Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Solving crime today means understanding why a crime occurs and what that crime
means to society. This is where the law and the mind meet.
The famous bank robber Willie Sutton said that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” The state-of-the-art program in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice digs considerably deeper: grounded in research methods and criminological theory, the program focuses on the causes of, and societal responses to, crime and deviant behavior.
Students studying Criminology and Criminal Justice in the College of Arts and Sciences receive a strong foundation in the liberal arts and the social sciences that prepares them to address the challenges of crime in society as criminal justice professionals, researchers, and educators.
The B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees are offered. In addition, there is a combined degree program, offered in conjunction with the University of South Carolina School of Law, which permits a student to earn both the Juris Doctor and the Master of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice in approximately four years.
The program of study for the B.A. degree has a strong research emphasis and encourages volunteer work and involvement in the criminal justice field as part of students’ training. Courses focus on problem-solving and critical thinking. Internships may be undertaken for course credit.
The Master of Arts degree equips students with an understanding of the causes and societal responses to crime and deviant behavior. Students completing the program will be prepared to continue their studies at the doctoral level or enter the field as practitioners.
Graduates of the Ph.D. program are prepared to enter teaching, research, or policy-making positions in the criminal justice system. Faculty research and teaching interests span a wide variety of topics, including policing, courts, corrections, law and policy, criminological theory, sentencing, victimization, and program evaluation.