology/criminal justice. The program promotes a critical examination of crime and justice issues and the development of analytical and communication skills.
For new students, degree completion is possible in as little as 3 years (15 credit hours per semester, including summer). Undecided or transfer students who have completed basic core courses could complete the major courses in as little as 4 semesters (15 credit hours per semester). Degrees are conferred in May, August, and December.
Required core courses for this program are listed in the undergraduate catalogue--options for fulfilling all core requirements are available 100% online (through eCore or other UWG Online offerings). For more info, see the Dept of Criminology Website.
Buzzfile - Careers by Major:
http://www.buzzfile.com/Major/Criminal-Justice External Resource
Carrollton Campus, Online
Method of Delivery
Coursework is available 100% online; required orientation can be done on campus or virtually.
The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Credit and transfer
Total semester hours required: 120
Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 90
A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team (firstname.lastname@example.org). Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.
This program may be earned entirely online, entirely face-to-face, or anything in between.
UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited university of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen. In addition, online courses and programs can mean a cost-savings in many non-evident ways: No more high gas charges. No childcare needed. The flexibility can allow one to maintain a job while attending school. Regardless of state residency, out-of-state non-resident students are not charged non-resident tuition for online course credit hours.
- Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
- The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
- Face-to-Face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
- Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
- Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
- One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, they will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
- For the cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website
There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.
This list does not include the basic core courses required of the degree. These core courses are available online through the eCore program or other UWG offerings.
All required major courses for the B.S. in Criminology will be offered over the next year and are described below. Courses require no campus visits. Students may begin the program any semester.
This course provides an overview of the criminal justice system in the United States. Topics covered include definitions and measures of crime, fear of crime, victims of crime, law enforcement, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice.
This course will provide an overview of issues and controversies in criminology. In addition to a survey of the major criminological series, the course concentrates on the major types of crimes committed in America society. Additionally, students will be exposed to how major societal institutions impact upon crime control efforts. Finally, problems associated with the measurement of crime are considered.
This course will examine the types and patterns of juvenile delinquency and the social and institutional context within which delinquency occurs. Major theories of delinquency will be presented. The juvenile justice system will be discussed with a focus on historical changes and contemporary challenges.
Law enforcement in America will be examined at the federal, state and local levels. The history of law enforcement, the structure and functions of law enforcement agencies and the role of police in society will be covered. In addition, the course will explore the management of police and the challenges facing police administrators.
Criminal Procedure covers the major U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding law enforcement. These cases provide the boundaries which facilitate as well as limit the actions of law enforcement officers in such activities as: 'stop and frisk', arrest, questioning, surveillance, vehicle stops and searches, as well as search and seizures which yield evidence admissible at trial. Also emphasizes legal reasoning and interpretation as well as the fundamental elements of case briefing and jurisdiction.
This course introduces students to the history, traditions, and philosophy of criminal courts in America. It focuses on the organizational structures of the courts at the local, state, and federal levels. Students will learn about the various legal actors(e.g., judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys) and the roles they play in the courtroom. Finally, this course examines the nature of criminal law and the procedures that must be followed when defendants enter the judicial system from arraignment to sentencing.
Corrections in America will be examined at the federal, state and local levels. The history of incarceration, the structure and functions of jails, prisons, and community corrections and the role of corrections in society will be covered.
As we look around the world, we witness a vast array of individual, corporate, and state criminal activity that is varied in its scope, intensity, and effect upon society. The amount and variety of global crime is immense, and in order to fully appreciate its dimensions, we must impose certain definitions and perspectives. Two of the most important variables to understand are the influences of culture and globalization on the causes and responses to crime around the world. Although it may be difficult to comprehend why such crime persists decade after decade, the search for these answers uncovers a challenging and fascinating tapestry of criminal activity.
An overview of the major historical developments in criminological theory, with an emphasis on basic assumptions, concepts, and propositions of criminological theories of crime.
A study of the past, present, and future trends, issues and philosophies of corrections. Particular emphasis will be placed on the issues and concerns of the maximum security prison.
An examination of the current and historical patterns of alcohol and drug use, abuse, and control. Strong emphasis will be given to patterns of usage and types and kinds of programs used by helping agencies in the rehabilitation process. Same as CHM 3140.
Covers the fundamental elements of criminal law such as mens rea and actus reus as well as crimes such as murder, burglary, assault and battery. Significant cases and articles on historically well-established crimes will be examined as will some of the contemporary and more controversial crimes or instances of crime. Legal reasoning interpretative skills will be emphasized.
Provides an in-depth analysis of the victims of crime. This course focuses on the historical development of victimology, which emerged in the 1940's as an independent field of study as well as surveying some of the more recent works by contemporary thinkers.
This course examines the basic principles of criminal investigation. Coverage includes study of current investigative procedures used in handling of crime scenes, interviews, evidence, surveillance, report writing, modus operandi, and technical resources. In addition, this course explores theories, philosophies, and concepts related to prevention, apprehension, and suppression of crimes.
This course examines the advanced methods of investigating crimes and crime scenes, with special focus on the investigation of the crimes of burglary, robbery, forgery, homicide, assault, and bombings. Providing testimony in court, assessing modus operandi, and developing personality profiles will also be examined, as well as obtaining fingerprints and other types of latent evidence.
Examines sociological and psychological evidence that can be useful in the context of criminal investigations. Explores the types of questions that profiling attempts to answer; the aspects of crimes, crime scenes, and criminals that profilers are interested in; and, the general types of information often contained within criminal profiles. Concludes by looking at specific types of crimes for which profilers are sometimes employed, including sociological and psychological characteristics of serial arsonists, rapists, and murders.
Critically examines the relationships between the social sciences and the legal system with particular attention to the participation of mental health professionals in the resolution of legal issues. Analyzes select socio-legal controversies that lie at the forefront of this emerging interdisciplinary relationship. Specific topics addressed include: the prediction of dangerousness; competency to stand trial, be executed, represent oneself, and refuse treatment; the insanity defense; jury selection; jury decision-making; eyewitness testimony and accuracy concerns; and the testimony of children in court.
This course provides students the opportunity to engage in faculty-directed research by working on an independent project or by working as an assistant to a faculty member. May be taken twice for credit toward the degree.
An introduction to the logic and procedures of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Focuses on research design, use of computer and statistical packages, date interpretation, the relation of research and theory, and the writing of scientific research reports.
This course will introduce one of the most common research methods used in the field of criminology: the survey. Topics covered will include sampling, modes of conducting surveys, question wording, and dealing with non-response. In the later part of the semester, students will gain practical knowledge of the topic by conducting live telephone interviews.
Provides a systematic, precise, and rational perspective based on probability theory. Learn descriptive and inferential statistics and computer application of statistical packages. Same as PSYC 4003 and SOCI 4003.
CRIM 4004 Managing Data 3/0/3 This course teaches students to build and manage databases using SPSS. An emphasis is placed on working with large national data sets, including those available through the U.S. Census Bureau and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Although a basic understanding of research methods and statistics is helpful, it is not necessary for this course. PRE-REQUISITES: CRIM 1100
The course is an introduction to crime mapping with a focus on the fundamentals of crime analysis. Students will examine concepts, theories, practices, data, and analysis associated with crime analysis for law enforcement using crime mapping software (ArcGIS and CrimeStat).
This course examines how conflict management skills could be used in the field of law enforcement to mitigate conflict escalation. Conflict Management theories and techniques have long been used as the foundation of negotiations and international diplomacy on a macro level. This class offers ways in which these same skills can be applied to micro situations. People working in law enforcement must have the ability to interact with political figures, administration, supervisions, subordinates, and the community. Officers with knowledge of conflict management would be more effective in communicating with people from across the community and with interagency situations.
This class provides an overview of violent crime in America. It will offer the student readings which incorporate research on violence, theoretical causes of violent crime, and the application of current knowledge to social policy. Course topics include the patterns of violent crime, theoretical explanations of violence, prevention of violent crime, and the punishment/treatment of violent offenders.
The main focus of this course is on examining a variety of contemporary issues in police deviance. Controversies have arisen regarding officer misconduct, racial profiling, excessive use of force and noble cause corruption. The controversies provide a context for studying the ethics of police deviance.
Focuses on major moral theories and ethical decision making in the field of criminal justice. Conflicting loyalties, competing social demands, and subcultural strains specific to criminal justice will be explored.
This course will introduce students to the participation of women in the criminal justice system. Offenses committed by females, laws peculiar to females, and the treatment of females by the system will be explored. Women as professionals and their impact on the system will also be discussed.
This course will examine family violence from both a personal and social perspective. Research and theory in family violence will be discussed, along with types of relationships, incidence, prevalence, inter-personal dynamics, contributing factors, consequences, social response and services. Prevention strategies will be explored.
This course will examine the history of youth gangs in the U.S. and how gangs have changed over time. Students will learn about contemporary gangs and their activities, why youths join gangs and how gangs relate to the larger society.
An interdisciplinary course which looks at the justice systems of such countries as: England, France, China, Japan, South Africa and the Islamic States as well as a brief look at the history of the Western Legal Tradition. Comparisons are made for the purpose of answering such questions as: What do the various notions of justice entail? How do they differ? Why? How are they enframed by their philosophical and belief systems? How do the outcomes of their applications of justice differ?
This course will examine the roles of the criminal justice system and the private sector in preventing crime. The historical developments of crime prevention methodologies including: community involvement, education, and awareness programs, governmental intervention, target hardening, and environmental design will be discussed and their impacts will be critically assessed. In addition, students will be introduced to contemporary crime prevention strategies and the techniques for evaluating prevention programs.
This course examines best practices in community policing in order to evaluate effective and ineffective procedures. Attention to ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and socioeconomic factors, among others, that underlie human diversity and the conditions of cooperation, conflict, and well-being. This course is also designed to provide an in-depth understanding of community policing and the history of policing is examined in such a way as to explain why this concept became so important in American policing in the 1960’s and how that idea has evolved into the 21st century. In addition, this course offers a better understanding of how decisions are made in the Criminal Justice system and how discretion is used in the framework of society and the criminal justice system.
This course will examine juvenile crime within a larger social context, exploring the positive and negative contributions of the individual, the family, peer, schools and the larger community. Intervention strategies will be assessed, and a model will be presented for community action that can reduce/prevent juvenile crime.
This course will examine how criminal justice social scientists develop, examine and evaluate the impact and successes of the various community corrections programs. Examines community corrections, probation and parole, treatment philosophies, and strategies for supervision. Evidence-based, effective community-based correctional programs will be examined.
This course offers an examination of the relationships between social stratification, crime, and criminal justice. Explored will be the empirical and theoretical associations that race/ethnicity, sex/gender, social class, and other systems of inequality have with crime, victimization, and criminal justice system response. This course also explores the relationship between social inequality, criminal offending, and criminal victimization. In addition, how racial/ethnic, gender, age, and socioeconomic inequality influence (and are influenced by) criminal justice policy making, processes, and outcomes will be explored. Contemporary issues in policing, courts, sentencing, and punishment will be addressed to explore the complex interaction between social disadvantage (particularly related to race and ethnicity), the criminal justice system, and broader social relations.
This course will cover the history of death penalty in America; analyze legal arguments for and against the death penalty; examine the methods of execution; explore the impact of death penalty upon various actors; discuss issues of age, race and gender and the death penalty; and discuss theories of punishment and the death penalty.
This course critically examines serial killers and explores myths and facts associated with the most popular case examples. Students in the course will explore the psychopathology and development of serial killers as well as their portrayal in mass media and the effect on culture and society.
The role of police in society changes as other demographic, social and political changes occur. This course will explore the challenges facing police today in terms of community relations, special populations, accountability and opening their ranks to more women and minorities.
This course examines the relationship between race, ethnicity, and crime and racial issues confronting the criminal justice system. Students will explore how other minority groups are treated by the criminal justice system. The course also examines how classical and contemporary theories are used to explain racial biases in the criminal justice system.
This course will focus on a particular issue being dealt with by the criminal justice system today. Students will critically examine the issue and related research and theories. The social context of the issue will be explored as well as possible actions to address the problem. Course is repeatable for credit.
The Senior Capstone course is designed to ensure that the graduates of the Criminology program are equipped with the skills necessary to pursue further study or to take a job in the criminal justice system or other professional agency. The class requires students to demonstrate oral and written communication skills. Additionally students will be required to develop materials that will be helpful in finding employment.
The internship provides students an opportunity to gain supervised work experience in an agency in their major area of study.
This course will survey the research and theories related to the psychology behind criminal behavior. The course will look at the risk factors associated with juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior. The course will also cover psychological factors associated with mental illness and crime, homicide, and sex offenses.
A course in correctional programs at the local, state, and federal levels including youth probation and parole. The organization and administration of correctional systems will be examined with particular attention given to control, classification, discipline, treatment, and post-release procedures for the juvenile and adult offenders.
In this course, students will learn about various biological, sociological (criminological), and, specifically, psychological theories that have contributed to our understanding of sexual offending and the etiology of sexually deviant behavior. In addition, students will learn about and discuss issues such as sex and sexuality as they relate to topics such as rape, child molestation, and other violent (and non-violent) sexual crimes.
The primary objective of this course is to explore the study of violence against women. We will cover theoretical explanations for violence against women, research on particular types of violence, the impact on victims, and the response of the criminal justice system.
Environmental criminology refers to the study of those crimes and harms affecting the natural environment, the planet, and the associated impacts on human and non-human life. It includes not just violations of the law, but also individual and institutional, socially-accepted activities, behaviors, and practices. This course is intended to introduce students to the development of environmental criminology, the causes and consequences of environmental crimes, and responses to these consequences. As such the course is divided into three units. The first part will cover the development of environmental criminology including theories and methodologies. The second part will examine different forms of environmental crime (e.g., climate change, pollution, food crime). Finally, the course will evaluate responses to green crime, including media depictions, criminal justice legislation, and activism.
This course will focus on a particular issue being dealt with by the criminal justice system today. Students will critically examine the issue and related research and theories. The social context of the issue will be explored as well as possible actions to address the problem. Course is repeatable for credit. Human trafficking is a complex, global phenomenon that has remained largely hidden and is, as a result, often misunderstood. This course will allow students to gain a better understanding of human trafficking, including current theory and research on the topic. This course will cover the extent and nature of the problem; including demand, prevalence, experiences of survivors, types of trafficking, and methods of traffickers. The course will also examine international, federal, and state legislation and other efforts to prevent and respond to trafficking victimization.
This course will examine the ever changing field of correctional law. It will focus on the evolution of inmate rights, the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's willingness to get involved in the executive branch's business of running prisons, and the current court's movement away from the micro-managing of prisons in America.
This course presents an examination of corporate and white collar crime in the United States including definitional issues, typologies, theories, victimization, enforcement, and the sanctioning of organizations & individuals.
The study of sports as a socializing influence within society. The analysis of the role of sports, the subculture of sports, the linkages with violence and crime, as well as other unintended consequences of sports in America and the world. Same as SOCI 4693.
This course will introduce students to the liberal arts study of law. Students will investigate legal institutions and the law as social phenomena through readings and case studies.
This course examines domestic and international terrorism. It looks at the theories concerning the causes of terrorism and the various ways that individuals and institutions respond to terrorism. The 'war on terrorism' is examined for its unintended consequences.
Title and description of the type of independent study to be offered will be specified on the variable credit form students must complete before registering for the class. May be repeated three times for credit.
This course gives senior criminology majors the opportunity to conduct significant, independent, empirical research under the supervision of a faculty thesis directory. Students are required to make an oral and written presentation of their research. May be taken twice for credit toward the degree.
John R. Fuller
Professor Emeritus of Criminology
Vanessa Woodward Griffin, Ph.D.
Professor of Criminology
Sarah Hupp Williamson, Ph.D.
Brittani McNeal, Ph.D.
Mai Naito Mills, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator of Criminology
Jason Nicholson, Ph.D.
Lynn Pazzani, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Program Coordinator of Criminology
Paul Rutledge, Ph.D.
Ericka Wentz, Ph.D.
Guidelines for Admittance
Each UWG online degree program has specific requirements that you must meet in order to enroll.
Complete online application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
Official transcripts from all schools attended. Official transcripts are sent from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.
Verify specific requirements associated with specific populations identified here: Freshman Adult Learners Transfer International Home School Joint / Dual Enrollment Transient Auditor Post-Baccalaureate Non-Degree Seeking Readmission
General admissions deadlines are typically:
- Fall - June 1
- Spring - Nov 15
- Summer - May 15
* Application, app fee, and document deadline; Dates may vary for Readmit, Transfer, and Transient students.
See The Scoop for more specific deadlines
Admission Process Checklist
Review admission requirements for the different programs and guides for specific populations (non-traditional, transfer, transient, home school, joint enrollment students, etc).
Review important deadlines:
- Fall semester: June 1 (undergrads)
- Spring semester: November 15 (undergrads)
- Summer semester: May 15 (undergrads)
See program specific calendars here
Complete online application
Undergraduate Admissions Guide
Undergraduate International Application
Submit $40 non-refundable application fee
Submit official documents
Request all official transcripts and test scores be sent directly to UWG from all colleges or universities attended. If a transcript is mailed to you, it cannot be treated as official if it has been opened. Save time by requesting transcripts be sent electronically.
Undergraduate & Graduate Applicants should send all official transcripts to:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Murphy Building
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton, GA 30118-4160
Submit a Certificate of Immunization, if required. If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.
Check the status of your application
Office of Admissions
Dept of Criminology Website - includes a program handbook, directory of instructors and their credentials, as well as other vital information.
Dr. Dave Ayers
General admissions deadlines are typically:
- Fall - June 1
- Spring - Nov 15
- Summer - May 15
* Application, app fee, and document deadline; Dates may vary for Readmit, Transfer, and Transient students.
See The Scoop for more specific deadlines.
Describe, explain, and critically evaluate/apply the role of...
1) Corrections and social services in criminal justice and criminology
2) Policing in criminal justice and criminology
3) Law and legal systems in criminal justice and criminology
4) Diversity and global perspectives in criminal justice and criminology
5) Theory and philosophy in criminal justice and criminology
6) Social scientific research and analytic methods in criminal justice and criminology