Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice

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The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice offers degrees in sociology at the BA and MA level, and in criminology and criminal justice (CCJ) at the BA level.  Students interested in pursuing careers in social work major in sociology with a concentration in social services. In their senior year, CCJ majors and sociology majors concentrating in social services complete internships in their respective fields.

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • BA in Sociology, general
  • BA in Sociology, social services concentration
  • BA in Sociology, Work & Community Engagement concentration
  • Minor in Sociology
  • Minor in Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • MA in Applied Sociology

Sociology and CCJ are similar to many other majors in the humanities and social sciences in that they open doors to a variety of fulfilling, well-paying jobs, but do not link to specific occupations. Undergraduate sociology and CCJ degrees provide insights into the many social factors that affect how institutions operate, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age,education and social class. Students who major in either CCJ or sociology will also gain valuable research and data analysis skills since they take courses dedicated to this purpose.

Sociology and Criminal justice - BA Mission Statement  

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at William Paterson University provides rigorous programs of study designed to:  1) teach our students sociological/criminological perspectives; 2) give them the knowledge and analytical tools with which to understand the social world and/or the criminal justice system; 3) enable them to apply that knowledge in their careers and in ways that serve the wider community. 

To achieve the above, faculty members place an important emphasis on teaching, seeking not only to inform—but also to explain, demonstrate, and inspire—in an ongoing  effort to bestow a love of learning upon our students.  As scholars, faculty members conduct research, participate in professional meetings and conferences, and publish their work. Finally, members of the Department bring their expertise to a wide variety of civic organizations and activities as part of their community service. 

At the undergraduate level, our courses integrate key concepts with our disciplines' unique perspectives and methods.  Thus, we prepare students for success in the workplace and/or graduate school, including the ability to engage in critical social inquiry and informed civic engagement. 

 

Sociology and Criminal justice - BA Goals  

 

  1. Students will develop an understanding of the sociological/criminological & criminal justice perspective and acquire core knowledge in the field.  
  2. Students will be able to use sociological/criminological theory to understand and explain social/criminal behavior.  
  3. Students will learn the various methods and techniques of sociological/criminal justice and criminological research 
  4. Students will be able to apply what they have learned in their own research projects. 

 

 

Sociology and Criminal justice - BA Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to explain the social and historical processes through which sociology/criminology as a discipline developed.  Also, they will be able to describe the relationships among sociology/criminology, other social science approaches, social life/crime and punishment in society. 
  2. Students will be able to show mastery of the core knowledge of sociology/criminology as a distinctive field of study 
  3. Students will be able to distinguish among major theoretical strategies in sociology/criminology. They will also be able to describe and apply the ideas of prominent sociological/criminological theorists. Lastly they will be able to explain different theoretical strategies and claims about a variety of social issues/a variety of criminal justice and criminological issues. 
  4. Students will be able to describe and distinguish the various research techniques used in sociology/criminology. They also will be able to critically evaluate the evidence presented in sociological/criminological research reports. And lastly, they will be able to discuss ethical issues that arise in the conduct of social science research. 
  5. Students will be able to design research projects using various sociological data gathering techniques. They should be able to demonstrate competence in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and be able to present the results of their research projects in an effective manner, both orally and in writing.

Applied Sociology - MA Mission Statement  

Our vision is to develop in students an advanced skill set that incorporates theoretical and methodological analysis through in-class educational experiences and applied, experiential learning opportunities. In addition to these highly desired skills in both the private and public sectors, we strive to instill sociological insights into workplace diversity and multicultural perspectives. 

 

Applied Sociology - MA Goals  

  1. Our Program seeks to meet the needs of students and professionals seeking practical and advanced skills for careers in the public and private sectors. Specifically, students: 
  2. Receive a strong foundation in sociological theory and its value as a framework to conduct research and assess situations; 
  3. Our Program seeks to meet the needs of students and professionals seeking practical and advanced skills for careers in the public and private sectors. Specifically, students: 
  4. Acquire the skills to engage in independent research investigation; 
  5. Our Program seeks to meet the needs of students and professionals seeking practical and advanced skills for careers in the public and private sectors. Specifically, students: 
  6. Develop necessary skills to conduct quantitative and qualitative research; 
  7. Our Program seeks to meet the needs of students and professionals seeking practical and advanced skills for careers in the public and private sectors. Specifically, students: 
  8. Acquire a skill set to design, execute and report empirical social research; 
  9. Our Program seeks to meet the needs of students and professionals seeking practical and advanced skills for careers in the public and private sectors. Specifically, students: 
  10. Gain practical research experience in a work setting. 

 

Applied Sociology - MA Student Learning Outcomes

 

Writing skills 

  1. Writing: Students will be able to organize ideas to present a position;Write in a unified and coherent manner appropriate to the subject matter, use appropriate sentence structure and vocabulary; Document references and citations according to the ASA StyleGuide. 

Critical thinking 

  1. Students will be able to: analyze and assess statements, assumptions, arguments and perspectives using supporting data and empirical evidence; maintain an open attitude, think critically about beliefs and values; make logical connections and draw conclusions based on evidence; demonstrate problem-solving & decision- making skills by generating new ideas. 

Research skills 

  1. Understand how theory can establish the framework for conducting, analyzing research; Apply quantitative and qualitative research methods in examining social phenomena; Develop necessary skills for questionnaire coding, computer data creation, and data management; Develop necessary skills in interview and observation techniques, content analysis; Evaluate information presented in tabular, numerical and graphical form; Design, execute, and report empirical social research. 

Effective professional communication 

  1. Students will be able to: organize an oral presentation in a logical sequence that will be understood by the listeners; Demonstrate professional demeanor, speak in a well-modulated tone, and engage the listener; Use visual aids effectively to enhance an oral presentation; Exhibit good listening skills when others are speaking. 

Ethical awareness 

  1. Students will be able to: recognize and identify ethical issues and their significance in research and practice; Understand how to implement ethical considerations in research and practice; Emphasize academic integrity and the means to avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty.