Dept. of Psychology, Criminology, Sociology, and Clinical Psychology

Programs of Study



major, minor

The Criminology program provides a well-rounded, liberal arts academic education for students who want to study the causes and consequences of crime.  The primary objectives of the program include the development of critical-thinking, communication, technology and computing skills, qualitative reasoning, ethical decision making, and an understanding of diversity.  Through this program, students will acquire, understand and synthesize knowledge pertaining to the study of crime and justice.  Students will learn research methodology in order to apply it to questions of crime commission, law creation, law enforcement, the adjudicatory process, and the correctional process, and to test criminological theory.  Students will also learn to communicate effectively, evaluate the nature of evidence, solve problems independently, critically and cooperatively, and understand the importance of ethical behavior in the fields associated with justice (e.g., law enforcement, victims advocates, researcher). 

The Criminology program provides the educational background to prepare students for careers in law enforcement, probation and parole, the judicial system, other aspects of the justice system (e.g., community organizer, advocate, etc.), and a variety of helping professions that intersect with the justice system.  Students will also be prepared for advanced studies in graduate school or law school.


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Life Span Services


The Department's minor in Life Span Services offers students opportunities to engage in multidisciplinary study of the cultural, psychological, and sociological forces that have an impact on the aging process in the United States. The minor also provides a knowledge base which will provide students with introductory skills necessary for them to work effectively with older adults, their families, and caregivers.

Students often elect to supplement their major with the Life Span Services minor in order to prepare them for careers in which their work with older adults intersects with matters of healthcare, counseling, public policy, and law. In many cases, Life Span Services minors pursue further graduate studies in gerontology and related disciplines.

Grandmother reading to granddaughter

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major, minor

The scientific study of understanding people, with all of their complex behaviors and mental processes, the discipline of psychology examines behavior that is evil at one extreme and altruistic at the other, attempting to explain both the serial killer and the saint. What environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors decide which direction a baby will someday go? At the same time, those who study psychology ask how it can be used to solve human problems, both on an individual level ("know thyself") and on a global level.

A psychology major offers excellent preparation for a wide range of careers. Graduates may run a group home, work for an organization that supervises individuals with emotional disabilities, or pursue careers in human resources or employment counseling. Students are also well prepared for jobs in public affairs, administrative support, business, sales, and service industries.

Psychology majors gain practical experience in clinical and experimental laboratories and have the opportunity to conduct research, either on their own or in collaboration with faculty members. Students also have the option to supplement the major with one of our interdisciplinary programs in pre-physical therapy and pre-occupational therapy.

Phrenological Head

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Social Work


Benedictine's minor program in Social Work enables interested undergraduate students to study individual development and behavior across the life span as well as to understand the interactions among families, groups, and communities.

Program coursework in the Social Work minor provides a curriculum that prepares students for entry-level positions in the fields of mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and substance abuse, in addition to offering excellent preparation for graduate study in social work. The curriculum also includes a required field experience, allowing minors to explore, in a practical, supervised environment, the vast array of professional possibilities in the field of social work.


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major, minor

Since Auguste Comte coined the term in the early nineteenth century, sociology has been one of the most popular majors on university campuses. With an emphasis on the study of human societies, sociology covers a wide area including politics, religion, the economy, the legal system, the family, social work, and folklore.

Taking a cross-cultural perspective, students learn about how people organize themselves and behave in society. You will study such topics as human culture; the interaction between and within groups; the creation, evolution, and transmission of group norms; and the primary factors that hold groups together and/or weaken them. You will also learn the statistical and research methods used by professional sociologists, as well as gain exposure to the fundamentals of the other social sciences (psychology and economics).

Sociology is available as either a major or a minor at Benedictine. Majors complete a six-course "department core" and then select one of two concentrations: sociology or criminal justice.

Prof. Jon Lewis teaches a class

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