Sociology and Criminal Justice


The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice provides students with classroom and real-life experiences designed to stimulate critical thought about the social environment as they prepare for meaningful participation in society.

The Department offers both a major and an academic concentration in Sociology and a major in Criminal Justice. In addition, minors are available in Sociology, Criminal Justice, Substance Abuse, Medical Sociology, and Community Development.

The Department places emphasis on applied sociology and criminal justice. Many courses allow students to test classroom learning through experience in the community. In addition to providing a rewarding learning opportunity, these experiences enhance employment opportunities following graduation.

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice strongly recommends that prospective majors, minors, and those developing specialty concentrations consult the Department Chair or an advisor. Some particular attributes of our faculty and students:

  • Our faculty possess many years of experience in academia and also working outside of the university.
  • We have faculty members who have worked in and administered a variety of social services programs including: social services agencies; counseling centers; vocational rehabilitation agencies; habitat for humanity; employment services, and rural and economic development.
  • We have faculty members who have extensive experience working in criminal justice: probation/parole officer; the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), which is is the primary law enforcement agency of the United States Department of the Navy; homeland security; postal inspector, and prison operations and administration; parole release; and gubernatorial pardons and clemency.
  • Majoring in sociology prepares students for any number of social and human service related positions.
  • Majoring in criminal justice prepares students for a wide variety of jobs related to law enforcement, criminal investigation, corrections, and delinquency prevention.
  • Both the sociology and criminal justice majors provide students with internship options. Many students placed in internships have been hired by their host agencies. Some examples of student internships that resulted in long-term employment include state and federal probation and parole jobs; sheriff's deputies; teen court administrator; and youth violence program coordinator.
  • Our majors provide an excellent foundation for graduate and professional school. Many of our graduates go on to attend graduate or professional school. We have graduates, who are attending/completed law school, graduate programs in either sociology or criminal justice, and counseling.
  • Our department has a chapter of alpha kappa delta (AKD) an international honor society.
  • Our department has a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma; the only Criminal Justice Honor Society which is a certified member of The Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
  • Sociology and criminal justice clubs are active, and provide students with excellent networking opportunities for careers in their chosen profession.

Online Degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice

All students intending to pursue the Sociology or Criminal Justice Degree online must ensure that they transfer all of UNCP's General Education requirements (including two hours of physical education) in order to complete the degree online. UNCP will offer all of the Sociology or Criminal Justice courses required for the online degree, but non-major courses are not necessarily offered online.