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Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Professor teaching a criminology class


Students in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program examine the different aspects of crime and criminal justice — law enforcement, the courts and corrections — from a sociological perspective, giving them an understanding of human behavior in a broader social context. Our interdisciplinary degree equips students with the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills necessary to succeed in the workforce or graduate studies, including law school. 

A Growing Field

Here, you'll join a vibrant and growing learning community dedicated to serving the needs of its students, the state of South Carolina and society at large. Students completing our undergraduate degree program  will be prepared to enter their careers or continue their studies at the graduate level. 

Nationally Recognized Faculty

We offer three graduate degreesincluding a master’s, doctorate or a dual master’s and juris doctor degrees in conjunction with the USC School of Law. Graduates of these programs will be prepared to continue in the world of academics or begin their careers. 

Bolster A Different Degree

The Criminology and Criminal Justice program intersects with a wide range of degrees outside of our department. Students interested in sociology, law, education, political science and many others will benefit from taking our courses. 

Undergraduate Program

In our undergraduate program, students will gain skills for careers in various aspects of the criminal justice system. Possibilities include law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole, victim services, and crime/intelligence analysis at the local, state and federal levels.  

You’ll develop strong communication and writing skills as you explore and research ideas such as criminology, criminal justice systems, victimology and diversity in criminal justice. You'll graduate with a strong foundation in the social and behavioral sciences and be prepared for leadership or policy positions in public and private agencies or for continued study in graduate or law school. 

Criminal Justice Minor 

Students majoring in sociology, psychology, and political science (particularly those interested in public administration) will find this to be an attractive minor. 

Beyond the Classroom 

As a student in our department, you will have the opportunity to join different student organizations, as well as participate in a challenging and fulfilling internship, or mentor at-risk adolescents.

Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, students have the opportunity to pursue a master's, Ph.D. or a dual master’s and Juris Doctor program. You'll receive rigorous training in a research-intensive atmosphere. You can work with faculty who specialize in a wide range of research topics including policing, criminological theory, corrections, courts, juvenile justice, mental health, race and gender in the justice system, among others. 

Along with our nationally recognized faculty, you can be actively involved in research partnerships with local, state and federal agencies and develop skills that will help you advance as a practitioner and researcher. 

Find out more about the undergraduate scholarships and graduate assistantships that are available to new and returning criminal justice students. 


A background in criminology and criminal justice prepares you for many different career paths. Whether you want to work in law enforcement, homeland security, court administration, corrections, the non-profit sector, private security or law, you’ll come away from the criminal justice program with knowledge and experience to pursue your interests. And we keep tabs on new positions in academic and practitioner fields to provide you with current career opportunities

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.