Honors Program

Students in the Criminology Honors Program will have the opportunity to make their first contribution to the study of criminology and at the same time gain valuable research, critical thinking, and writing skills. Successful completion of the program will depend upon the student's ability to absorb the additional workload and produce a thesis with minimal individual guidance. The rewards upon successful completion of the program include:

  • A student will receive experience in designing, conducting, and analyzing research.
  • The student's transcript and diploma will, upon successful completion of the Honors Program requirements, state that the student graduated with Honors in Criminology.
  • The student will be eligible to wear an Honors sash at graduation.


  • Honors students should expect to devote between 12 and 18 hours a week to their projects each semester.
  • Completion of the major requirements in Criminology (36 hrs) with a GPA of 3.25 or better
  • Completion of 3 hours of CCJ 4934 (Honors Seminar)
  • Completion of 3 hours of CCJ 4910 (Directed Research)
  • Completion of 3 hours of CCJ 4970 (Honors Thesis)
  • Preparation and completion of an original empirical study of interest to Criminologists


During the first semester of the program the student will participate in the Honors Seminar. During this time the student will be required to initiated a proposal and establish a proposal committee. The seminar is designed to provide the student with the necessary skills to design a study and produce a proposal. Topics will include: techniques for completing a literature review, review of APA publication style, and how to prepare for the Institutional Review Board.

During the second semester the student will participate in Directed Research. At this point in time the student will work closely with an advisor in preparation of a thesis proposal. The proposal will consist of the following: statement of the problem, literature review, proposed method, set of preliminary analyses, and references using the APA publication manual. Failure to meet this requirement will necessitate dropping the student from the program. In the (third) last semester the student will participate in Honors Thesis where they will be responsible for completion and successful defense of the thesis.


Participation in the Honors Program does not completely satisfy the elective requirements in the Criminology major. A student may count up to 3 hours of CCJ 4970 (Honors Thesis), and 3 hrs CCJ 4910 (Directed Research) toward the 24 hour elective requirement. The Honors Senior Seminar will fulfill the seminar core requirement of the major. Participation in the Honors Program will partially fulfill the Major Works and Issues Exit Requirement. Students participating in the Criminology Honors Program are required to complete the following: CCJ 4934 Honors Section of Senior Seminar, CCJ 4910 Directed Research, and CCJ 4970 Criminology Honor's Thesis. Details of the specific thesis project are to be determined by the student's advisor and supervisory committee which consists of one Criminology faculty as thesis director and one USF faculty as a second member (reader).


Admission to the Criminology Department Honors Program occurs once a year in the fall semester and is competitive based upon information contained in the application. The minimum requirements are listed below and do not guarantee admission. Students should apply for admission during their junior year. Admission decisions will be made by a committee of Criminology Department faculty members.


  1. Junior standing with a Criminology grade point average of a 3.25. Completion of the following courses is required:
    • CCJ 3024 Survey of Criminal Justice System
    • CCJ 3117 Theories of Criminal Behavior
    • CCJ 3701 Research Methods in Criminology
  2. An overall USF grade point average of 3.00
  3. Tentative agreement by a Criminology Department faculty member to serve as thesis director. This individual should indicate his/her willingness in a letter of recommendation. Note that graduate students may not serve as thesis directors.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members
  5. Written statement of purpose/interest

The application packet can be downloaded by clicking here

For more information, please contact:

Undergraduate Honors Program Director
Andrew Franz, Esq.
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