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Sociology vs. Criminology

CSUSM’s Online Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies BA programs have common roots. Both programs are fully online, share faculty members and all courses share a SOC prefix, but the programs offer you two different learning experiences. Below is a table showing the differences between the two degrees that can you make informed choices about your potential major at CSUSM.

Differences Between Sociology and Criminology Degrees
Question Sociology Criminology
What will I be studying? Societies; institutions, organizations and groups that compose them; the way individuals and groups relate to one another Sociological, psychological and historical causes of crime and justice; issues of justice and inequality and solutions toward social justice
What is the focus? Broader focus on social problems More narrow focus on the social processes surrounding crime and justice
What topics will be covered? Contemporary problems including crime, poverty, overpopulation, mental illness and aging Critical issues of crime and justice to pursue solutions toward social justice
What are popular graduate programs? Social Work (MSW), Public Health (MPH), Law (JD), Sociology (MA), Psychology (MA/MS) Criminology (MA/MS), Law (JD), Sociology (MA/MS), Forensic Psychology (MS), Social Work (MSW)
What types of fields to CSUSM students work in after graduation? Social services, business, marketing, nonprofit administration, research, education, public advocacy Education, law enforcement, defense investigation, nonprofit work
Is an internship required? Optional internship Required internship
What are the prerequisites? SOC 101 (Intro to Sociology)
SOC 201 (Statistics)
SOC 105 (Intro to Justice Studies)
SOC 201 (Statistics)
What are the core courses? SOC 320 (Sociological Theory)
SOC 301 (Qualitative Research Methods)
SOC 311 (Inequality) or 313 (Race/Ethnicity) or 315 (Soc of Gender)
SOC 360 (Quantitative Research Methods)
SOC 325 (Criminology)
SOC 442 (Analysis of Justice System & Criminal Law)
SOC 311 (Inequality) or 313 (Race/Ethnicity) or 315 (Soc of Gender)
SOC 360 (Quantitative Research Methods)
Where can I learn more?  Sociology program webpage Criminology program webpage
Who is the Faculty Director?  Dr. Adam Shapiro ( Dr. Christopher Bickel (