Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice

Our sociology of law, criminology, and justice program examines the socially constructed nature of deviance, whose definitions of deviance prevail, and an understanding that links deviance to power in society. Sociologists seek to understand the relationship between deviance, social control, and the criminal justice system using scientific research methods such as statistical analysis, survey research, ethnography, conversational analysis, and content analysis.


Meet with our advisor and learn more about the major.

Understanding Social Processes

Different categories of people experience deviance, social control, and the criminal justice system differently, and through the course of this program, you will begin to understand the social processes by which individuals are labeled as deviant or conforming. The results of sociological investigations of law, criminology, and deviance help develop new theories and inform:

  • components, dynamics, and philosophical structures of criminal justice and agencies
  • enforcement and impact of law on social change and the rights of individuals
  • the science of crime as a social phenomenon
  • theories and structures of community corrections programs, and penal policies and practices
  • current trends in women's participation in crime and their treatment in the legal system
  • media representations or distortions of prevailing knowledge about crime and punishment

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science

The law, criminology, and justice program option is more structured than the sociology program, and, as a result, gives you a concentration of courses in this area of specialization. Learn more about the bachelor of arts in sociology of law, criminology, and justice or the bachelor of science in sociology of law, criminology, and justice.