Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
In 1948, Florida A&M University established the Department of Sociology and began offering major coursework in Sociology with a few courses in Anthropology. Two years later, the Department introduced courses in Social Welfare in its attempts to prepare students for employment in this expanding field. In 1954, with increased academic interest in Criminology and Juvenile Delinquency, the Department began offering courses in Crime and Delinquency, thereby widening the employment opportunities for FAMU graduates.
In 1960, when the State of Florida established the Division of Youth Services, the Department saw it as an opportunity to expand its curriculum to include core courses in Corrections and Law Enforcement. And, with the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) tuition funding and loans to in-service correctional personnel taking appropriate courses, or completing a degree, the Department enrollment soared to some 400 students in Corrections.
In 1967, keeping abreast with the growing interest in Corrections and diversity of academic program offerings, the Department established a minor in Corrections. To reflect the changing academic trends, the department was also renamed the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Human Services in 1972.
In the seventies and early eighties, the Department experienced considerable growth with the approval of the Bachelor of Social Welfare in 1979, followed by the Bachelor of Criminal Justice in June of 1981. To exemplify the academic growth and diversity, the Department became the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Social Welfare in August of 1985.
Continued development in the field of Criminology ushered in programmatic changes with the broadening of course offerings to include courses in law enforcement, courts and corrections. And, with the expansion of the Social Welfare program and growth in Criminal Justice, the department was reorganized to form two separate units. In 1990, the Department of Social Work, and the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice took roots as independent programs under the College of Arts and Sciences.