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



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





May 12, 2016

The Center for Drug and Health Studies and Professional and Continuing Studies Presents:

Elder Abuse and Exploitation

A multidisciplinary conference for professionals, advocates, and the community

Conference Website
Receive a Scholarship by Submitting a Video Essay
May 28, 2016

Department Convocation

Department Convocation Information



Congratulations to the 2016 Award Winners !

2016 Excellence in Undergraduate Academic Advising Award Winners

Chrysanthi Leon, PhD
Kenneth C. Haas, PhD

2016 Department Award Winners

Len Perfetti Memorial Award – Kenneth Kokason
Benjamin McLuckie Memorial Award – Melisa Soysal and Gabrielle Lanzetta
Frank Scarpitti Graduate Student Award – Ashley Farmer and Tanya Whittle
Jan Burrows Graduate Educator Award – Benjamin Fleury-Steiner, PhD





UD Elder Abuse Conference

DHSS has posted a series of photos from the UD Elder Abuse Conference, including a very nice one of Christy with featured guest speakers Sec. Landgraf, Philip Marshall, and Susan Lehmann.  DHSS has retweeted them on their feed ~ to view, go to:

Click on the original Tweet, then click on the photo to view the gallery.



For more information on these and other Department events please call


Passing of Former President E.A. Trabant’s wife Jeraldine S. Trabant

Jeraldine S. Trabant
AGE: 92 • Hockessin

Jeraldine S. Trabant News

Excellence in Teaching and Advising

Eight members of the University of Delaware faculty have been recognized for outstanding work in teaching and advising, and three graduate teaching assistants have received awards for excellence in teaching.

UDaily Article
Joel Best is the recipient of the prestigious Public Understanding of Sociology Award from the American Sociological Association

This is one of nine awards given annually by ASA. It truly is a distinction, one that Joel has earned with his outstanding work as a public intellectual over the years. Joel will receive the award at the annual ASA meeting in Seattle during the Honorary Reception, August 21, 6:30-7:30. I hope you can be there. Please join the Department in congratulating our friend and colleague.

Caring About Elder Abuse

UD will host the Elder Abuse and Exploitation Conference on May 12, with featured speaker Elizabeth Loewy discussing elder financial abuse. The conference theme “Putting the pieces together” will highlight the multidisciplinary nature of elder issues and solutions.

Mars, Manhattan, and Lessons about Disasters

An essay by Tricia Wachtendorf was featured in the Natural Hazards Observer, drawing connections between themes in the film The Martian and disaster response.

Natural Hazards Center Article

About the Alumni of Color Conference (AOCC)

The Alumni of Color Conference (AOCC) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) aims to inspire and transform education by convening educators, scholars, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and students concerned with issues of race, class, and education as they pertain to all people and, in particular, to Communities of Color.

Alumni of Color Conference Article

Alumni of Color Conference Video

DAPi Honors

The Alpha Psi Chapter of Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society recently hosted its third initiation ceremony, during which 13 new members were welcomed into the society.

UDaily Article

Connecting the Classroom to the Community

Victor Perez, Sociology and Criminal Justice, published "Connecting the Classroom to the Community: The Geography of Environmental (In)Justice" for the American Sociological Association's section "Teaching and Learning."

Faculty Commons Article

Gift of papers to DRC

Resource collection at UD receives important scholarly papers. The collection, a repository of some 70,000 items, is internationally known — like DRC itself — as a leading resource in the social and behavioral science aspect of disasters.

UDaily Article

Have Black Entrepreneurs Driven the U.S. Crime Drop?

Adrienne Bennett, the first African-American woman who is a licensed master plumber, runs a Detroit business. In many ways, the historic drop in crime that started in the early 1990s helped pave the way for today’s resurgence of cities.


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

More News