Sociology & Criminal Justice
We've earned 'Excellence' in undergraduate and graduate teaching

Welcome to the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. The department offers a BA in sociology or criminal justice. We have a long tradition of quality teaching and are proud of the fact that five of our faculty have earned the university's Excellence in Teaching Award.

Graduate students may earn an MA or a Ph.D. degree in sociology or criminology. Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships are available on a competitive basis. The department is home to the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies and affiliated with the Disaster Research Center.

You can find information on this site about our graduate and undergraduate programs and faculty, but if you have a specific question please contact us.

General inquiries can be directed to the department or you may contact individual faculty directly. For information about the Sociology Undergraduate Program e-mail For the Criminal Justice Undergraduate Program e-mail For inquiries regarding the Graduate Program, click here.

Graduate Program Application Form




SOCI 467 010 - Fads and Fashions

This course is not about fads in boots, width of ties, or beer-can hats, but is a serious examination of the very important thrusts in key social institutions in society over time. Throughout the core social institutions such as education, healthcare, medicine, technology, family, criminal justice, science, and business, we find many phenomena that have short-lived publicity or social value, but their repeated presence over time reveals much about the social institutions and the society we live in. Using classic and contemporary sociological theory to examine these phenomena, we will develop a coherent sociological approach to explain how fads and fashions in our key social institutions come and go over time, rise and fall in popularity over time, and though their form may change some, how they are similar in function and follow cyclical patterns that we can observe.

SOCI 667 010 - Sociology of the Body

This course examines the body as the product of complex social arrangements and processes. Drawing from an interdisciplinary literature and a range of theoretical traditions, we will consider ways in which the body is constituted by various cultural discourses including race, class, gender, sexuality, medicine, and normality. We will also trace the treatment of the body in key traditions of social theory.

SOCI 667 011 - Sociology of Health & Illness

This course presents a substantive overview of fundamental issues in medical sociology including the determinants of health, the structure and implications of healthcare, the experiences of healthcare workers and patients, medicalization of social problems, health occupations, as well as politics and the changing healthcare system.



Pictured are the University of Delaware's 2015 high index seniors (from left) Melissa Sterner, Albert Lo, Caroline Cameron, Ryan Dayton, Nichole Schneider, Megan Johnson, Hannah Anderson and Michael Hession.

High Index Seniors

Eight presented highest grade point index awards during Commencement

Eight graduating University of Delaware seniors achieved the highest grade point index earned in full-time study toward a University degree and were recognized during Commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 30, in Delaware Stadium.

To be eligible, a graduating senior must have earned at least 75 percent of the total credits required for the degree at the University of Delaware and must have averaged a minimum of 15 credits per semester.

UDaily Article





12/14 – Annual Department Holiday Party



For more information about upcoming events call the Department at


More than just ink: USD professor teaches the cultural production of tattoos

Dr. Dave Lane, assistant professor of sociology from the University of South Dakota, teaches a class that explores the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of the tattooing process.

Weekender Article

Ph.D. Student, Kai Lin, was recently interviewed by the Indiana Daily Student

He was asked to comment on a paper he published with Ivan and a few other researchers on intimate partner violence, as well as its relevance to a recent murder/suicide incident that occurred on the University of Indiana, Bloomington campus.

Indiana Daily Student Article

What measures should parents take to ensure their kids are safe when trick-or-treating?

Joel Best says that Halloween is indeed a dangerous holiday, mainly because we send tens of millions of kids out into the dark.

Wallethub Article

Babies, Blind People Distinguish Races

Babies and the blind aren't color-blind when it comes to making assumptions about a person's race.

Delaware Online Article

NSF Award to Study Ebola and Stigma

Tricia Wachtendorf and James Kendra were awarded an Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) from the National Science Foundation.

Department News

Humanism & the Premedical Realm(s)

Barret Michalec and a team that includes scholars from the Mayo Clinic, University of Toronto, University of Minnesota Medical School, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, have been awarded a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute to explore where and how humanism is featured in the premedical experience and curriculum, as well as how US and Canadian medical schools identify the humanist traits, attitudes, and practices of premedical students through their application materials.

The Disaster Research Center

Brandon Bristor and Megan Hewitt - students in UD's Department of Sociology's emergency and environmental management concentration - spent much of this summer as Service Learning Fellows, working at DRC on behalf of IAEM@UD and the Delaware Disaster Assistance Team (DDAT).

Facebook Album

Rysheema Dixon has been doing some amazing things in a short time

Since graduating from UD with a degree in sociology six years ago, she has done community service work with Delaware Public Allies, started her own business that is continuing to grow, worked with a nonprofit women’s group in India and, in 2014, was named one of the top women in business in Delaware.

College of Arts & Sciences Article

First Delaware medical team members arrive in Kathmandu

Our graduate student Sam Penta was briefly interviewed for this article:

Delaware Online Video and Article

Sam Penta, as well as fellow DRC team member Dr. Sarah DeYoung, were shown packing and moving suitcases in this local NBC coverage:
NBC Video
Delaware Online Article
Sex offenders have few places to live

Watch Chrysanthi Leon's video about how eight towns have written rules expanding state restrictions on where sex offenders can live in relation to schools, day cares and play grounds.

Delaware Online Video

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