Jun 16, 2024  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024 
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024

Sociology and Criminology

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Stephen Barnard, PhD, Department Chair

Jay Howard, PhD; Katherine B. Novak, PhD

Associate Professors
Stephen Barnard, PhD; Krista M. C. Cline, PhD

Assistant Professors
Vitor Martins Dias, PhD; Ashley Hutson, PhD; Alexander Roehrkasse, PhD

Instructors and Lecturers
Mark Suchyta, PhD

Department Website

Why Study Sociology and Criminology?

Sociology and criminology majors are taught the basics of human interaction and relationships and acquire an understanding of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of social behavior. As all human behavior is primarily social, sociology promotes an awareness and understanding of a wide range of social and cultural issues, from the study of crime and deviance, to the study of social inequality and social welfare, to the study of racial, gender, and sexual diversity, to the study of globalization and multiculturalism. With an understanding of society and how the social context and social forces shape behaviors and an emphasis on strong critical-thinking and research skills, majors in sociology and criminology are well prepared for a wide range of opportunities after graduation.

Why Study Sociology and Criminology at Butler?

The Department of Sociology and Criminology aspires to be a cornerstone program in the social sciences, emphasizing writing and critical thinking, analytical skills, experiential learning, and an in-depth understanding of the changing world, including multicultural and global issues. The department provides comprehensive, sociology-based course work in sociology, sociology with a specialization in social work and social policy, and criminology. Our program is distinguished by:

  • A curriculum that emphasizes the connection between theory and practice. Students have numerous opportunities to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world settings and to everyday life.
  • Majors that culminate in a capstone experience. Students complete a research proposal in their senior year that demonstrates their mastery of sociology or criminology. Students present their research findings at the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference or a professional meeting.
  • An emphasis on multicultural and global issues. Our curriculum introduces students to other cultures and societies and prepares them for participation in an increasingly diverse and multicultural world.
  • Student participation in internships and service-learning courses. Internships in criminal justice, human services, business, and community contexts provide students with practical experience and career opportunities. Service-learning courses promote learning through the active participation of students in the local community.
  • Student engagement in the research process. Students have many opportunities to engage in the research process and to collaborate with faculty on research projects.
  • A curriculum that prepares students for the job market and for advanced study. Graduates of the department work in a wide range of employment fields, including human services, social policy agencies, the criminal justice system, healthcare, and business. Majors also pursue advanced professional degrees in law and social work, as well as degrees in sociology, criminology, and other related fields.
  • Numerous student opportunities beyond the classroom. The department sponsors a chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international honor society for sociology. The Student Sociology and Criminology Association is a student-led organization that engages in volunteer opportunities, hosts movie nights to provide organized discussion on current event topics, and hosts career and graduate school panels.
  • A diverse faculty of dedicated teachers and researchers. Faculty work closely with students and encourage student learning through hands-on experiences in and out of the classroom.

Sociology and Criminology Student Learning Outcomes

The core values of the Sociology and Criminology Department are placed squarely within a liberal arts tradition that strives to foster critical reflection, social awareness and responsibility, sociocultural diversity, and a global perspective. The department’s central mission is to:

  • Foster a knowledge of social and cultural issues, theories, and research methods
  • Cultivate students’ abilities to succinctly and clearly express this knowledge in oral and written form
  • Provide opportunities for students to utilize these acquired skills in an applied context
  • Develop an awareness of global and multicultural issues. Students will develop a perspective that emphasizes critical inquiry and reasoning to address challenging social problems. Ultimately, our program and curriculum cultivate values that will shape students into lifelong, active, responsible, and informed members of the greater community.

Degree Programs

  • Major in Sociology (BA)
  • Major in Sociology with a Specialization in Social Work and Social Policy (BA)
  • Major in Criminology (BA)
  • Combined Major in Sociology and Criminology (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in Sociology with a Specialization in Social Work and Criminology (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in Criminology and Psychology (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in Sociology with a Specialization in Social Work and Psychology (BA) (see Combined Majors)
  • Combined Major in Philosophy and Sociology
  • Minor in Sociology
  • Minor in Criminology
  • Minor in Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration: A Sociological Perspective


    MajorCombined Major




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