Sociology and criminology majors make a global impact. Have you ever wondered how you can fight poverty, reform the criminal justice system or be a voice for children in foster care while building a sustainable career? Your passion for helping those around you is exciting and worth cultivating. With the support of dedicated professors and faculty, you’ll learn to harness this passion to help change people’s lives for the better.

In the McMurry University Sociology and Criminology Department, you’ll receive a high-level curriculum created with the most up-to-date resources and data. Practical classroom learning and on-the-ground experience will equip you with an outstanding portfolio for further studies in graduate school or a successful entrance into the workforce. You’ll be ready to take your first steps toward a fulfilling career in human resources, public relations, criminal justice, public policy, social work and more. Begin at McMurry, where higher education meets hands-on work experience to bring about real-world change.


Areas of Study

The sociology and criminology department offers degrees in four high-demand areas.

Criminal Justice (Online)

Explore the finer points of the criminal justice system and the structures that make law enforcement work. You’ll learn how to protect and serve your community through a deep study of the criminal mind and the judicial system. As a member of law enforcement, you may choose to aid victims of crime, support the wrongfully convicted or help the incarcerated seek justice. Wherever your passions lie, there are numerous opportunities to use your talents and education for the greater good. Your classes and capstone project will prepare you to apply for competitive jobs in forensics, detective work, law enforcement, domestic intelligence and more. Criminal justice


Similar to its sister degree, criminal justice, criminology is the study of law enforcement but with a specific concentration on the criminal mind. You’ll learn to predict crime by power of observation and the study of the conditions that create it. Investigate social factors, psychological motivators, crime patterns and beyond. Criminologists find success and fulfillment in careers as detectives, crime scene investigators, forensic scientists and criminal profilers. You’ll feel prepared to thrive in a competitive role with the completion of your capstone project and the support of knowledgeable professors. Criminology


Sociology is the study of people. Diversity, religion, culture, globalization, history and more are considered when examining the human race. You’ll dive deep into the social and emotional constructs that bring people together — and those that tear us apart. Sociology students learn how to conduct vital research, recognize discrimination, reverse social trauma and converse with people of all backgrounds to invoke real change. A sociology degree is an excellent choice if you’d like to pursue a career in therapy, social work, case management, human resources or paralegal work. Sociology

Servant Leadership (Minor)

Use your natural leadership and management skills to serve others. Servant leadership is a special program offered for students seeking a career that combines their faith and education. You’ll analyze the strengths and weaknesses of true spiritual leadership, explore social factors, and work with fellow students to spearhead ministry-focused volunteer projects. Students who study servant leadership at McMurry are investing in a bright future in nonprofit work, ministry, human resources, government or business. Your hard work will culminate with a co-curricular transcript ready to present to potential employers. Servant Leadership

Student Opportunities

Pre-Professional Programs

The mission of the McMurry University Pre-Professional Program is to provide the curricular advising and career guidance needed by our students as they prepare themselves for application to and successful completion of a professional school program. Pre-Professional Programs

Alpha Kappa Delta

Welcome to the sociology international honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta. By joining, you gain access to exclusive grants, travel opportunities, scholarships and mentorship programs. Plus, you’ll make lifelong friends who are passionate about sociology. Entrance for students, junior year and above, can be earned with a maintained GPA of 3.0 or higher and a declared major or minor in sociology. Engage in activities that challenge your mind and participate in group research projects to understand the social problems of our time. We’ll study the human condition and take active steps toward real change. Alpha Kappa Delta

Sociology Club

Observation is one of the key tools used to study sociology in depth. What better way to learn the details of humanity than by interacting with your peers and others? The Sociology Club offers the opportunity for sociology majors and minors to experience their degree coming to life. You’ll connect with local human service agencies and organizations and become lifelong friends with other future sociologists.

Departmental Honors and Awards

Each spring, the department of sociology and criminology recognizes students who display outstanding performance. Awards include:
  • Robert Dean Bouldin Scholarship, outstanding sophomore in sociology
  • Everett E. and Orabeth Woods Scholarship, outstanding junior in sociology
  • Dan W. Dodson Award, outstanding senior in sociology
  • Morris Baker Award, outstanding graduating senior in psychology or sociology
  • Esma Morris Cash Scholarship, outstanding female student in education, religion or sociology
  • Edwin Sutherland Award, outstanding student in criminology


On-the-job experience is essential to your success as a sociology and criminology department student. We believe that learning by doing is the most powerful way to prepare yourself to stand out in your field after graduation. Here are some of the ways we engage students in hands-on educational experiences.
  • We make our courses discovery based. You’ll learn how to formulate your own conclusions based on research and evidence. Classes include hands-on learning through research projects, experiments, data collection and analysis.
  • We invite our students to join in faculty research. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in real sociology and criminology research studies led on-site by our professors or off campus at prestigious research centers. Current affiliates include the Southwestern Sociological Association and the American Sociological Association.
  • We require all students to complete a capstone experience. This unique senior project will challenge you to explore your knowledge of sociology and criminology and prepare and present your findings. You’ll conduct own research and data analysis on a topic you select and use your project as a steppingstone to a successful career or further studies as a graduate student.

Honors Program

McMurry’s educational programs and resources help students thrive inside and outside the classroom. Students who receive a 3.25 GPA or above are highly encouraged to enhance their education by taking honors courses and enrolling in the sociology and criminology honors program. Honors Curriculum

Global Learning Endorsement

The Global Learning Endorsement provides an opportunity for students to highlight academic achievement in global/international studies on their transcript. This endorsement will provide helpful documentation of the student’s expertise for employment in an increasingly globalized world. Learn More
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Beyond McMurry


An undergraduate degree in sociology and criminology opens doors for a successful career or further graduate program study. Here are just a few promising career options:
  • Correctional Counselor
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminal Profiler
  • Defense Attorney
  • Drug Enforcement
  • FBI Agent
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Human Resources Worker
  • Human Rights Activist
  • Law Enforcement Worker
  • Nonprofit Worker
  • Parole Officer
  • Private Investigator
  • Project Management
  • Psychologist
  • Rehabilitation Officer
  • Social Worker
  • State Trooper

Join the Ranks of Accomplished Alumni

McMurry sociology and criminology graduates are working across the country in advanced careers helping people of all cultures and backgrounds. Alumni are passionate about their work, and their education helps them connect with the people they interact with daily. Many go on to graduate program study.You’ll find McMurry sociology and criminology graduates leading the way in a wide range of fields:
  • Adult Probation Officer
  • Air Force Military Police Officer
  • Child Protective Services Investigator
  • Correctional Officer
  • Department of Family and Protective Services Worker
  • Department of Health and Human Services Research Assistant
  • Innocence Project of Texas Worker
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Meals on Wheels Volunteer Coordinator
  • Police Officer
  • Primary Prevention Specialist
  • Rehabilitation Center Worker
  • University of Cincinnati School of Social Work Professor
  • University of Texas Team Member
  • Victim Advocate
  • Victim Crisis Center Worker
  • YMCA Associate Executive Director of Health and Wellness

Advanced Degree Pathways

For students working toward a specific career focus, McMurry offers additional phases of education to smooth the transition to graduate school. For more information, contact Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth.


Jerry Hollingsworth Department Chair / Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Jori Sechrist Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Robert Wallace Professor of Sociology and Criminology