Crime, Law and Society

Interdisciplinary Minor


“My internship in the public defender’s office was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. By having real-life involvement in a field that is otherwise difficult to observe, I learned how the world of criminal law works. I am now more determined than ever to pursue the legal profession.”
                             – Lauren Patterson 

“CSI.” You know the show. You can’t watch network television in prime time these days without coming across some version of “Crime Scene Investigation.” From Miami to Las Vegas to New York, these programs present and solve gruesome, mysterious crimes. But what you see in those often-glitzy, sometimes-gory dramas isn’t always an accurate portrayal of the legal system or the criminal world. If you want to know what really goes on in this realm, sign up for our Crime, Law and Society Program.

At the College of Charleston, this minor has been designed to provide students with the knowledge and experiences they need in order to understand the origins of criminal behavior, the consequences of crime for society and the legal responses that societies develop to combat crime. It’s fitting that the program consists of courses in political science, sociology, psychology, history and philosophy, among others.

Required internships are the hallmark of this program. These hands-on experiences allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life circumstances. Sometimes the setting can be a courtroom. Other times it’s a police cruiser (doing a ride-along) or a more clinical setting where you’ll assist victims of a crime. Some of the sites where our students serve internships include:

  • Charleston Police Department
  • Public Defender’s Office
  • The Solicitor’s Office

The really good news is that students who’ve completed this program have gone in many different directions after graduation. Some have attended law school, while others have become police officers or U.S. Marshalls. And some have entered clinical graduate programs with the intention of working with crime victims or offenders.

If you’re fascinated by the world of crime and how society contends with it, take a closer look at our Crime, Law and Society Program. It’s not always as it seems on TV.

Contact Information

David Morris
program director