The Department of Sociology & Criminology focuses on social relationships in a wide variety of cultural and social settings. Its programs seek to help students achieve an awareness of the world in which they live and of the causes and consequences of human social behavior.
Classes in sociology and criminology range from those covering social institutions such as the criminal justice system and the family to those that make the daily headlines. Recent special topics have tackled the issues of school shootings, terrorism, and drug use in society.
Department of Sociology and Criminology Mission Statement
The Department of Sociology and Criminology at Valparaiso University provides students with an understanding of the theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues addressed by the fields of sociology and criminology. Our goal is to help students critically analyze the world they inhabit, and to provide them with an understanding of the complex causes and consequences of social behavior. The criminology concentration provides students with an understanding of the U.S. criminal justice system and of the causes of crime.
The Department works to cultivate a tradition of scholarship and inquiry among our students. Consistent with the mission of the University, the Department also fosters a sense of vocation, equipping students with the knowledge and skills to be leaders in their community, their chosen career path, and in society more generally.
As a faculty, we link teaching, scholarship, and service in an effort to provide students with foundational knowledge in sociology that demonstrates the relationship between sociology and everyday life. We also work to nurture professional development within the discipline, both for faculty and students.
Sociology at Valparaiso University is a dynamic major that allows students to explore the social world in which they live. Sociology students at Valparaiso University receive a broad education that combines the best of the liberal arts tradition with the practicalities of job related skills. Our students take courses in both social theory and research design. They learn to analyze social problems using critical thinking skills and they can learn to conduct program evaluations using the latest computer software.
The Department of Sociology and Criminology offers a traditional sociology major and the option to concentrate in criminology. The concentration in criminology offers students opportunities to learn criminological perspectives and concepts, conduct research, serve the community, and do internships. We prepare students for a variety of careers related to criminal justice, crime prevention and intervention, or advocacy, or for graduate or law school.
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.