Department of Sociology
PilloryCriminology Minor

Criminology is one of the many exciting subfields of sociology, and is a field that embraces scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the etiology, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. Criminology originated in the 18th century when social reformers began to question the use of punishment for retribution rather than deterrence and reform. In the 19th century, scientific methods began to be applied to the study of crime. Today criminologists commonly use statistics, case histories, official records, and sociological field methods to study criminals and criminal activity, including the rates and kinds of crime within geographic areas. Their findings are used by lawyers, judges, probation officers, law-enforcement and prison officials, legislators, and scholars to better understand criminals and the effects of treatment and prevention.

Abilene police badgeAt McMurry, the study of criminology is extremely diverse, offering courses such as Comparative Criminology which looks at crime on an international level, as well as Crime and Society, which looks at crime in American Society. Other major issues such as Women and Crime, the study of juvenile delinquency, and theoretical explanations of criminal behavior are explored.

Serial Killer Extravaganza

At McMurry, Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth teaches a course in criminology that takes a closer look at the unique subject of serial killers in society. This topic is taught through our basic criminology course, using a special series of studies which incorporate the works of major investigators such as Robert Ressler, who spent twenty years studying the behaviors of serial killers while working for the Criminal Profiling Unit of the FBI. This course has been one of the most popular courses at McMurry.

Women and Crime

One of the areas of specialty in McMurry’s program in criminology is the study of female criminality. This is a cutting-edge course that investigates the unique patterns of female offenders and studies the latest research on the differences between male and female criminals. This course has been one of the most sought out courses at McMurry over the last few years, and features the latest theories and ideas about women criminals.

The Fine Print

The minor in criminology consists of 18 hours of coursework: SOC 2375: Crime and Society; SOC 3315: Criminology; and 12 hours (or four courses) from SOC 3335, 3345, 3375, 4325, 4335, 4385, or 4X95.