McMurry University to Offer New Major in Criminology Beginning This Fall

  Gary Ellison
  Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:51 PM
  Archives 2016 - 2017

Abilene, TX

Beginning this fall, the McMurry University Department of Sociology and Criminology will provide students the opportunity to major in criminology leading to a bachelor of arts degree in criminology.

“Studying criminology at McMurry will be distinctive in a number of ways. First, the progression of courses is developed around the scientific examination of the ‘nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior’,” said Dr. Robert Wallace, professor and department chair. “Another unique focus of studying criminology at McMurry is being exposed to the issue of convicting an innocent person.”

Joining the McMurry University faculty to enhance the criminology degree tract will be Dr. Daniel Patten. Dr. Patten previously taught in the department of sociology and criminal justice at Western Michigan University. He has authored a number of articles on criminology and presented on the subject at numerous conferences.

Dr. Patten received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Purdue University, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Indiana State University, a master’s degree in sociology from Old Dominion University and his Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. He is a member of the American Society of Criminology and the American Sociological Association.

The Criminology major will include a diverse array of courses focused on the causes of criminal behavior and the criminal justice system. Courses titles include Criminology, Wrongfully Convicted, Juvenile Delinquency, Studies in Criminology, Serial Murder Investigations, White Collar Crime, Crime and Punishment, Women and Crime, Comparative Criminology and Issues in Criminology.

The foundation of the major includes courses on sociological explanations of crime and violence, problems facing the criminal justice system both nationally and internationally, and how the major institutions in society -- such as the economy, politics, education and the family -- shape both crime and justice.

After graduation, this major will prepare students for careers in police organizations (local, state, and federal), public and private investigative work, private security work, corrections and community corrections, private treatment facilities for adults and juveniles, crime and justice research, as well as in other types of human services, public relations, applied social research, community organization, and teaching social science in secondary schools.

“It is our hope that with the new Criminology major, we will be better able to meet the needs of our students and our community,” said Dr. Wallace. “We are proud that we will now be able to provide our students the opportunity to graduate with a major in this exciting area!”

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