Faculty Student Research Partnerships

As a student in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, you have the opportunity to conduct research under the mentorship and guidance of distinguished faculty. Engaging in undergraduate research provides you with an experiential learning opportunity – you will have the chance to apply the theories and methods you’ve learned through your coursework, gain exposure to the dialogues and debates of current scholarship in the field, and explore new ways of thinking. Furthermore, conducting undergraduate research can make you a more attractive candidate for graduate school, employment, as well as national fellowship programs, and will provide you with professional and academic connections that last a lifetime.

Presenting at Research Conferences

We encourage students to present at research conference because this experience hones analytical and professional skills and is a valuable addition to your résumé or graduate school application. Students receive coaching from faculty members, participation is free, and transportation is provided on your behalf.

Learn about the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Social Research Conference.

Anna DalCortivo '18 CLAS talks about her experience conducting prison research alongside Jill McCorkel, PhD, in Ireland, focusing on inequality and the criminal justice system.


Career-oriented Internships

The Department encourages students to participate in the College’s internship program, earning credit while working at community agencies like People’s Emergency Center, Catholic Social Services; and criminal justice agencies including Philadelphia DA’s Office and Delaware County Probation Department; or other agencies specific to their interests.

  • Access to Job Contacts: Students meet professionals in the field who can notify them of available openings and provide professional recommendations. This is much more effective than random job searches.
  • Entry-level Experience: Participation in a professional environment is a strong addition to your resume or graduate school application. Experiential learning is an excellent way to distinguish yourself as a serious student committed to making the most of your educational opportunities.
  • Active Student Learning: Internships provide you with an opportunity to practice what you have been learning about in the classroom. There is no substitute for seeing the information you have been studying "come to life" before your eyes.
  • Personal Growth: You can "test the waters" and see if an anticipated career is right for you. In some cases, students have learned that a particular line of work is “not for them.”

Heather Haag '18 CLAS

Heather talks about how majoring in Sociology helped prepare her to be a successful intern at Bloomingdales.

Emily Walthouse '16 CLAS

Emily discusses how her experience as a Sociology major helped her to secure her internship with


Service Learning

The Department of Sociology and Criminology offers our students unique service-learning opportunities with compelling experiences, among them:

  • Providing literacy training at a state prison
  • Tutoring students in Philadelphia schools
  • Working in community health clinics
  • Assisting individuals on probation and parole

Service-Learning courses are three-credit courses which connect course objectives with opportunities to meet the needs of people in underserved communities or work with agencies which advocate for the poor and or care for the environment. Integration of theoretical knowledge and experiential learning in the community provides a context for critical and constructive thinking and action that promotes the common good.

According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, service-learning is defined as "a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities."

"I wanted to be a prison educator because the men and women who are incarcerated in America's prison deserve a worthwhile education," says Makenzie Niness '18 CLAS.


College and University Resources

In addition to resources and opportunities through the Sociology and Criminology Department, Villanova provides support to undergraduate students in all aspects of their collegiate experience and beyond through the centralized services of the Office for Undergraduate StudentsOffice of Education Abroad and Career Center.

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

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

Shelly DuBois
: (610) 519-4786