Academic Programs

Sociology

Albertus Magnus College

The curriculum in the Department of Sociology provides strong academic training in the field, as well as an exposure to varied pre-professional training. The three-fold mission of the department is: (1) to provide course offerings in the liberal arts curriculum of the College, in order to introduce students to the sociological perspective, thereby adding that dimension to their critical thinking processes; (2) to provide an academically strong major which affords an approach to the study of social systems and social change; (3) to provide a major within the discipline of sociology which can reflect a student’s vocational interest, for example, criminal justice, social gerontology, or social work and social welfare. Students majoring in sociology or criminal justice may plan to continue their work in graduate and professional schools. Others study sociology in preparation for careers in social work, teaching, law, business, criminal justice, or governmental service. Graduates in sociology may look toward careers in teaching, administration, or research. Within the Department of Sociology, a student may choose the general sociology major, the criminal justice major, or a major in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice, social gerontology (Continuing Education only), urban studies, or social work and social welfare. Students finding an interest in sociology, but committed to majoring in other fields, may choose to minor in the department. The analytical skills and critical ability developed in this program are complementary to numerous other disciplines. The possibility exists for the applied sociology-oriented student to design, in consultation with the department, an off-campus practicum/internship (CJ/SO 280, 380) for which college credit is given. Internships are required of students majoring in Criminal Justice, Social Gerontology, Urban Studies, and Social Work, and are optional for those choosing the General Sociology major. Many sociology courses may be used toward interdisciplinary majors as well as electives or General Education requirements. The educational objectives which emerge from the mission and purpose of the department are: 1) Students will develop a solid understanding of the discipline of Sociology and demonstrate the ability to use the sociological perspective in analyzing society. This includes learning to use the knowledge, methods and theories of the discipline in various courses. 2) Students will follow a sequence of courses from SO111 Introduction to Sociology, through the various concentrations, including methods and statistics, and finally culminating in Senior Seminar, a capstone course which builds upon previous knowledge and skills. 3) Students will participate in the Internship Program in the various concentrations and will be evaluated by supervisors on their performance. 4) Students will be prepared to secure employment in their fields of concentration or related fields or will go on to graduate school.

The Curriculum:

Criminal Justice Major: (45 Credits)

Required Criminal Justice Core (30 credits)

  • CJ 111 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • SO/CJ 121 Contemporary Social Problems
  • SO 218 Statistics
  • SO 219 Research Methods
  • SO/CJ 231 Deviance and Criminology
  • SO/CJ 232 Juvenile Delinquency
  • CJ 233 Corrections
  • CJ 235 Constitutional Criminal Law
  • CJ 237 Foundations of Criminal Law
  • SO/CJ 242 Minorities and Multicultural Diversity

Upper-Level Courses (9 credits)

  • CJ 380 Criminal Justice Internship (Senior Year)
  • SO/CJ 310 Sociology of Law and Social Control
  • CJ 391 Criminal Justice Senior Seminar: Ethics

Criminal Justice Electives (6 credits)

  • SO 111 Introduction to Sociology
  • CJ 234 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 236 The Death Penalty in America
  • SO/CJ 241 Urban Sociology
  • CJ 238 Criminal Evidence
  • CJ 239 National Security and Civil Liberty
  • CJ 240 Police Administration
  • CJ 255 Special Topics: Classes in forensics, police patrol, etc.
  • CJ 280 Criminal Justice Practicum

Criminal Justice Minor (18 Credits)

Students wishing to minor in criminal justice must take CJ 111 and any five other criminal justice classes

Course Descriptions

Required Criminal Justice Core (30 credits)

    (Some courses cross listed with Sociology-SO/CJ)

    CJ 111 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
    Students will review the origins and foundations of our American system of policing, the relationship between the individual citizen and the state/federal governments’ police powers. Included in this section of the course will be an overview of the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Sixth Amendment. Students will also review the judicial system, and become familiar with the procedures followed in a criminal trial. Finally, the students will examine sentencing issues and the sanctions available against a criminal convict, including incarceration in jail or prison, probation, and parole. Generally offered every fall semester. 3 credits

    CJ/SO 121 Contemporary Social Problems
    Focuses on how institutional and organizational features of societies generate problems for people. Particular attention is directed at a set of problems related to political and economic inequalities, health and illness, education, the environment, and the criminal justice system. P: SO 111 or permission of Department Chair. General Education Choice for Part C and Designated W course. Generally offered every Fall semester.3 credits

    SO 218 Statistics
    Addresses basic concepts and methods of statistical data analysis as applied in psychology and other social/behavioral sciences, including organizing, analyzing, and interpreting data. The course will provide students with a foundation in descriptive and inferential statistics, touching on frequency distributions, probability sampling, and hypothesis testing. Analyses conducted by hand and using SPSS. P: Fulfillment of a Level A math requirement. 3 credits

    SO 219 Research Methods
    This course is a “hands on” approach to research in which the student will learn to design and carry out field observations, experiments, content analyses, or surveys. P: SO 111 or permission of Department Chair. Generally offered every Fall semester. 3 credits

    CJ/SO 231 Deviance and Criminology
    Consideration of deviant behavior and crime as behavioral and social phenomena, with analysis of data and theories of the causation of crime. The effects of labeling deviants are also considered. P: CJ/SO 111 or permission of Program Coordinator. Generally offered every other fall semester. 3 credits

    CJ/SO 232 Juvenile Delinquency
    Investigation of delinquency as a separate phenomenon, including its theories of causation and particular patterns of delinquency, as well as consideration of the variables which affect the rates of delinquency. P: SO 111, CJ 111 or permission of Department Chair. Generally offered every other fall semester. 3 credits

    CJ/SO 233 Corrections
    Examination of philosophy, theory, and practice of criminal punishment and of the processes which characterize arrest, prosecution, trial, and sentencing. Formal and informal operation of law enforcement agencies are studied, with special attention to patterns of differential treatment accorded different social and economic groups. P: CJ 111 or permission of Department Chair. Generally offered every spring semester. 3 credits

    CJ 235 Constitutional and Criminal Law
    This course is designed for students interested in studying law as it applies to the relationship between the individual American and state/federal governments. Among the topics covered will be the Fourth Amendment’s warrant clause and the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination, and the Sixth Amendment’s right to counsel. P: CJ 111 or permission of the Program Coordinator. Generally offered every spring semester. Please note that this class may be offered as a “300 Level” class by requiring the students to turn in an eight to ten page research paper in addition to completing the examinations.3 credits

    CJ 237 Substantive and Procedural Criminal Law
    This course familiarizes students with the origins of our present day substantive and procedural criminal laws. Students will be exposed to early attempts to codify a body of criminal law, from the Code of Hammurabi through Roman law and English common law to the present day. In addition to studying substantive criminal law, students will review the history of procedural criminal law, the process by which persons charged with committing criminal offenses are adjudicated either guilty or innocent. P: CJ 111 or permission of the Program Coordinator. Generally offered every spring semester. Please note that this class may be offered as a “300 Level” class by requiring the students to turn in an eight to ten page research paper in addition to completing the examinations.3 credits

    CJ/SO 242 Minorities and Multicultural Diversity
    This course is a "hands on" approach to research in which the student will learn to design and carry out field observations, experiments, content analyses, or surveys. P: SO 111 or permission of Department Chair. Generally offered every Fall semester. 3 credits

Upper-Level Courses (9 credits)

    CJ 380 Criminal Justice Internship (Senior Year)
    Fieldwork experience. Admission only with approval of Program Coordinator. P: CJ 280 and senior status. Generally offered every semester. 3 credits

    CJ/SO 3l0 Sociology of Law and Social Control
    A consideration of all forms of social control. A study of both the content and quantity of law employed under varying social conditions. Law will be considered as both a cause and effect of social change. P: SO 111 or permission of Department Chair. Generally offered every other fall semester. 3 credits

    CJ 391 Senior Seminar: Ethics
    In this seminar-based course, students in Criminal Justice will study the difficult ethical issues faced by criminal justice practitioners on a daily basis and how the ethical challenges faced by police, prosecutors, judges and corrections officers can be effectively addressed. Generally offered every spring semester. 3 credits

Criminal Justice Electives (6 credits)

    SO 111 Introduction to Sociology
    This course invites you to see the world sociologically. We will examine culture, social structure, inequality, gender, race, deviance, and socialization from the sociological perspective. General Education Choice for Part B. Generally offered every semester. 3 credits

    CJ 234 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
    This course is designed to challenge students’ ability to discern the complexities of some of the fundamental issues faced by criminal justice professionals today, including the consequences of our nation’s “war” on drugs; the possible consequences of the legalization of drugs; gun control; the insanity defense; the development of the victim’s rights movement; predicting juvenile delinquency; and probation and parole. P: CJ 111 or permission of Program Coordinator. Generally offered every other spring semester. 3 credits

    CJ 236 The Death Penalty in America
    This course introduces students to the complex problems surrounding the application of our nation’s ultimate penalty. Students will review the history of various death penalty laws and the methods by which the penalty has been carried out. In addition, students will study the issues surrounding capital punishment today, including its use against the mentally handicapped, juveniles, and focusing on equal protection and race-based claims. P: CJ 111 or permission of the Program Coordinator. Generally offered every summer. 3 credits

    CJ/SO 241 Urban Sociology
    We shall study the effects of the urban environment on social institutions and populations and examine the modern crises of urban living with an eye towards answering the question: Can cities survive? P: SO 111 or permission of Department Chair. This is a Distance Learning course. Generally offered in the Accelerated Degree Program every spring. 3 credits

    CJ 238 Criminal Evidence
    This course is designed to introduce students to the rules of evidence which govern the conduct of criminal trials. Starting out with an explanation of direct and circumstantial evidence, students will then examine the hearsay rule and its many exception, privileges, and the standards which govern expert and lay testimony. Finally, students will finish the course with an examination of how the courtroom rules affect police officers in the field as they investigate criminal behavior. Offered each semester. 3 credits

    CJ 239 National Security & Civil Liberty
    In this course, students will explore the complex problems faced by our nation as we attempt to balance the conflicting need to maintain our national security with the need to ensure individual civil liberty. Topics covered include: subjecting civilians to military justice, martial law declaration, suspending habeas corpus, designating persons as unlawful combatants, and law enforcement scrutiny of lawful political protest. In addition, students will review how the events taking place during various time periods in our history, such as the Civil War, the Cold War era, and the 1960s shaped our government’s policies toward balancing security needs with the guarantee of civil liberties we enjoy. Offered annually. 3 credits

    CJ 240 Police Administration
    In this course, students will explore the myriad problems faced by all supervisors as they attempt to create a positive working environment for their subordinates. While this course is primarily geared to law enforcement personnel, the topics covered are familiar to many different types or workplaces. Among the issues covered in class are: leadership style, interpersonal communication, motivation, discipline, and working with difficult employees. Offered annually. 3 credits

    CJ 255 Special Topics
    Selected topics or issues with respect to the criminal justice system are studied in-depth. P: CJ 111 or permission of Program Coordinator. 3 credits

    CJ 280 Criminal Justice Internship (Junior Year)
    Fieldwork experience. Admission only with approval of Program Coordinator. P: CJ 111 plus 15 hours in Criminal Justice and junior status. Generally offered every semester. 3 credits

Faculty

Garrett Dell

Name:Garrett Dell
Department:Communications/CIS/Sociology
Title:Lecturer
Office:
Phone:203-773-0253
Email:gdell@albertus.edu

Michael Geary

Name:Michael Geary
Department:Sociology
Title:Associate Professor, Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program
Office:Aquinas, Room 304
Phone:(203) 773-8088
Email:mgeary@albertus.edu

Karen Kendrick

Name:Karen Kendrick
Department:Sociology
Title:Associate Professor of Sociology
Office:Aquinas, Room 308
Phone:Cell (860) 816-2258
Email:kkendrick@albertus.edu

Suzanne Palmieri

Name:Suzanne Palmieri
Department:Sociology
Title:Lecturer in Sociology
Office:Aquinas, G16
Phone:(203) 773-6901
Email:spalmieri@albertus.edu

Patricia Yeaman

Name:Patricia Yeaman
Department:Sociology
Title:Professor of Sociology
Office:Aquinas, Room 313
Phone:(203) 773-8559
Email:yeaman@albertus.edu

For general questions contact:
The Office of Admission
800-578-9160 toll-free
203-773-8501 voice
203-773-5248 fax
admissions@albertus.edu