Criminology students develop knowledge and skills that are useful across many existing and emerging occupations and fields of inquiry.

Major or Minor in Criminology

As American criminologist Edwin Sutherland once claimed, criminology is the study of law making, law breaking, and law enforcement. The study of criminology emphasizes theory, research, and social policy in relation to law and criminal behavior. Criminologists develop and test theories in an attempt to understand the potential causes of criminal behavior and recommend policies likely to mediate the negative consequences of crime. Criminological practice embraces scientific research methods to systematically analyze crime and rigorously evaluate social policy related to criminal behavior. Students enrolled in this program will have opportunities in service learning, undergraduate research, internships, and travel.

The department is located in Irby Hall 306 (third floor). 501.450.3178

Mary Crawford is the administrative assistant for the department; she can answer or direct your questions.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Criminology requires the completion of 120 hours, including the general education component, degree requirements, major requirements listed below, a minor worked out with a minor advisor, 40 upper division hours, and a minimum 2.0 GPA overall, in the major, and in a chosen minor. To major in criminology students must successfully complete CRIM 2300 with a grade of C or better.

A Minor in Criminology requires 21 Hours; at least nine hours should be upper division (3000 or 4000 level). Both Principles of Sociology, SOC 1300, and Foundations of Criminal Justice, CRIM 2300, are required. Both of these classes are prerequisites to the elective courses, and both count toward the required 21 hours. Minors must maintain a 2.0 GPA in Criminology courses.

Criminology BS Checklist

Criminology Minor Checklist

Criminology (CRIM)

Student Engagement

Criminology students have opportunities to present research at professional conferences, to meet experts in their fields of study, to hear alumni speak about careers, and to exchange ideas with faculty and classmates. Club participation can offer experiential learning opportunities, encourage community involvement, and help students build social networks. Majors and minors who exhibit exemplary academic performance will be invited to join an honor society. Junior or Senior year internships with local agencies are encouraged. Internships give students hands-on experiences to help them set their career goals.


Students are encouraged to participate in activities that promote the understanding and application of their classroom learning. Students may earn course credits while working with faculty on independent study projects or research, and present their work at the annual Arkansas Sociological Anthropological Undergraduate Symposium and the CAHSS Student Research Symposium. Students who complete quality research might also be encouraged to submit their papers for publication in a student journal.

Internship Opportunities

The sociology, criminology, and anthropology internship program is designed to provide juniors and seniors with an opportunity to obtain valuable job-related experience and future employment contacts while still a student. For this directed field experience, students enroll in SOC 4370 and are assigned to an agency of their choice for a volunteer period of 150 hours. Past internship opportunities have included such locations as a mayor’s office; police and sheriff departments; the United States Marshals Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.; hospitals; the Department of Human Services; Arkansas Educational Television Network; the Faulkner County Museum; Toltec Mounds; and numerous human services agencies. Please contact Internship Coordinator Dr. Janet Wilson for additional information on internship opportunities (, 450-5580).

Society of Criminology Students

The Society of Criminology Students at UCA is a social and service society helping criminology students to engage with each other and with the community. Each fall, the society works with the policing course to collect teddy bears for the annual Share-A-Bear Drive. Students are also looking forward to collecting supplies for the annual CAPCA Deck the Box competition this Christmas. Interested students should contact Faculty Advisor Dr. Skaggs (

Alpha Phi Sigma and Order of the Sword & Shield

Qualifying students may also participate in the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society and the new Order of the Sword & Shield Security Based Honor Society. Alpha Phi Sigma is the national criminal justice honor society.  In 1941, Dr. Vivian Anderson Leonard developed a four-year curriculum at Washington State University which would lead to a bachelor’s degree in police administration.  In 1942, Dr. Leonard met with seventeen police science majors at Washington State and Alpha Phi Sigma was established.  The goals of Alpha Phi Sigma are to honor and promote academic excellence, community service, leadership, and unity.


  • Maintain the equivalent of a 3.3 overall GPA
  • Complete three full semesters of courses
  • Major, minor, or show an interest in the academic discipline of criminology
  • Complete at least four regular courses in criminology
  • Maintain the equivalent of a 3.2 GPA in criminology courses

Students with questions or interest should contact Alpha Phi Sigma faculty advisor Dr. Sherry Skaggs (, (501) 450-5587)


Each semester up to three criminology students may be recognized for scholarly research or for their exceptional representation of the department.

The Edwin Sutherland Outstanding Criminology Student Award

The Dr. Carl Redden Outstanding Sociology Intern Award

The Gordon and Faye Shepherd Student Research Award

Experiential Learning

Police and Society, Criminal Courts, and Correctional Systems are among the criminology courses that enhance in-class learning by offering off-campus field trips and volunteer opportunities.

Travel Seminars

Cultural immersion is achieved through Travel Seminar classes. These trips provide students with first-hand experience in research and cultural practices. Most recently, students traveled to the Four Corners region of the United States and the Navajo reservation. Students participated in data collection, toured ruins, museums and cultural centers, interacted with Native Americans, and increased their camping and hiking skills.