Majors and Minors
The Department of Social and Applied Behavioral Sciences offers Major Degrees, a B.S. in Sociology and a B.A. in Criminal Justice, each with two concentrations. For the B.S. in Sociology, we offer concentrations in Culture and Society and Criminology, and for the B.A. in Criminal Justice, we offer concentrations in Law Enforcement Administration and Forensics. We also offer several minors (see below), including a Minor in Crime and Society, a Minor in Sociology, and a Minor in Anthropology.
Regardless of major, minor, or concentration, students pursuing our degrees will receive personal instruction, one-on-one mentoring, and advising. Students will also take courses from related disciplines on relevant topics to personalize education and career goals.
What to Expect
Students in our program can expect to have mostly small classes that are intimate and offer opportunities to gain and apply the skills needed to meet real-world challenges for a multitude of careers. In fact, our majors are required to engage in experiential learning through either an internship or scientific research as part of the senior thesis capstone. Students can also choose to pursue cooperative learning, which is a special course that allows students to use an existing employment setting as an opportunity to apply sociological knowledge and gain course credit.
Flexible Modalities for Busy Students
Finally, the program offers courses using serval modalities including face-to-face instruction (FTF), online asynchronous (OLS), synchronous courses with live streaming (HYS), and the Hyflex model (HYF) which is a multimodal course that allows students to choose how they attend (FTF, OLA, or HYS). This makes our program extremely flexible for those who must deal with time constraints due to full-time employment and/or family obligations.
Our department offers two majors, a B.A. and a B.S., each with two concentrations.
A degree in criminal justice prepares students for several career pathways. Our program is designed to incorporate foundational skills required of justice system professionals in a rapidly changing career field. Some of these skills include critical thinking, analytic problem solving, and effective communication. The criminal justice degree focuses on justice system theories, structure, and processes and incorporates social sciences for a fundamental understanding of human interaction in all segments of the justice system.
A degree in sociology is uniquely suited to help students develop the skills needed for a successful 21st-century career. Sociologists study social life, social change, diversity, and human interactions. They use the scientific method to find empirical support for answers to complex questions. Studying sociology fosters creativity, innovation, critical thinking, analytic problem solving, and communication skills. Because sociology embraces intellectual diversity and examines the intricacies and complexities of social life, the discipline’s “focus” is broad and highly integrated with other social science and humanities disciplines. Sociology promotes mastery of critical thinking and writing, which nearly all employers list in the top two most desirable skills for employees. Earning a degree in sociology offers students flexibility in career field choices that few disciplines can replicate.
Our department offers three minors:
The Crime and Society Minor allows students to explore the criminal justice system’s structure, functions, and processes through a core set of criminal justice courses. It includes understanding the criminal justice system’s intersections with individuals, communities, and society by acquiring knowledge of sociological principles. Students wishing to pursue a minor in Crime and Society must complete 9 credit hours of coursework in Criminal Justice and Sociology, including Introduction to Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Race and Ethnic Relations. An additional 6 credit hours of upper-division Criminal Justice Systems and Organizations coursework and 3 credit hours of upper-division Individuals and Society electives complete the requirements for the minor.
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 a minor in Sociology must complete 18 hours of coursework in Sociology including General Sociology, Social Stratification, and Social Theory. An additional 9 credit hours must be upper-division sociology courses excluding Social Research Methods, Introduction to Social Statistics, and Senior Thesis.
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.