As long as people break the law, our society will need criminologists.

If you have an insatiable curiosity, a strong sense of justice, and a desire to improve social conditions, a major in criminology will build on your natural abilities to prepare you for a fulfilling career. You will study all facets of crime—from the psychological motivations of criminals to the intricacies of law enforcement, prisons and parole systems—to fully understand the American criminal justice system and explore how to improve it.


At Coker, our discussion-based round-table learning philosophy actively develops your analytical and communication skills, teaching you how to think critically and ask purposeful questions. You don’t just absorb information; you interact with the coursework in a way that trains you to think on a higher level. Criminology is based on the ability to recognize, analyze, and investigate patterns in information. At Coker, you become familiar with this process as an undergraduate. You learn how to learn—and with internships and a capstone research project to prepare you for the professional world, you graduate with all the tools you need to build a successful career.


For a more detailed explanation of requirements, including course descriptions, download the Academic Catalog.

A degree in criminology is the first step toward a wide range of careers. Some criminologists work on the front lines in law enforcement and criminal investigation, some are behind the scenes analyzing data to understand and predict crime, while others conduct research to inform major policy decisions. The criminology major provides a base understanding of criminology combined with a liberal arts core, preparing you for graduate study or entry-level positions in criminal justice agencies.

For more information on potential career paths, click here.

Examples of alternate career paths you can follow with your criminology degree:

  • ATF Inspector
  • Bailiff
  • Border Patrol Agent
  • Chief Deputy
  • Child Welfare Caseworker
  • Correction Counselor
  • Correction Officer
  • Court Administrator
  • Court Clerk
  • Court Reporter
  • Criminologist
  • Customs Patrol Officer
  • Deputy Sheriff
  • Deputy U.S. Marshall
  • Evidence Technician
  • Federal Protection Officer
  • Fingerprint Technician
  • Immigration Guard
  • Import Specialist
  • I.R.S. Agent
  • Law Clerk
  • Law Librarian
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Transcriber
  • Paralegal
  • Penologist
  • Police Detective
  • Police Dispatcher
  • Police Lieutenant
  • Police Officer
  • Polygraph Examiner
  • Postal Inspector
  • Probation Officer
  • Psychologist
  • Secret Service Officer
  • Serology Technician
  • Social Worker
  • Special Agent, Customs
  • Special Agent, FBI
  • Teacher
  • Warden
  • Youth Counselor
Todd C. Couch

Todd C. Couch, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology; Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Coordinator of the Forensic Studies Specialization and Sociology Program; Program Coordinator for the M.S. in Criminal and Social Justice Policy Program

Michael L. Siegfried

Michael L. Siegfried, Ph.D.

Professor of Criminology and Sociology