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administrative contact

Jennifer Steele
phone: 304-293-8800

program contact

Jennifer Steele
phone: 304-293-8800

Program Details

Program Description

Criminology is grounded in the discipline of sociology and supports the Forensic Science Initiative at WVU. The focus provides an understanding of society as a normative order with ever-changing definitions of conformity and deviance. Through an examination of the social foundations of law, the operation of the criminal justice system and such urgent problems as juvenile delinquency, corporate crime, hate crime, terrorism, and organized crime, students will develop a new understanding of public order and public privacy.

To complete the degree, students must earn a total of 128 credit hours and meet the requirements of WVU, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, and the Division.

Students are subject to the requirements of the General Education Curriculum (GEC). Students may count SOCA 101 toward GEC objective 4 or 7, and SOCA 105 toward GEC objective 8 or 9. Students may count no more than one additional SOCA course toward their GEC requirements.

The College requires four semesters of a single world language. Students with no prior instruction in a language satisfy this requirement by successfully completing courses 101, 102, 203, and 204. Students must take a placement test to start at a level higher than 101. For more information about placement tests, see the World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics department's website. Students cannot use world language requirements to satisfy GEC requirements.

In addition to STAT 211/215, all students in the Division must complete the following courses:

SOCA 101 Introduction to Sociology
SOCA 105 Introduction to Anthropology
SOCA 311 Social Research Methods
SOCA 401 Sociological Theory
SOCA 389 Writing in Sociology and Anthropology
SOCA 488 The Capstone Experience

Students take SOCA 389 and 488 concurrently with a substantive course that is designated as a writing and capstone course, for a total of 5 credit hours. This is done by permit only during your senior year and will be explained during your first advising session in the Division.

Career Profile

The major prepares students for a variety of careers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors and for graduate programs in sociology, criminology, criminal justice, forensic investigation, public administration, and law.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Please see Office of Admissions - English Language Proficiency for more information.

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Prospective students should apply online at:


WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.