Program Overview

New for 2020! Students will be enrolled in SOC 200: Criminology. This is a regularized undergraduate course delivered through classroom-based instruction and homework.

This course will introduce students to the sociological study of crime, offering a critical and interdisciplinary approach. We will read and engage with sociological, historical, and legal studies (among others) on the criminal justice system, the construction of crime, and the field of criminology. Through the course, students will introduced to various methodological and theoretical perspectives on crime and its causes, the development of the field of criminology, and the relationship between the criminal justice system and social inequality in the United States. The course will conclude by looking towards the future of criminology and possible alternatives to the contemporary criminal justice system.

Each class will include an in-class assignment that will be graded. These assignments (both individual and group) will vary in format, ranging from short answers to detailed written responses. The course will conclude with the presentation of group research projects.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Understand the classic and contemporary theories of criminology and will be able to recognize basic concepts associated with criminology
  • Become familiar with the various institutions and systems that constitute the criminal justice system
  • Develop a social science framework for analyzing crime, criminal behavior, and social responses to this kind of behavior
  • Identify how the field of criminology is affected by the societal and legal construction of crime
  • Understand the relationship between the criminal justice system and social inequality in the United States
  • Identify the relationship between social theory and research by applying social science research methods to particular case studies
  • Consider alternatives to the current design of America’s criminal justice system

Learn more about SOC 200: Criminology

Program Dates & Details Eligibility Requirements Program Cost Program Requirements Typical Day Faculty Bios

Program Dates & Details

Session I: June 27 – July 10, 2020
Duration: 2-weeks


Credit: 3 credits
Grading System: A-F

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be a minimum of 15 years of age by the orientation and move-in date. For full Summer College admission requirements, view the Admissions Overview and Eligibility page.

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Program Cost

Program Costs:

  • Residential: $4,950
  • Commuter: $4,136

*Please visit our Program Costs page for more detailed information. Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees in March.  Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Requirements


In addition to a required textbook for this course, a collection of readings and supplemental material from a wide variety of sources will be posted to Blackboard. These readings and material will be made available prior to the start of the course. Course materials will come from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, academic journals, news publications, legal archives, popular culture, and works of fiction and nonfiction. Materials posted to Blackboard will be marked as such in the syllabus and are subject to change.

The following required textbook for this course is available physically and digitally. Any edition of the textbook is acceptable:
Criminological Theory: The Essentials, 2nd by Stephen G. Tibbetts. 2014, SAGE Publications.

Student Expectations

This is an academically rigorous, college-level program. Students are expected to complete nightly homework assignments and actively participate in group projects. Students are expected to attend all classes every day, arrive on time, and meet all academic obligations. Free time will vary as each program is unique, as is the subsequent workload.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students are typically in class for four hours each day (from 9am – 12pm), Monday – Friday, for the duration of two-weeks.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College trips and activities. Check out our Campus Activities page for more information!

End Event

In lieu of a final class session, the final day of the course will be reserved for group presentations of student research projects. Parents may be invited to these presentations. The presentations will take place between 9am and 12pm on Friday, July 10th.

Final Academic Obligation

Students are permitted to leave on Friday, July 10, 2020 upon the completion of their course at 5:00pm. If students have any questions regarding their final academic obligation, we encourage them to reach out to their instructor. Please refer to the Move-Out page for important information regarding the checkout process.

Faculty Bios

Michael Branch

Michael Branch is a fifth-year doctoral student in Sociology at Syracuse University, where he also received his master’s degree. His bachelor’s degree is from Elmira College in Foreign Languages with a specialization in French. Michael’s academic focus is on police, criminal justice, race, and sociological theory. His dissertation project is an ethnographic work that focuses on rural policing and communities. His research is focused on how rural police officers experience boredom, how rural policing contributes to community development, and how policing is experienced in everyday life. Michael has conducted two years of fieldwork with police academies, examining how gender and masculinity are contextualized in the training of future law enforcement officers and how police recruits are taught to see policing as a career that is precarious both in terms of job security and life security, which does not match statistical data about policing. He has also conducted research on military veterans’ support of police. He has worked as a research assistant and interviewer on a project that investigated factors influencing usage of pre-exposure prophylaxis for young men who have sex with men. Michael received Syracuse University’s Outstanding Teaching Assistant award last year and has served as the Graduate Representative in the Sociology Graduate Student Assemblage.