Victimology and Victim Services Minor

  • Victimology & Victim Services Minor

    Victimology & Victim Services Minor

Victimology is a multidisciplinary branch of criminology, based on research in criminal justice, psychology, public health, anthropology, history, and economics.

It examines the nature of the victimization process; the relationships between victims and offenders; the emotional, physical, and economic impact of crimes on victims; and the interactions between victims and other social groups and institutions, including the family and school. The field of victimology includes victim profiling, forensic victimology, and the scientific study of victims that focuses on their lifestyles, circumstances, the events leading up to the crime, and the nature of their victimization.

In general, the field of victimology offers evidence-based practices for understanding victim-offender dynamics, victim services, and the prevention of victimization. The minor provides students with a coherent set of interdisciplinary courses, giving them broad competency in victimology and victim services, while at the same time introducing them to specialized areas. The minor enhances students' ability to work with a variety of victims, such as women, men, children, the elderly, and the LGBTQ population. The minor also provides students with opportunities to conduct research, learn from guest speakers, and engage with the community.

Once students have completed the minor, they will have:

  • Acquired informed and balanced knowledge about victims, victimization, and victim services;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a range of theoretical perspectives in victimology;
  • Understood the impact of victimization on various populations of victims;
  • Developed an understanding of victims’ rights and the criminal justice response to victims and victimization.

Program Overview & Curriculum


The Victimology and Victim Services minor is awarded to matriculated students who have satisfactorily completed 20 credits (five courses) as described below. Students will take a mandatory introductory course that will examine the history of victimology, basic concepts and consequences of victimization, offender-victim relationships, and the victim’s role in the criminal justice system. Students will then select three electives: one course from each of two categories (Category One: Types of Victimization and Victims and Category Two: Contemporary Victim-Related Issues), and a third course from either category.

Students will complete the minor with a capstone course -- a senior-level interdisciplinary course that focuses on victim services, which includes victim assistance programs, victim-witness services, victim-offender programs, victim rights, victim advocacy, and national organizations for victims. Note that an alternative course or experience may take the place of the required capstone course with permission of the minor coordinator.

At least 8 credits required for the minor must be at 3000 level or above.

Mandatory Introductory Course (4 credits):

CRIM 2327 Introduction to Victimology

Elective Courses (12 credits):
One course from each of the following two categories, and a third course from either category.

Category One: Types of Victimization and Victims (4 credits):
CRIM 2160 Aging, Crime and Criminal Justice (cross-list GERO 2160)
CRIM 3110 Gangs in America
CRIM 2328 Theoretical Approaches and Perspectives in Victimology
CRIM 2236 Violence against Women: An International Perspective
CRIM 2235 Violence in Correctional Institutions
GAH 2119 History and Memory of the Holocaust
GAH 2113 Non-Jewish Victims of Nazis
GEN 2308 Children of the Holocaust
GERO 2160 Aging, Crime and Criminal Justice (cross-list CRIM 2160)
GIS 3600 Holocaust and Genocide
GIS 3658 Women and Genocide
GIS 3667 Families and Genocide
GSS 1071 Peace and Conflict Studies
GSS 2648 Sexual Assault: Victims and Perpetrators
GSS 2321 Peace and Conflict Studies
GSS 2451 South Africa Now
GSS 3244 Children and Crime
GSS 3278 Study Tour: Holocaust
GSS 3640 Sexuality, Crime, and Criminal Justice

Category Two: Contemporary Victim-Related Issues (4 credits):
ANTH 2245 Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
GAH 1037 Philosophy of the Other
GAH 2334 Representing Race
GAH 2356 Disability Rights and History
GAH 2372 Cultural Stereotypes in the Media
GAH 3206 Race and U.S. Culture
GSS 2264 Race and Islam in the United States
GSS 3234 Human Rights in Global Perspective
GSS 2310 Sex Discrimination and the Law
HLTH 2301 Cultural Diversity in Healthcare
POLS 3225 Civil Liberties
PSYC 2201 Adolescence
SOWK 2504 Race, Ethnicity, Diversity
SOCY 2210 Sociology and Family Law
SOCY 2213 Minority-Majority Relations
SOCY 2355 Sociology of the Black Experience
SOCY 3630 Studies in Family Relations

Either Category One or Two (4 credits)

Mandatory Capstone Course (4 credits):

GIS 4617 Victim Services

The Victimology and Victim Services Minor is open to students from all majors. Interested students should inform their preceptor of their interest and complete the Declaration of Major/Minor Form, available through Academic Advising to officially declare the minor. The declaration form must be signed by the minor coordinator. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum, many of the courses may be applied toward program, cognate, or at-some-distance requirements. Planning early, particularly in programs with highly structured requirements, can help students complete the minor without taking additional courses beyond the basic 128 credit hours needed for graduation.

The Victimology and Victim Services Minor will prepare students for entry into a wide variety of positions in fields such as criminal justice, social work, counseling, gerontology, and nursing. It can be especially useful for those who interact directly with victims, their families, and their communities, such as police officers and other first responders, probation officers, counselors, social workers, and medical emergency personnel.