Jun 25, 2024  
2022-2023 General Catalog 
2022-2023 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sociology and Criminology

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Learn more about the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Valpo online.

Professors D. Bartusch, Yogan; Associate Professor Lavin-Loucks (interim chair); Assistant Professors Blake, Raridon.

The Department of Sociology encompasses the disciplines of sociology, criminology, and anthropology, and seeks to provide a broad-based understanding of the organization and dynamics of human society and culture. Its subject matter ranges from intimate family life to the complex ways social institutions shape behavior, from crime to religion, from the divisions of social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture. Its primary focus is on social relationships and social structures in a wide variety of cultural and social settings.

The department’s programs seek to help students achieve awareness of the world in which they live, and of the causes and consequences of human social behavior. Its basic objective is to help students understand themselves, the groups in which they participate, as well as the dynamics of everyday life. By expanding their knowledge of the field, its theories, concepts, and research methods, and by acquiring insights to their world from the study of different peoples and cultures, students develop skills in social analysis, enhance their capacity for self-evaluation, and grow in their ability to make informed judgments about key social issues in a multicultural society.

To achieve these objectives, the department has developed a curriculum grounded in the liberal arts tradition that is flexible and responsive to student needs. While all majors are required to enroll in a core of basic sociology courses, the curriculum provides coursework that prepares students for a range of intellectual, professional, and occupational interests. Students who major in sociology may elect to concentrate either in general sociology or criminology. The department also offers minors in both general sociology and criminology.

General Sociology Major

The general sociology major is intended for students interested in understanding society and social behavior. This major can lead to careers in administration in a variety of community, government, and social service agencies; market research; or other vocations that require an understanding of the dynamics of human relationships in a multicultural society. The general sociology major also prepares students for graduate study in sociology and/or law. Students who seek careers involving agency administration should consider the Fundamentals of Business Minor .

Sociology Major with Criminology Concentration

Students who are interested in the study of crime and criminal behavior are encouraged to concentrate in criminology. This concentration encourages students to think critically about crime, law, and justice. Students will complete coursework in subjects such as juvenile delinquency, criminological theory, policing and society, or the sociology of law. Students must complete at least one internship during their junior or senior year.

International Honor Societies

The department encourages qualifying students to join honor societies in sociology and the social sciences. Such organizations recognize outstanding scholarship and achievement. There are two international honor societies for which majors in the department may qualify. First, the department sponsors the NU Chapter of the international honor society in sociology, Alpha Kappa Delta. Second, the department, along with other social science disciplines at Valparaiso University, supports Pi Gamma Mu, the international honor society in social science.

Credit by Examination

Credit for SOC 110  may be earned through the College Level Examination Program in Introductory Sociology.

Plan of Study

Students pursuing a major or minor in sociology must have a plan of study approved by their departmental advisor. Students are advised to take SOC 102  when they begin work toward the major; SOC 110 , SOC 130 , and SOC 275  during their freshman or sophomore year; SOC 310 , SOC 311 , SOC 319 , and SOC 320  during their junior year; and SOC 302  and SOC 493  during their senior year. The internship course (SOC 386 ) may be taken during the junior or senior year.

General Education Requirements

With the exception of SOC 102  and SOC 302 , courses in sociology partially fulfill the Social Sciences Requirement of the General Education Requirements. Two sociology courses (SOC 210  and SOC 275 ) partially fulfill the Cultural Diversity Requirement of the General Education Requirements. One sociology course (SOC 319) fulfills the Quantitative Analysis Requirement of the General Education Requirements.

Level I Courses

Level I courses are designed to give students a broad overview of sociology. These courses typically expose the student to many different sociological topics and are taught at the introductory level.

Level II Courses

Level II courses focus on one broad sociological topic and provide information about fundamental concepts and theoretical approaches used within sociology. No prerequisites.

Level III Courses

Level III courses are designed to provide depth of experience and understanding in narrow subject areas.

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