Students work in a classroom.

Our department offers undergraduate degrees in both sociology and criminology, as well as minors in each.

Sociologists and criminologists believe that people’s actions are strongly influenced by the conditions in which they live, work, and play. Everybody makes decisions, but we recognize and study how social structures and institutions affect and constrain those decisions.

Our curriculum includes a wide range of courses covering relevant theories of social and criminological behavior, elective courses that apply those theories to a range of important social issues and policies, and methodology courses that help students learn tools to carry out independent research.

Our goal is to allow students to gain a more holistic understanding of our society and to empower them to think critically about individual and social actions.



Our faculty are student-centered and are among the best, most engaging, teachers in their fields. They are also renowned scholars who frequently publish books and articles in top venues about issues critical to society and the criminal justice system. They are very interested in bringing our students into their research and publications when possible.

Learn more about our faculty.

Our department offers an array of courses on topics that connect directly to the most important social questions of our time. Students develop an ability to critically analyze issues such as gender and racial discrimination, the causes and consequences of inequality and relevant policy responses, the sources and impacts of crime and mass incarceration, immigration and the social contexts of mental and physical health. Our students also learn about the key policies and institutions that are involved.

The study of sociology and criminology prepares students for a range of career possibilities in the private, public and nonprofit sector. Our rigorous courses of study, which include theory, application and methodology, also leave students ready for advanced study, including graduate and law school. Career preparation is also supported by a variety of internships that students can take for credit and through service-learning activities.

Learn more about Careers.

Department Chair:
Dr. Allison Payne
 SAC 204
Phone: 610-519-5299

Administrative Assistants:
Mary Ann Hostler
: (610) 519-4742

Shelly DuBois
: (610) 519-4786