Graduate Sociology at UAlbany

Areas of Specialization: Crime & Deviance


The Department of Sociology at the University at Albany has a rich tradition of educating graduate students in the study of deviance and crime. Professors Joanne Kaufman and Steven Messner conduct research and teach courses primarily in the deviance and criminology areas. In addition, several departmental colleagues specialize in related fields, such as urban sociology, social demography, and social inequalities. Given these distinctive strengths, the department offers graduate students an opportunity to work with faculty on a diverse array of topics on crime and deviance.
The high faculty-to-students ratio provides the context in which a true mentorship relationship between students and faculty can be fostered. It is common for faculty who do research in the area of deviance and crime to include graduate students in their research, which often results in joint authorship. Such joint endeavors not only provide the student with invaluable experience, but also generate the type of resumes that have been increasingly attractive to potential employers. Albany Ph.D.’s who have chosen crime/deviance as their major area of concentration have done quite well on the job market.
Another advantage of studying crime/deviance at the University at Albany is the presence of the School of Criminal Justice. Students can supplement their program with courses focusing on aspects of the criminal justice system taught by a nationally recognized faculty. The quality of the program is enhanced by the fact that it is housed in a department that has earned national recognition in recent years as being among the leaders in scholarly research. The quality and diversity of education offered in the Department of Sociology generally, and in the area of crime/deviance specifically, make Albany an exciting place at which to continue your education.  


The Program 
The graduate program is designed to provide a basic core of courses in theory, methods and statistics while allowing for flexibility in the area of deviance/crime. The student pursuing a Ph.D. is required to take two sociological theory courses, and three methods/statistics courses. SOC 601, Social Deviance, is typically the first course in the deviance/crime sequence. It provides an in-depth examination of the major theoretical perspectives in the area. SOC 602, Research Issues in Deviant Behavior, continues this exploration by focusing on research that has examined these perspectives.

Having provided a basic background in the area, the program is designed to utilize the particular strengths of our faculty. The program offers a variety of specialized courses exploring issues in which the faculty has special expertise. For example, in recent years Professor Messner has offered a seminar on Macro-Sociological Approaches to Crime and Delinquency.   Professor Kaufman has offered a seminar on Micro and Social Psychological Perspectives on Deviance.

Faculty in Deviance and Crime: Kaufman, Messner

Ph.D. Alumni in Crime and Deviance 
Numerous graduates of the deviance and crime program within sociology now occupy important positions in the field. Graduates from the program include:

  • Eric Baumer, Florida State University
  • Mark Beaulieu, State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
  • Thomas Arvanites, Villanova University
  • Michael S. Barton, Louisiana State University
  • Paul Bellair, Ohio State University
  • Jon Bernburg, University of Iceland
  • Lory Collins Hall, Hartwick College
  • Sung Joon Jang, Baylor University
  • John King, FBI
  • Jianhong Liu,  University of Macau
  • Fred Markowitz, Northern Illinois University
  • Tom McNulty, University of Georgia
  • Ben Pearson-Nelson, Indiana-Purdue University
  • Lauren Porter, University of Maryland
  • Mark Reed, Georgia State University
  • Eric Silver, Penn. State University
  • Jukka Savolainen, University of Nebraska
  • Jessica Singer, Utica College
  • Brian Stults, Florida State University
  • Kim Tobin, Westfield State College
  • Bonnie Veysey, Rutgers University
  • Rachel Whaley, Southern Illinois University
  • Lening Zhang, St. Francis College
  • Peter Shrock, Southeastern Louisiana University
  • Matt Vogel, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Yue (Angela) Zhuo, St. John’s University

--- July, 2014