Only at Iowa is Sociology and Criminology integrated to provide you with a broad and powerful understanding of the field

Gain valuable skills and new perspective through the lens of society, crime and justice

Our undergraduate degree programs will challenge you to think critically about why things in our society occur, what are the forces that shape how people and groups interact around social issues, and how to create a more just society. 

The department has developed four special programs for undergraduates. One focuses on writing skills, another on strengthening international aspects of course work. A third program involves internships in the criminal justice and human services areas, in which you'll earn course credit while gaining work experience. Finally, the major's capstone course will help you prepare to transition from college to work, graduate school, or law school. 

Why Sociology and Criminology at Iowa?

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Nathan Albano

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Major(s): Sociology, with a minor in Italian.

Activities: I'm the President of UI Students for Disability Advocacy and Awareness (UISDAA for short) and the Disability Constituency Senator for the University of Iowa's Undergraduate Student Government. 

Why Did You Choose Sociology/Criminology: My path to choosing sociology wasn't easy. I came into college originally majored in Business Admin and Political Science, and I quickly found myself struggling to keep up with classes and stay motivated for college. After a leave of absence, I came back to school and decided that I wasn't willing to put time into something I wasn't interested in, that I needed to enjoy my work. Luckily, I'd taken a sociology class in high school that I really enjoyed, so I knew there had to be something about it that I liked. My intrigue quickly became a passion for the field, and every sociology class I've taken since has reaffirmed that fondness.

Favorite Class(es):   Sociological Theory; Principles of Social Psychology; Race, Organizations, and Workplace; Education, Schools, and Society.

Future Plans: I'm hoping to get into a graduate program for sociology to study the relationship between post-industrial labor, anxiety/depression, and the social nature of disabilities. 

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Marissa Good

Hometown: Marion, IA

Major(s): Sociology, Political Science, Ethics & Public Policy

Activities or Research Experiences: President and co-founder of IGNITE UI; Iowa Policy and Opinion Lab (IPOL) group leader for the race and crime group; research with Dr. Seamster on the Flint Water Crisis

Volunteering: Women's Resource and Action Center and Willis Dady Homeless Shelter

Hobbies: Making earrings for my business Goods by Marissa Good!

Why Did You Choose Sociology/Criminology: I am very interested in learning about how structures function and how they can be analyzed to address inequities.

Favorite Class(es): The Racial Wealth Gap with Dr. Seamster

Future Plans: I am planning to obtain my MPAff and conduct work in policy research and implementation!

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Dia Paudyal

Hometown: Ames, IA

Major(s): Majors in Political Science, Economics, and Ethics & Public Policy, Minor in Criminology, Law, & Justice. Political Risk Analysis Certificate.

Internships or Research Experiences: Intern at the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa. 

Why Did You Choose Sociology/Criminology: I wanted to learn more about the criminal justice system in order to bring about future reforms and address current issues regarding  mass incarceration. I also really enjoy learning theory about critical criminology.

Favorite Class(es): Immigration and Crime; Global Criminology 

Future Plans: I am a third-year student on the pre-law track. I am interested in public service law, principally civil rights, immigration, and labor law.

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Cassandra Calkins

Hometown: Naples, Florida

Major(s): Criminology, Law, and Justice and Psychology

Internships or Research Experiences: Residential Officer Intern at the 6th Judicial District Department of Corrections

Volunteering: Women's Resource and Action Center and Willis Dady Homeless Shelter

Why Did You Choose Sociology/Criminology: I chose to study Criminology because of overall interest in the field and because I think it is a beneficial major for a number of careers, especially if you couple it with sociology or psychology courses.

Favorite Class(es): Drugs Deviance and Social Control; Communities and Crime; Cognitive Psychology

Future Plans: I am currently in the Corrections field and hope to go into Pre-Trial Services. I might like to go to law school, possibly The University of Iowa College of Law. 

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Nicholas Hove

Hometown: Runnells, IA

Major(s): Criminology, Law, and Justice

Internships or Research Experiences: Youth Care Intern at Youth Homes of Mid-America

Why Did You Choose Sociology/Criminology: I entered the University of Iowa without a declared major, but soon found interest in this area of study after taking an introductory course. Learning about the operation of various processes within the criminal justice system along with their flaws is what drew me into this major, which continues to motivate me to ultimately end up in a position to contribute to and improve the state of such processes. I also thoroughly enjoy learning about the theoretical explanations for delinquency.

Favorite Class(es): Juvenile Delinquency; Immigration and Crime

Future Plans: I am currently in the law school application process, planning to attend law school next fall.