Sociology & Criminology

Social life. Social change. Social behavior.

Gain the necessary tools to investigate and understand a wide range of cultural and social issues in order to make a positive impact on society and the welfare of individuals.

Choose your focus.

Our sociology-based programs are grounded in three central themes: community, social diversity, and global awareness. Each program reflects an emphasis on the use of social science theory and methods to address challenging social issues while encouraging critical thinking and engagement with our communities and the world. With a strong academic and experiential foundation, our students are well prepared for a wide range of opportunities upon graduation

To best meet your interests and career goals, we offer several options of majors. Sociology, Sociology with a Specialization in Social Work and Social Policy, or Criminology. Both Sociology and Criminology offer degree tracks that can be completed in three years.

We also offer minors in sociology and criminology, and the opportunity for students to complete a combined major either with the psychology department or within our department.

Sociology & Criminology FAQs

Butler Distinctions

students in cap and gown


Sociology and Criminology graduates work in a wide range of employment fields including human services, social policy agencies, the criminal justice system, health care, and business. Majors also pursue advanced professional degrees in social work and law, as well as graduate degrees in sociology, criminology, criminal justice and other related fields. The department has an average placement rate for graduates of 90–100% over the last 10 years.

Butler student on his computer


Sociology and Criminology students participate in a senior research capstone seminar in which they complete an independent empirical research project that demonstrates their mastery of sociology or criminology. Additionally, students are encouraged to engage in research opportunities such as directed research, the Honors Program, or the Butler Summer Institute (BSI).

Alumni Perspective

What I like most about Sociology is that it doesn’t focus on just one thing—it looks at all factors that affect a person’s life (race, class, gender, etc.). This is useful in my career because it helps me understand how many of these children end up in foster care, and how I can help them break the cycle.

—Zoe Cottom ’16, Recruitment Coordinator for Indiana Adoption Program

Holcomb Fountain