The Department of Government, Criminology, & Sociology provides students with opportunities to study criminology, political science, public administration, and sociology.

Our coursework that ties to Lander’s experiential learning goals by providing students role-playing activities, simulations, policy-oriented assignments, and presentations.  Our curricula prepare students for a variety of careers in government service, law and law enforcement, and social service and non-profit organizations.

Activities of our student organizations extend course concepts through community service activities, bringing in speakers and hosting debates, and assisting charities.

Our internship programs offer placements locally, around South Carolina, and far beyond. No matter their location, internships open doors for jobs, graduate school opportunities, and networking, so they are a key component of our programs.

 

Political Science

Political Science

Understanding our globalized world and the opportunities and challenges it presents is a tall order. But that’s the goal and the challenge of studying political science. Through coursework on American and international politics as well as public administration and policy, classes show how government affects society and citizens influence government.

Majoring in political science will give you the tools to work in a government agency, prepare for a career in law or law enforcement, and advocate for solutions to policy-making issues that affect your own community, state, or nation. You’ll also have a unique opportunity to develop your own personal political values and to become a truly educated citizen. Some students take advantage of study away opportunities abroad or in Washington, D.C.

A political science degree may be complemented by minors such as:

  • pre-law
  • public administration
  • non-profit management
  • international studies
  • homeland security
  • criminal justice
  • military science and leadership

Many business leaders pair political science and business because the skills within the discipline help an individual understand the framework of government regulations, understanding public opinion, and the art of political persuasion. You’ll begin with core introductory classes in American politics and international politics and you’ll expand upon these classes with a variety of other core classes and major electives.

 

Criminology 

Criminology students study issues such as gun violence, delinquency, gangs, and criminal justice reform. How can law enforcement work with a local community? How can people be protected and individual rights be respected? These are the questions that a student studying criminology seeks to answer at Lander. Required courses in ethics as well as policy analysis ensure that students are best prepare for successful careers.

criminal justice classCoursework in the criminology major examines the juvenile justice system; the probation, pardon, and parole system; delinquency, criminological theories, and policing and community relations.  Classes in political science on the American legal system and state and local government complement this program, as do Sociology classes on social problems, how different parts of the population interact, and topics such as risk.  Present-day issues in areas such as homeland security and counter-terrorism are a reminder of the growing need of criminology specialists across many careers across government, law, law enforcement, and corrections.

An internship is required in the B.S. in Criminology, an experience that helps connect coursework with real-world practice and opens the door for career opportunities or graduate school.

A criminology degree may be complemented by minors such as:

  • homeland security
  • human services
  • pre-law
  • public administration
  • non-profit management

The law, law enforcement, government, security fields have many employment opportunities and study of policies and practices (as well as policy-oriented experiences and assignments) provide Lander’s criminology students with steps toward a successful career.

 

Sociology 

Sociologists look at how social issues impact society and how social policy issues are related to technology, the environment, poverty, immigration, and other issues. How does gender, race or ethnicity, and class impact an individual’s experiences? Sociology majors seek to understand how social change comes about seek to influence change through research.

A sociology degree may be complemented by minors such as:

  • criminal justice 
  • human services
  • pre-law
  • public administration
  • non-profit management

Lander’s sociology curriculum encourages undergraduate research and faculty have mentored students to present their papers at state-wide and regional conferences, activities that enhance changes of admission to graduate school. Classes on social problems, sociological theory, and research methods provide a foundation, and electives in the fields of social work and social policy help those graduates who wish to pursue a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree. Other alumni have pursued law school or graduate degrees in sociology.

 

What makes our programs unique?

  • Lander’s Sociology Club works with local non-profit organizations and helps to count the local homeless population. 
  • The Political Science Association sponsors mock debates and coordinates an annual voter registration drive. 
  • The S.C. Student Legislature chapter boasts members who have been elected to state-level offices when our students gather for mock legislative sessions.  These learning experiences help to show connections to citizenship and advocacy.
  • Students are encouraged to study abroad for a semester or take advantage of opportunities to study in Washington, D.C. These experiences in the nation’s capital have given our students the chance to work directly with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Senators, and important voices off Capitol Hill. 
  • Our alumni have succeeded in graduate school programs in public administration or social work as well as law schools. Alumni also join the U.S. military or the Peace Corps and serve throughout the world or find work with departments within local, state, or national government; law enforcement agencies; non-profit organizations and NGOs; or a variety of companies and firms.