Criminology

Criminology Department

Mischelle L. Van Brakle, J.D., Ph.D., Chair

Degrees offered

Major
Minor

Campuses

Main Campus

Criminology majors participate in a practicum or field experience with a criminal justice related agency that gives the student an opportunity to combine the theory and the practice of criminology and criminal justice. The field experience is a capstone course that includes seminars directed by a faculty member.

 

Women's College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies

The criminology program of the School of Arts and Sciences offers a major and minor in criminology to students in the Women’s College and the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies. The program provides students an opportunity to pursue studies leading to graduate school or a career in the administration of justice. The program is structured around the study of both crime and deviance to ground students with an understanding of criminal behavior and the official reactions to such behavior. To analyze criminal behavior and its motivation, the program draws on social science disciplines including sociology and psychology as well as applied field experiences. Criminology majors gain the skills and breadth of knowledge that enable them to explain a wide range of criminal behavior. Criminology as a discipline is broader than the study of criminal justice, which focuses on understanding government responses to crime from a rational choice perspective.

A student majoring in criminology participates in a practicum or field experience with a criminal justice or social service agency that gives the student an opportunity to combine the theory and the practice of criminology and criminal justice. The field experience is a capstone course that includes a series of seminars directed by a faculty member designed to help students integrate the field experience with their classroom learning, as well as to prepare students for successful careers upon graduation.

The criminology and social deviance program also offers a minor in criminology. The criminology minor provides students a basic understanding of criminal behavior and the criminal justice response in the context of today's society. With this minor, graduates will be prepared to succeed in an occupation involving interaction with people, including policy making, community action, social research and social services.

Students with a 3.2 grade point average overall and a 3.2 grade point average in their major courses may become active members of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honor society in criminal justice.

Criminology courses that fulfill the general education requirement in gender studies: CRM-325.

All courses credited toward the criminology major or minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

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Programs of Study

Required Courses for a Major in Criminology and Social Deviance (Credits)

SOC-101 Introductory Sociology (3)
CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology (3)
SOC-209 Race, Class and Gender (3)
CRM-360 Research Methods and Crime Analysis (4)
CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance (3)
CRM-461 Practicum (4)

One course from the following

SOC-411 Advanced Topics (3)
SOC-463 Independent Research (3)

Six courses from the following, at least 3 at the 300 level

CRM-130 Criminology at the Movies (3)
CRM-205 Policing and Society (3)
CRM-220 Criminal Law and Procedure (3)
CRM-230 Terrorism & Homeland Security (3)
CRM-240 Corrections in America (3)
CRM-310 The Criminal Justice System (3)
CRM-311 Special Topics in Criminology (3)
CRM-320 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
CRM-325 Violence Against Women (3)
SOC-222 Social Problems or SOC-371 Honors: Social Problems (3)
SOC-301 Social Justice (3)
SOC-340 Deviance and Social Control (3)

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Required Courses for a Minor in Criminology 

SOC-101 Introductory Sociology (3)
CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology (3)
CRM-360 Research Methods and Crime Analysis (4)
CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance (3)

Two courses from the following:

CRM-130 Criminology at the Movies (3)
SOC-222 Social Problems or SOC-371 Honors: Social Problems (3)
CRM-230 Terrorism & Homeland Security (3)
CRM-240 Corrections in America (3)
SOC-301 Social Justice (3)
CRM-310 The Criminal Justice System (3)
CRM-311 Topics in Criminology (3)
CRM-320 Juvenile Delinquency (3)
SOC-315 Sociology of Law (3)
SOC-340 Deviance and Social Control (3)

Senior Experience: (choose one)

SOC-411 Advanced Topics (3)
CRM-461 Practicum I (4)
SOC-463 Independent Research (3)

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Four-Year Plan

Sample program of study for full-time criminology majors. Students should consult with the program coordinator for their academic plans as many courses are offered on alternating years.

FALL SPRING 
First year      
ENG 101 College Writing 4 SOC-101 Introduction to Sociology 3
CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology 3 MAT-215 Basic Statistics 3
IDS-100 Perspectives on Education 3 General Education/Electives 9
General Education/Electives 6 [15 credits]  
[16 credits]      
Second year      
CRM-203 Theories of Crime 3 CRM-360 Research Methods 4
SOC-209 Race, Class, Gender 3 Criminology Elective 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [16 credits]  
Third year      
Criminology electives 6 Criminology electives 6
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
CRM-461 Practicum 4 Departmental Senior Elective 3
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 9
Criminology elective 3 [12 credits]  
[13 credits]


Courses

CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology

Provides an examination of the nature, causes and social significance of crime. Emphasizes the major explanations of criminal behavior and typologies of crime and examines crime and crime prevention strategies as they relate to theory, policy and practice. Serves as a gateway course for students interested in the field of criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]

CRM-130 Criminology At the Movies

Explores the impact of criminological themes and theories on popular movies. Consists of an intensive, didactic experience that introduces the student to related criminological research and applications. [3 credits]

CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance

Examines major paradigms, models and theories of criminology. Students critically review explanations of criminal behavior and analyze past, current and future trends in criminal activity. Theories in deviance and criminology from multidisciplinary perspectives provide a foundation for discussion. Prerequisite: CRM-101. [3 credits]

CRM-205 Policing and Society

Focuses on the history, structure, role, and function of policing in American society. Types of policing and police-community relations will be explored. Students will examine the functions of policing including patrol, order maintenance, investigation and community policing. A number of contemporary police problems will be presented including corruption, discretion, deadly force and minority relations. Course will include an exploration of cross-national comparisons. Prerequisite: CRM-101 or SOC-101. [3 credits]

CRM-220 Criminal Law and Procedure

Examines criminal law and procedure as a device for defining and controlling harmful behavior within a formal framework in the criminal justice system. Attention is given to the theoretical justifications for and the effectiveness of punishment, the foundations of culpability, the basic principles of criminal liability, and the definition of offenses and defenses. Prerequisite: CRM-101 or SOC-101. [3 credits]

CRM-230 Terrorism and Homeland Security

Examines terrorism with a focus on the contemporary societal experience, although historical perspectives will provide context as well. Differentiating characteristics of domestic and international terror groups will be identified. Legal implications of anti-terrorist measures and homeland security enforcement will be reviewed. Prerequisite: CRM-101. [ 3 credits ]

CRM-240 Corrections in America

This course provides an examination into corrections in America. We will differentiate the purpose and operation of jails versus prisons. Additionally, we will look at the use of non-custodial corrections alternatives such as community service, probation and parole. In this course, the history of corrections as well as contemporary issues in corrections will be examined. [ 3 credits ]

CRM-310 The Criminal Justice System

Examines the American criminal justice system. Introduces students to the workings of police, courts and corrections in American society, and how each functions as a mechanism of social control. Explores local, state and federal agencies as individual components of the comprehensive and interrelated system of justice. Prerequisites: CRM-101; PSY-210 or CRM-360. [3 credits]

CRM-311 Topics in Criminology

Uses empirical evidence to provide a contemporary approach to analyzing and evaluating crime and social deviance through a critical theoretical framework or uses empirical evidence to provide a contemporary approach to examining specific areas within criminology. Topics will vary. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SOC-101 and CRM-101. [3 credits]

CRM-320 Juvenile Delinquency

Examines delinquency as a form of socially deviant or criminal behavior engaged in by minors. Topics include definitions of delinquency, long- and short-term trends, explanations of delinquent behavior, drug use, gangs and school violence. Possible interventions, treatment and prevention strategies are also addressed. Prerequisite: SOC-101; PSY-210 or CRM-360. [3 credits]

CRM-325 Violence Against Women

Examines violence against women through a wide range of socially institutionalized and individually perpetuated political, social, economic and physical frameworks. Violence against women takes place within socially constructed race-ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and class specificities, as well as socio-historical contexts. The course examines how race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-historical constraints and shifts perpetuate systems of domination and oppression. It looks at ways in which these forces shape how women experience economic, social, sexual, class and gender domination and exploitation. Prerequisite: CRM-101 or SOC-101. Fulfills the general education requirement in gender studies. [3 credits]

CRM-360 Research Methods and Crime Analysis

Provides framework for the critical and empirical analysis of social science data relating to crime and social deviance, including experimental and quasi-experimental research design, crime analysis, ethical issues, quantitative and qualitative statistical methods and scientific report writing. Students learn how to use the statistical package for the social sciences and compute descriptive, inferential statistics and multivariate analysis. This course instructs students on the relationship between theory and scholarly inquiry, the nature of causation, and how to formulate and test hypotheses using a variety of empirical methods. Students learn a range of research approaches including surveys, experiments, field work, case studies and unobtrusive measures typically employed in the criminology and criminal justice fields. Students develop a research question and appropriate research methodology, empirically evaluate a hypothesis and write a research report. Prerequisites: MAT-215; and either CRM-101, PSY-101, or SOC-101. [4 credits]

CRM-461 Criminology Practicum I

Integrates field experience with an academic seminar. Students are required to find a placement (internship) in social service, criminal justice or social action agencies consistent with their abilities and interests. This placement must be approved by the student's advisor and practicum coordinator prior to beginning the course. Prerequisites: PSY-210 or CRM-360, and conference with the coordinator. Limited to majors of at least junior status. Not open to liberal arts majors. [4 credits]

ENG-101 College Writing

Provides students with an understanding that clear thinking is fundamental to clear writing. It also demonstrates every stage of the composing process: generating and organizing ideas, prewriting and drafting, critiquing, revising, final editing and proofreading. In addition, students work to accomplish clarity, unity, coherence and emphasis in sentences, in paragraphs, and in the overall structure of an essay. They develop techniques of style and tone toward more fluent and appealing prose and strive to sharpen their analytical, critical and editing skills by interacting with other students about their own writing and about the writing of professionals. Students learn to use standard English and develop a sensitivity to sentence structure and diction and to appreciate effectively written prose and recognize characteristics that make such prose effective. To fulfill the general education requirement in composition a minimum grade of C is required. [3 credits]

IDS-100 Perspectives on Education and Culture

Assists first-year students in making a successful transition to college life. The course has three overlapping themes: becoming an intentional learner, becoming a Notre Dame woman, and acquiring global and intercultural fluency. Each student will examine and reflect upon various aspects of her life, including her relationship to other students, the institution and the community (understanding culture, appreciating diversity). Students will have the opportunity to develop personal, academic, and leadership skills and habits that will enhance their college experiences and promote lifelong learning. Required for first-year traditional age students and transfer students with fewer than 12 credits. [3 credits]

MAT-215 Basic Statistics

Introduces the basic ideas of statistics: descriptive statistics, central tendency variability, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, multinomial experiments, contingency tables and analysis of variance. A statistical software package is used. Designed for students in a variety of fields that rely on regular statistical analysis in decision-making. Fulfills general education requirement in mathematics. Prerequisite: A strong algebraic background or successful completion of MAT 100 or MAT 103 is recommended. [3 credits]

SOC-101 Introductory Sociology

Uses the sociological imagination to help explain what sociology is and how it is relevant to everyday life. Examines culture, social structure, socialization, social institutions, social inequality and social change. Topics include gender roles, deviance and social control, class, race and ethnic inequality, family, and work. Serves as a foundation course for students interested in the field of sociology and criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. [3 credits]

SOC-209 Race, Class and Gender

Explores the intersecting systems of inequality, race, ethnicity, social class and gender. Examines the construction of identity categorizations and links them to our current experiences and conceptions of self. Covers the nature of privilege and its reproduction in social institutions such as the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system. Fulfills general education requirements in social science and cross-cultural studies. Prerequisite: SOC-101 or permission of instructor. [3 credits]

SOC-222 Social Problems

Examines how social conditions come to be defined as social problems. Surveys the causes of, theoretical explanations for, and possible interventions to resolve social problems. Provides students with opportunities to analyze in-depth such social concerns as substance abuse, family violence, environmental issues, discrimination, crime and terrorism. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. Prerequisite: SOC-101 or permission. [3 credits]

SOC-301 Social Justice

Overviews social injustice in American society and in American social institutions. Addresses issues of prejudice, racism and sexism, as well as discrimination based on sexual orientation, religious preference and disability. Provides students with opportunities to evaluate problem-solving procedures for social service agencies and the community at large. Prerequisite: SOC-101, PSY-210, CRM-101 or SOC-222. [3 credits]

SOC-315 Sociology of Law

Studies criminal law from a sociological perspec-tive with an emphasis on the United States Constitution. Examines the impact of the social usages of law as an instrument of social policy, social control and social regulation. Prepares students to interact professionally with the legal system. Prerequisites: PSY-210, SOC-101 or CRM-101. [3 credits]

SOC-340 Deviance and Social Control

Examines how we come to define attitudes, behavior, and characteristics as "normal" or "deviant" in society. Explores the construction of categories of difference with an eye toward the idea that labeling people or ideas as deviant is often a way to maintain the status quo. Addresses "deviant" behavior as an agent of social change as well as a source of social stability. Applies various sociological paradigms to such topics as social movements, crime and delinquency, and mental illness. Prerequisite: PSY-210, SOC-101 or CRM-101. [3 credits]

SOC-371 Honors: Social Problems

Considers how social conditions come to be defined as social problems. Reviews causes and theoretical explanations for their origins and possible interventions to resolve social problems. Topics include substance abuse, family violence, environmental issues, discrimination, crime and terrorism. Prerequisite: Morrissy scholar or permission. [3 credits]

SOC-411 Advanced Topics

Provides a context for understanding the broad focus of the discipline of criminology. As an upper-level course in the criminology major, reviews key sociological and criminological writings from an advanced, informed perspective. The student uses these scholarly resources to develop a paper that synthesizes her particular knowledge of criminological theory, research and applications. Students also develop their abilities to analyze their personal experiences from a sociological perspective and explore options for continued study or employment related to their sociological training. Topics will vary, though recent topics have included: Corporate Crime, Violence Against Women, Social Inequality in the Criminal Justice System, and Policing. Prerequisites: PSY-210, CRM-203 or SOC-350, and junior/senior status. [3 credits]

SOC-463 Independent Research/Independent Study

Provides a student with an opportunity to pursue a scholarly project under the direction of a faculty member. Work may include directed readings, literature review, clinical study, or data collection and analysis. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-340 or CRM-360 and acceptance for supervision by a department faculty member. [3 credits]