Department Fact Sheet

Department of Sociology & Criminology

Chair: Lissa Yogan, Ph.D.
ASB 337 | 219-464-6998

Majors offered:
Sociology, B.A.

Criminology concentration available

Links to Web sites:
Department of Sociology and Criminology (department maintained)

VALPO SOCIOLOGY MAJORS are taught to study, analyze, and make sound decisions about the complex, diverse society in which we live today. Sociology majors learn about study fields from anthropology to criminology and learn not only how people interact in a social setting but also how people relate to each other and to a common culture despite their widely varied human experiences. This knowledge gives Valpo's Sociology majors the insight to evaluate themselves, their opinions of key social issues, and their role within an ever-changing society.

What Is Distinctive About Valpo's Program?

The city of Chicago provides Valpo's students with innumerable resources in close proximity to campus. The entire city serves as a "living laboratory" for students, and the rich, diverse sociological patterns in the city offer you a chance to study a wide variety of social interactions and criminological subjects. You can both enjoy the rich cultural offerings of a big city and take advantage of the internship opportunities in and near Chicago.

What Can You Do with a Sociology Major?

Degree, Skills or Experience Needed for Beginning A Job In This Field:
The major may include one or more internships, cooperative education, or independent studies. Criminology students may choose from a broad list of internships already established. The Department is compiling a comparable list for Sociology. For some occupations, B.A. sociologists need complementary skills in, for example, statistical analysis, report writing, or computer survey research.

Potential Hiring Institutions:

For Sociology Students:Business or sales positions where understanding of human relationships is critical; secondary education teacher; evaluation, marketing or other applied research; counselor in agencies where skills other than social work are central; manager of human resources data; assistant in community planning/development. In general, B.A. graduates can be research assistants, while research associates need the M.A., and research directors need the Ph.D.

For Criminology Students: Law enforcement officer; federal investigator; juvenile or adult probation officer; community corrections worker; private security officer (fastest growing field); security officer in public agency outside the justice system; with experience, supervisor or administrator in any agency above; program evaluator or planner in criminal justice; legal assistant. While people with less education may enter some of the same ccupations, college graduates are more likely to be promoted. Over one-third of our majors go on to law school or graduate school.

Potential Employers:
For Sociology Students: Firms conducting market research or that evaluate services for themselves or as consultants to others; agencies that specialize in recreation; youth development supervision or instruction; resources-finding for clients, advocacy, etc.; firms that employ sales representatives, interviewers, or spokespersons who need to understand varieties of social backgrounds; firms and public agencies that gather data for planning throughout the world.

For Criminology Students: Law enforcement agencies from municipal to federal levels; jails and prisons; probation and parole agencies; community-based correction agencies; courts, criminal law offices; conservation services at state or national parks and forests; private security at manufacturing plants, shopping centers, hospitals and schools.

What Do Our Students Do After Graduation?

Brian Damato (VU '03) Credit Specialist/Underwriter for the Mortgage Department, Citicorp, Citi Trust Bank Division, Baltimore, MD area.

Jon Deenik (VU '03) Law student at University of Indiana Law School, Indianapolis.

Dena Christoff (VU '03) Graduate student in Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago.

Dan Herbert (VU '03) Graduate student in Criminal Justice Administration at Loyola University, Chicago.

Justin Palas (VU '02), Criminal Justice Institute, Indianapolis; trainee, Plainfield, Indiana Police Academy.

Patricia Pantoja (VU '02), special agent, Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Violet Warner (VU '02), service coordinator, Mohawk Opportunities in Mental Health, New York.

Lisa Woodie (VU '01), Graduate student in Higher Education; Student Personnel at Indiana Universit-Bloomington, working for Center for Survey Research.

Qiana Kimbrough (VU '00), one of the first state-wide to enter the Indiana Police Corps program, which pays up to $7500 each year of a student's college expenses, and now works as a corpsman.

Angela Lusk (VU '99), Graduate student at Hubert H. Humphrey School of Social Policy at the University of Minnesota.

What Beyond-the-Classroom Opportunities Does Valpo Offer You in Sociology?

Extracurricular Groups:
Students can participate in Alpha Kappa Delta - Sociology National Honor Society, Phi Gamma Mu - Social Sciences Honor Society, and the Sociology and Criminology Club.

All Criminology students are required to do at least one internship and are encouraged to have more than one. Sociology majors not in the Criminology concentration are also encouraged to participate in one internship.

Valpo students have the opportunity to choose from two different types of internship programs. One is off-campus through the Chicago Urban Studies

Program or the Washington Semester. Urban Studies teaches you the magnitude and complexity of an urban environment by analyzing and experiencing in person the political, social, economic, and cultural forces shaping a city. The Washington program offers significant internships with government agencies, congressional offices, and interest groups.

The second internship type involves placement with local and regional operations such as the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) division in Merrillville, sheriff's and police departments, juvenile services offices, and the loss-recovery department of a large department store. For more information, click here.

Brian Niec, VU 2003, Criminology, completed an internship with the Northwest Indiana branch of the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).

Study Abroad:
Valpo students can take advantage of any of the 14 study-abroad programs in England, Germany, Greece, France, Spain, Namibia, China, Japan, or Mexico.

Notable Alumni

Patricia Pantoja (VU '02), special agent, Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Qiana Kimbrough (VU '00), one of the first state-wide to enter the Indiana Police Corps program, which pays up to $7500 each year of a student's college expenses, and now works as a corpsman.