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Majors and Minors

B.A. in Criminal Justice: Forensics – Law Enforcement and Administration
B.S. in Sociology: Culture and Society- Criminology
Minors: Crime and Society – Sociology – Anthropology

Criminal Justice, B.A.

The new Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice offers a curriculum grounded in social change, experiential education, and innovative skills sets that builds a holistic approach to the equitable administration of justice in our society. The program will highlight the roles of the justice system and professionals with society’s rapidly evolving criteria for justice system functions, uses, expectations, and outcomes.

The Forensics concentration offers students exposure to comprehensive forensic science applications and investigations, crime scene procedures, and legal and foundational methods of tracking and solving crime. The forensics concentration prepares students for work in areas such as computer forensics, forensic accounting, forensic nursing, and forensic psychology.

The Law Enforcement and Administration concentration is designed to prepare students for employment in policing, corrections, security, immigration, criminal investigation, rehabilitation counseling, and data analysis at the local, state, and federal levels.

Shepherd students will reimagine/reinvent the role of the justice system in society where the roles of justice system professionals are holistic (inclusive of diverse ideas, viewpoints, stakeholders, etc.). The program embraces the changes occurring in the justice system in this moment and like never before. We prepare students to ethically and competently lead these transformative efforts from the frontlines.

How are students prepared to face real world challenges?

  1. By receiving an education grounded in sociological applications and foundational legal principles that foster knowledge of society and the inner-workings of the law and justice system procedures
  2. By participating in experiential education opportunities such as community service, service learning, internships, and engagement in original research
  3. By acquiring vital hard and soft skills necessary for effective leadership: communication, crime scene processing, forensic analysis, writing (e.g., note taking, reports, and research), GIS data analysis, aerial vehicle operations, etc.

Sociology, B.S.

The sociology major leads to the terminal degree of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.).  There are two “tracks” or concentrations that help students receive the education they need to prepare for careers and employment in sociology or related fields.

The Culture and Society Concentration is aimed at preparing students for graduate school, or for finding employment with a government agency, private business, or non-profit organization.

The Criminology Concentration is aimed at preparing students for law school or employment in a law enforcement agency, such as the FBI, probation officer, or a local police force.

Regardless of the concentration, all students pursuing our major will receive personal instruction and one-on-one mentoring and advising. Majors are also encouraged to take courses from related disciplines on relevant topics in order to personalize their education.

Class sizes are generally small, intimate, and offer students ample opportunities to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world experiences.  In fact, all majors are required to engage in experiential learning via internships and the senior thesis.  Students are also encouraged to pursue cooperative learning, another form of experiential learning in which students are guided by a faculty member on how to use an existing employment setting as an opportunity to apply sociology.

Finally, the program offers a host of required and electives courses on-line which makes the program extremely flexible for those who must deal with time constraints as the result of full-time employment and/or family obligations.


The department offers three minors: a minor in Crime and Society, a Sociology Minor,  and a minor in Anthropology.

Minor in Crime and Society

Minor in Crime and Society

Minor in Sociology

The Sociology Minor expands students’ knowledge about social reality, social inequality, social stratification, diversity, and social identity by introducing minors to the core social theories and topics within the discipline.

Students wishing to pursue the minor in Sociology must complete 18 hours of coursework in Sociology including General Sociology (SOCI 203), Social Stratification (SOCI 321), and Social Theory (SOCI 322). An additional 9 credit hours must be upper-division sociology courses excluding Social Research Methods (SOCI 323), Introduction to Social Statistics (SOCI 324), and Senior Thesis (SOCI 420).

Minor in Anthropology

The Anthropology Minor provides students with an introduction to the broad discipline of Anthropology. Coursework in this minor is designed to highlight the four sub-fields of the discipline- Cultural  Anthropology, Linguistics, Physical Anthropology, and Archaeology- while at the same time allowing for additional coursework in applied areas.  One goal of the minor is to illustrate the interdependence of nature and culture and the role that environment plays in understanding both contemporary and past cultures.