Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice

Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice

Location: 55 Maes Building

Phone: (409) 880-8538

Chair: Dr. Ginger Gummelt

Degree Program Coordinators:

Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice is a multidisciplinary department, consisting of four academic programs: sociology, anthropology, social work, and criminal justice. Each has its own unique mission. The common general mission of the four programs is to provide high-quality education through baccalaureate programs in sociology, social work, and criminal justice, a master’s in criminal justice, and a minor in anthropology. All programs emphasize excellence in instruction, research and scholarship, professional development, university and community service, and the preparation of students for graduate and/or professional education. For additional information about the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, visit our website:

Departmental Academic Policies

  1. A grade of “C” or higher for each course in the major field (including transfer courses) is required for graduation.
  2. Each student’s use of English is subject to review up to and including the semester in which he or she is scheduled to graduate. Any faculty member who identifies a departmental major having poor English skills will notify the student and the department chair in writing. The department chair will then review writing samples and consult with the Director of Writing for the Department of English. Based on the recommendations of the Director of Writing and the department chair, additional diagnostic procedures and course work may be required before the student is recommended for graduation.
  3. Students who wish to transfer into the department as sociology or criminal justice majors must have a minimum 2.00 grade point average. Social Work majors must have a 2.5 or better grade point average. Sociology and Criminal Justice must maintain a 2.00 or better G.P.A to remain in their respective programs; Social Work majors must maintain a 2.5 or better to remain in the program.
  4. The departmental academic probation and suspension policy is identical to that of the College of Arts and Sciences and is available from the office of the dean or department chair.
  5. Students who are majoring in this department and who are on academic probation or returning from academic suspension may not enroll in more than 12 semester hours (13-15 hours if a laboratory course and P.E. are taken) in any semester.
  6. All departmental majors (full-time and part-time) must have satisfied both the university’s and the College of Arts and Sciences’ requirements for English composition and mathematics before registering for 3000-and 4000-level courses offered by the department.


As prospective candidates for admission to a school of law, students may pursue one of the bachelor’s degrees offered by the department. The degree plan may include any of the following courses as electives or a minor:

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology -120 hrs
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology -120 hrs
  • Bachelor of Social Work -120 hrs
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice -120 hrs
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice -120 hrs
  • Minor in Criminal Justice -18 hrs; Minor in Anthropology -18 hrs; Minor in Social Work -18 hrs; Minor in Sociology -18 hrs
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - 30 hrs
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice - Thesis Option - 30 hrs


Program Director: Dr. B. Garrick Harden

Location: 53 Maes Building

Phone: (409) 880-7258

The mission of the Sociology program is to provide undergraduates with scientific knowledge of the structures, forms, and dynamics of human interaction, within a broadly based liberal arts education. The program emphasizes the research methods used to acquire data, test hypotheses, conduct analyses, and evaluate information. In addition, students are prepared to critically consider social problems such as crime, unemployment, violence, urban decay, poverty, discrimination, and social inequality. In our complex, technical and multicultural world, sociology equips students to understand the importance of empirical research from which to evaluate societal needs and inform public policy.

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociology’s subject matter ranges from the intimate family to the hostile mob, from crime to religion, from the division of race and social class to the shared beliefs of a common culture, from the sociology of religion to the sociology of education.  Students majoring in sociology have established careers in such areas as law, business administration, health, politics, urban planning, city government, counseling and human resources, advertising and marketing, public relations and the media, criminal justice, education, and the nonprofit sector.  Our program offers majors a solid foundation in sociological theory, research methods, data analysis skills, and sufficient knowledge in the fields of criminology, gender, culture, social movement, social psychology, marriage and family, and education, amongst others, that will provide students with training and skills for the workforce or advanced studies upon graduation. We also offer a minor in Sociology which allow students to take the courses that are most appropriate to coordinate with their major and career aspirations.

The program is committed to baccalaureate study which creates liberating educational experiences for each major. Under the personal and concerned guidance of faculty, students matriculate in one of two baccalaureate programs – the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).  The Bachelor of Science degree is designed for students whose interests are more quantitative, while the Bachelor of Arts offers a traditional liberal arts education.

Social Work

Program Director: Ms. Lori Wright, LCSW-S

Location: 56A Maes Building

Phone: (409) 880-8538 


The Lamar University Social Work Program prepares graduates for generalist social work practice. The BSW Program at Lamar University is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of the BSW program are eligible to take the state licensing examination administered by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners.

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. Social workers promote social justice and social change with, and on behalf of, individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities (National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics). The research/training interests of Lamar’s social work faculty include family violence, child welfare, multicultural practice, adolescent development and program evaluation.

Students in the Social Work Program are expected to understand and adhere to the policies outlined in the Lamar University Social Work Student Handbook.

Criminal Justice

Program Director: Dr. Cheng-Hsien Lin

Location: 58 Maes Building

Phone: (409) 880-8339

The mission of the criminal justice program is to provide excellence in graduate and undergraduate instruction; research and scholarship; professional development; and university and community service. The program seeks to promote professionally and academically relevant curricula and programs and effective cooperative relationships with regional service agencies in order to prepare criminal justice practitioners at the graduate and undergraduate levels.


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Stefan Krause

Location: 54 Maes Building

Phone: (409) 880-8551

The mission of the Anthropology Program at Lamar University is to give the student a clearer understanding of the world in which he or she lives, and his or her place in it, and to advance higher learning through both research and instruction. The Anthropology curriculum offers classes focusing on life in a multicultural, global community. These classes cover the 4-Field approach to Anthropology:  Physical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistic Anthropology.   The minor in Anthropology offered at Lamar adds cultural depth to any major offered here and prepares our students for graduate studies in Anthropology. Anthropology supports general education through the core curriculum, with ANTH 2346 Introduction to Anthropology and ANTH 2351 Cultural Anthropology, and by satisfying social science requirements for the University Core Curriculum.

Interested students are encouraged to call or visit with the faculty advisor for more information.