Criminology Major

Recommendations & Requirements

  • Majors are encouraged to work in community, social and/or correctional agencies where they can apply classroom knowledge to real problems
  • Students interested in a graduate degree are encouraged to complete the department’s Recognition in Scientific Analysis
  • Complete all 100-and 200-level requirements before accumulating 60 credit hours (junior status)
  • All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses 
  • Co-requisites must be taken during the same semester

Required Courses (44 credit hours)

CRIM 102: Introduction to Criminology
3 credit hours

A survey course designed to provide a general theoretical understanding of crime problems in the United States. The basic sources of crime, the justice machinery and society’s reaction to crime are examined.

CRIM 221: Victimology
3 credit hours

Analysis of major perspectives on victimization. Emphasis is on the role of the victim in the generation of crime, experience of the victim in the criminal justice system and on patterns of victimization.

CRIM 331: Advanced Criminology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  CRIM 102
An intensive study of different theories explaining why people violate the law. Special consideration will be given to applying theories of crime.

CRIM 332: Juvenile Delinquency
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or CRIM 102 or SOCI 101
A systematic analysis of theories of juvenile delinquency and how the juvenile justice system manages delinquents. Consideration is also given to the solutions of delinquency.

CRIM 342: The Correctional System
3 credit hours

Provides a basic framework for understanding crime and criminal justice. Topics include community-based treatment programs, correctional treatment in institutions and civil rights of offenders.

BSCI 109: Scientific Writing
1 credit hours

This course introduces students to professional writing styles used in the behavioral sciences, emphasizing the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The course is also designed to familiarize students with library databases used to conduct empirical literature reviews.

BSCI 200: Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. 
Considers the major methods of the social sciences, including applied statistics. Topics include research design, surveys, secondary data and other unobtrusive methods, evaluation research, sampling and research reports.

BSCI 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.  Co-requisite:  BSCI 275-L. 
This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential techniques behavioral scientists use to help guide decision?making. Emphasis is given to hypothesis testing, to include coverage of t?tests, one?way ANOVA, regression, and correlation, as well as APA?formatting issues.

BSCI 275-L: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite:  BSCI 275. 
A laboratory to complement Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences. SPSS basics are emphasized.

BSCI 359: Advanced Behavioral Research I
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L. 
Students enrolled in this course complete the initial stages of an original, team-based research project to include conducting and writing a literature review, devising a research design strategy and applying ethical protection of human participants. It is essential that students complete Scientific Writing, Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences and Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences with lab before taking Advanced Behavioral Research I. Course fee required.


Students must complete these three classes before taking BSCI 359:

BSCI 109: Scientific Writing
1 credit hours

This course introduces students to professional writing styles used in the behavioral sciences, emphasizing the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. The course is also designed to familiarize students with library databases used to conduct empirical literature reviews.

BSCI 200: Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101. 
Considers the major methods of the social sciences, including applied statistics. Topics include research design, surveys, secondary data and other unobtrusive methods, evaluation research, sampling and research reports.

BSCI 275: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101 or SOCI 101.  Co-requisite:  BSCI 275-L. 
This course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential techniques behavioral scientists use to help guide decision?making. Emphasis is given to hypothesis testing, to include coverage of t?tests, one?way ANOVA, regression, and correlation, as well as APA?formatting issues.

Students who fail or do not successfully complete BSCI 359 will be removed from the Advanced Behavioral Research I and II course sequence. Students will not be allowed to register for and/or audit BSCI 361 during the following spring semester. Failing students must re-attempt the 359/361 sequence the following fall semester.


CRIM 360: The Judicial Process
3 credit hours

An in-depth look at the judicial branch of government, emphasizing the state and federal judicial systems. The role of the prosecution, defense, judge and jury are examined, as well as judicial procedure.

BSCI 361: Advanced Behavioral Research II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 359. 
As a continuation of Advanced Behavioral Research I, students enrolled in this course complete their original, team-based research project. This involves conducting the study, data analysis, reporting the findings in the context of a scientific paper and delivering a formal presentation of the research. Course fee required. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

Students who fail or do not successfully complete BSCI 361 must earn a passing grade in BSCI 343 in order to fulfill the university and department research requirement. The final grade awarded in BSCI 343 shall not replace any prior grade earned in BSCI 361.


BSCI 380: Undergraduate Internship Experience
3 credit hours

Internships are designed to help students better understand the connection between theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to learn more about expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better to be eligible for internships. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

BSCI 493: Senior Seminar
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Senior standing, BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L
This is the capstone course for the major. Current issues in the field are researched and presented in a seminar setting. Students practice the writing, oral communication and critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in graduate school and their future careers. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

Students enrolled in BSCI 493 are required to take a comprehensive examination over topics covered in the major as well as a nationally-normed exit exam.


Choose at least six hours from the following:

ANML 305: Animal Law I
3 credit hours

This course will examine a wide variety of topics related to the law of animals, such as classes of animals (companion, exotic, domestic), torts (liability statutes, damages and valuation), contract law (landlord/tenant, area animal restrictions, dissolution of marriage), wills and trusts, criminal law (breeding regulations, legal vs. illegal breeding, animal cruelty), hoarding, entertainment regulations, dog fighting, the Humane Slaughter Act, the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. Particular attention will be paid to the topics of interest of the students enrolled.

BSCI 308: Qualitative Research Methods
3 credit hours

This course exposes students to the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting and analyzing data using various qualitative methodologies to include ethnographic, grounded, observational and content analysis methods. Special emphasis will be given to the students’ understanding of various methodological challenges, the standards of scientific evidence, issues of generalizability and ethics. 

BSCI 339: Ethical Dilemmas in the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Designed as an exploration of contemporary moral issues and as an introduction to research ethics, this course examines philosophy-based ethical theories and encourages their application in case studies derived from an array of disciplines. A segment of the course is exclusively devoted to applications in scientific endeavors. Students are required to obtain National Institutes of Health certification to conduct research with human participants.

BSCI 343: Fundamentals of Research
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: BSCI 359. 
This course is intended for students who fail or do not successfully complete BSCI 361. Students enrolled will write a review of literature and complete an original research project. This involves designing methodology, conducting a study, ensuring ethical protection of human participants, analyzing and interpreting data, generating an original research report and delivering a formal presentation.

BSCI 435: Psychological Tests and Measurements
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 109BSCI 200BSCI 275BSCI 275-L. Co-requisite:  BSCI 435-L. 
An intensive study of the theory of measurement with emphasis on errors in measurement, validity, reliability, item analysis, test construction and prediction. A laboratory period will include training in the construction, taking, scoring and interpretation of psychological tests.

BSCI 435-L: Psychological Tests and Measurements Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite: BSCI 435. 
A laboratory to complement Psychological Tests and Measurements.

BSCI 475: Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 275 and BSCI 275-L. Co-requisite:  BSCI 475-L. 
This course provides an in?depth examination of inferential statistics used in behavioral sciences. Topics include analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, multivariate techniques and non?parametric analyses.

BSCI 475-L: Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
1 credit hours

Co-requisite:  BSCI 475. 
A laboratory to complement Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

BSCI 480: Undergraduate Internship Experience II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BSCI 380. 
A second opportunity for students to connect theoretical perspectives and practices in the workplace. Before registering, students are required to meet with the behavioral sciences internship director to discuss expectations, requirements, and responsibilities. Students must have junior or senior status and a GPA of 2.50 or better.

CRIM 301: Principles of Forensic Science
3 credit hours

Designed to acquaint the student with procedures utilized in the investigation of a crime. It considers theories of physical sciences as they apply to the investigative methodology of a crime. The process is examined within the context of the most recent technological advances in criminal investigation.

CRIM 311: White Collar Crime
3 credit hours

Intensive study of crimes committed by people or corporations during the course of legitimate work.

CRIM 321: Deviance and Social Control
3 credit hours

This course provides several perspectives on the nature and sources of deviance. Included in the survey are societal responses to deviance and processes to control deviance.

CRIM 337: Death Penalty
3 credit hours

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the social, political and historical forces that have helped shape the practice of the death penalty in America and the international community. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between race, class and gender and imposition of capital punishment as well as the influence of U. S. Supreme Court rulings on the administration of the death penalty.

CRIM 341: Justice, Punishment and Ethics
3 credit hours

A philosophical and pragmatic examination of justice and punishment. The course will provide the student with an understanding of the conceptual foundations of justice.

CRIM 364: Wrongful Convictions
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  CRIM 301
This course will emphasize the causes of wrongful convictions and the procedural mechanisms that allow for the litigation of those claims. The focus of this class will be the types of evidence and testimony that leads to wrongful convictions, real life examples of wrongful convictions, as well as state and federal post-conviction remedies.

CRIM 365: The Innocence Project Clinic
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  CRIM 364
In partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, students will review cases of potential wrongful conviction. Through a collaborative process, submitted cases will be researched, evidence will be evaluated, conclusions and recommendations will be presented for class discussion and, eventually, MIP review. Students participating in The Innocence Project Clinic will be expected to respect the confidential nature of the work required.

CRIM 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

CRIM 391, 392, 491, 492: Research
1-12 credit hours

Many academic departments offer special research or investigative projects beyond the regular catalog offering. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a proposal for study that must be approved by a faculty mentor and the appropriate department chair. The faculty member will provide counsel through the study and will evaluate the student’s performance. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible. Students must register for research (291, 292, 391, 392, 491 or 492) to receive credit and are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form. It is recommended that students complete not more than 12 hours of research to apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

PSYC 334: Abnormal Psychology
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101
Following a brief introduction to personality theories, the course focuses on the etiology, classification and treatment of behavior disorders.

PSYC 371: Psychology and the Law
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CRIM 102 or PSYC 101.  
This course will examine relevant theory, research case law and issues of psychological practice within the criminal justice system.

SOCI 320: Drugs and Society
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the social realities of drug use and drug users. Drawing from sociological and criminological perspectives, the course focuses on the historical significance and social construction of drug use, users, abuse and addiction; the relationship between drug use and racism/class conflict; medicalization in contemporary societies; and social movements aiming to effect attitude and policy change.


Electives in the Behavioral Sciences

Courses used as electives for one behavioral science major or minor (criminology, psychology or sociology) may not also satisfy elective requirements for another behavioral science major or minor.

Courses in the behavioral neuroscience minor may be used as electives for the psychology major or minor. Likewise, courses in the community health minor may be used as electives for the criminology major or minor.