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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology

Sociology FAQ

Department & Sociology & Criminology

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do with a degree in Sociology or Criminology?

As a liberal arts degree, a BA in Sociology or Criminology prepares you for a wide range of career opportunities. Many of our students pursue advanced degrees in sociology, criminology, law, social work, and even business. Recent Sociology and Criminology graduates serve as police officers, crime analysts, teachers, Peace Corps workers, and are active in a variety of not-for-profit endeavors. More information is available on the Careers page.

Is sociology the same as social work?

Sociology and social work arose from Jane Addams' Hull House tradition, but they are different disciplines. Sociology prepares students to understand social problems and issues affecting communities and human societies at various levels. Social work prepares students to be practitioners, working directly with the individuals and communities that they serve, such as in the child welfare system. Students interested in working directly with clients can major in sociology and pursue a graduate degree in social work via DU's dual degree programs:

I'm interested in criminal profiling/forensics/serial killers. Should I major in criminology?

The advent of popular crime dramas on television has generated a great deal of interest in the criminology major. Rather than focusing on crime solving or individuals' motivations for committing crime, our department approaches the study of crime from a sociological perspective. This means we emphasize the causes and consequences of crime at the group, community, neighborhood, and societal levels rather than at the individual level.

Will a degree in criminology lead to a career with the FBI?

Many students are interested in careers with the FBI, prompting them to major in criminology. While a degree in criminology is useful, the FBI is particularly interested in individuals with foreign language and accounting skills, given changes in the nature of crime around the world. For more information about career opportunities with the FBI, please visit their website.

Do I have to take SOCI 1810 to enroll in a sociology or criminology class?

SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor is the standard prerequisite for all Sociology/Criminology courses.  [The course is required for Sociology and Criminology majors and minors.]

Do I have to see a faculty advisor before registering for classes?

YES. Advising sign up sheets are posted outside faculty offices one week prior to official advising periods.  [No other department can sign off on a Sociology or Criminology major, so it's in your best interest to meet with one of our departmental advisors to make sure you will meet all major/minor requirements.] 

How do I choose an advisor?

Advisors are assigned to students as they enter the major, although you are free to visit with any faculty member to discuss your interests. [Master advisor/advisee lists are kept in the Sociology/Criminology Office; email if you forget who your assigned advisor is.]

Can I do an internship for credit?

Yes. Sociology and Criminology Internships are available to students who meet eligibility requirements. Internships are usually one or two quarters long.
For more information, contact Dr. Hava Gordon (, 303-871-3603).

I transferred to the University of Denver from another college. Will my sociology credits transfer?

Approval of transfer credits is done on a case by case basis by our Chair (Hava Gordon). (See coursework approval work flow document for more details.)