The Department of Sociology houses two majors: Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies. The Department of Sociology is also attached to the Legal Studies minor, which is under the direction of the Department of Political Science.
At Thiel, our criminal justice studies program has a special focus: juvenile and family justice. Our program emphasizes issues of juvenile delinquency and family members in abusive relationships, reducing recidivism or repeat offenses and bringing troubled families to normalcy. Graduates from our program work in courts, specialized treatment programs, public and private agencies such as juvenile probation, child and protective services, and others dedicated to principles of behavior reform. Our approach is fundamentally different from programs in criminal justice that emphasize crime and punishment, police science and the administration of justice.
Our program is framed by Thiel’s commitment to the liberal arts, signifying the importance of supporting the development of humane and altruistic perspectives of students in all fields of thought and work.
The major is interdisciplinary, concentrating on sociology as a way to gain basic understanding of issues involved in juvenile delinquency and domestic violence. The major requires and encourages study in a variety of related and supportive fields including sociology, political science, psychology, religion and philosophy.
A student who graduates from Thiel College with a major in criminal justice
• understand and be able to apply the major theoretical paradigms of Criminal
• understand and be able to apply the principles of social science research
• understand the complexity and interaction of social marginality in United
States culture in terms of deviance, criminality, corrections, race/ethnicity, sex/
gender and social class.
• understand and be able to assess the criminal justice system in the United
• understand the role and application of law in United States society.
• understand critical issues in United States society: restorative justice, juvenile
law, domestic violence, deviance and crime.
• understand the diversity of criminal acts and the variety of criminal justice
systems in a global context.