Criminology, Master of Arts (0421)


Program Coordinator

Carrie Trojan,, (270) 745-2645

This online program exposes students to the empirical study and evaluation of crime patterns in society using a social scientific perspective. The program’s primary emphasis is the development of strong methodological and quantitative skills necessary to gather and analyze criminological data. In addition to a research and analysis emphasis, course work is directed toward the investigation of the etiology of offending and victimization in violent and property crimes, using a variety of theoretical frameworks structuring the research process. Courses examine the major correlates of crime, delinquency, and deviance, including an analysis of the effects of gender, age, race/ethnicity, and social class in explaining variation in offending and victimization rates at various levels of analysis (e.g. individuals, within neighborhoods, among counties, and across countries).

Students are exposed to historical and contemporary macro and micro level theories of offending and victimization, and they are challenged to think about how prior and current research in the field of Criminology can be used to inform social and public policies. Several courses provide students with the opportunity to examine the institutions that have evolved to respond to crime and delinquency in our society. These courses provide insights and perspectives into punishment and correction systems, penology, criminal law, rehabilitation and recidivism. At the end of the program, students must complete a criminological research project in the format of a peer-reviewed journal article and pass an oral examination. Additional information can be found at

Program Admission

Admission to the program requires a GAP score of at least 600 [GAP = (GRE-V + GRE-Q) + (Under- graduate GPA x 100)]. For students who took the GRE prior to August 2011 the minimum GAP score is 2200 [GAP = (GRE-V + GRE-Q) x Undergraduate GPA]. The GRE Analytical Writing minimum is 3.5. Interested students should send applications for admission, GRE scores, and transcripts to the Graduate School.

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30 hours)

The Criminology MA program requires students to complete 30 credit hours of graduate work. The program only provides a non-thesis option. Students must pass an oral examination after completing all course work in the specified curriculum.

Required Courses
SOCL 513Quantitative Methods of Social Research3
SOCL 514Advanced Social Statistics3
CRIM 525Survey of Criminal Justice3
CRIM 532Criminology3
CRIM 596Applied Research Project3
Select 6 hours from the following6
Deviant Behavior
Criminology and Law
Neighborhoods and Crime
Family Violence
Juvenile Delinquency
Comparative Criminology
Gender, Crime and Justice
Life-Course Criminology
Race, Class and Crime
Environmental Criminology
Students may complete a maximum of twelve credit hours of graduate course work outside of the Department of Sociology. Students may select courses from this list of approved electives offered by the Department of Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and the Department of Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University: 19
COR 823 Topical Seminar in Corrections/Juvenile Justice
COR 830 Understanding Corrections/Juvenile Justice Institutions
COR 835 Correctional/Juvenile Justice Leadership & Administration
COR 840 Trends/Issues in Adult/Institutional/Community Corrections
COR 850 Corrections and Juvenile Justice Interventions
COR 856 Law and Ethics in Dealing with Offenders
CRJ 814 Policing and Society
CRJ 874 Crime, Criminal Justice and Popular Culture
CRJ 875 Crime and Public Policy
CRJ 878 Ideology and Criminal Justice
Total Hours30

With the approval of the graduate advisor in the Sociology Department, students may complete or transfer twelve graduate credit hours of electives from other departments at Western Kentucky University or from courses completed at other institutions.