Deepen your understanding of the challenges facing society.
Criminology is the study of crime and related issues from a liberal arts/social scientific perspective. As a criminology major, you will gain an understanding of the theories, practices and trends in crime, and in the criminal justice systems in our society. You'll focus on understanding how and why crime occurs in society, ways to measure and examine these trends and possible steps to intervene or punish those who break the law.
Criminology programs typically have a majority of male students. Because law enforcement agencies are seeking to hire more women, they frequently come to Meredith's campus and talk with students about possible careers. In addition, Meredith's location in the state capital with multiple levels of law enforcement agencies offers numerous opportunities for networking and excellent placements for field research and internships.
At all levels of law enforcement, agencies are actively recruiting women. At Meredith, you will have opportunities to meet with representatives from federal, state and local government and/or law enforcement agencies who are recruiting for entry level jobs. Many agencies target our campus specifically for this reason.
In addition, the criminology program advocates a strong "hands-on" approach in terms of networking and in your required internship in the community, an opportunity that may lead to a career. Multiple speakers come to campus during CSI Week in the Fall, Sociology Week in the Spring and to many of the criminology courses as speakers. Students work closely with their advisor in finding and completing an internship in an agency or related organization that matches their future career goals. Criminology is also an excellent major to pair with other areas of study such as psychology and sociology.
Students may choose to join the Sociology/Criminology club, which works on various issues related to sociology, criminology and social justice. The club sponsors CSI Week, which features speakers in classes that relate to the criminology major. The club also hosts sociology week, with various speakers related to the field of sociology. The club is involved in projects like Books for Barwell (school books for students at an elementary school) and Diva Dash (a fundraiser to support Interact). Qualified students can also join Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Honor Society in sociology.
Criminology students typically work with agencies as part of their coursework. In Race Relations (SOC 335) students complete work in a public school. In Criminology (SOC 336), students may complete “ride alongs” with Raleigh Police Department and /or attend Criminal Court. Students have numerous opportunities to meet representatives of local, county and federal agencies. Criminology students are required to complete an internship with either a law enforcement agency or a nonprofit or government organization.
A major in criminology will prepare you for criminal justice careers in the following areas:
Local law enforcement
- City police
- County police
- City County Bureau of Identification
- Juvenile Justice Centers
- Sheriff Department
State law enforcement
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- State Bureau of Investigation(SBI)
- The Court System
- Attorney General Offices
- Narcotics Bureaus
- Liquor Control Boards
- State Police
- Park Police
Federal law enforcement
- Department of Defense
- Department of Homeland Security
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Department of Transportation
- Federal Trade Commission
- Veterans Affairs
- Customs Agency (ICE)
- Immigration and Naturalization Service
- Food and Drug Administration
- Office of the Inspector General
Private sector law enforcement
- Insurance companies
- Private detectives
- Security firms for Business
Other Possible Careers include
- Emergency and Disaster Management
- Mediation/Dispute Settlement
- Victim Advocacy
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Military officer
Careers that require additional education
- Criminal Attorney
- Forensic Accountant
- Forensic Psychiatrist
- College Professor
The Dr. Rhonda Zingraff Academic Excellence in Sociology and/or Criminology Award is given to an exceptional senior majoring in Sociology or Criminiology who has a GPA of at least 3.5 and has shown evidence of her personal intergrity while a student at Meredith College.
In addition to this discipline-specific scholarship opportunity, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Lori Brown, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Sociology Program, including the criminology major. Her primary interests are in race relations, population studies and criminology. Her past research has been done in the areas of teaching methods, race relations and homeschooling. She teaches Race Relations, Criminology, Corrections, the Color of Crime, Drugs and Society, Population Dynamics and a Principles of Sociology class based on the Harry Potter films.
Amie Hess, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Sociology. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality and social policy. Her dissertation used two years of ethnographic research and in-depth interviews to examine the way that abstinence-only sex education was implemented in local communities throughout New York State. An article based on this research titled, “Hold the Sex, Please: The Discursive Politics Between National and Local Abstinence Education Providers” was published last year in the journal Sex Education. Hess is also interested in youth, technology and the media. She enjoys working with undergraduates in pursuing their own research ideas.
For more detailed information about the criminology major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page.