Enrollment Message:

Criminology isn’t about solving cases and catching perpetrators. Criminologists work to understand why crime happens in the first place. They also focus on how to prevent and address crime. As you go through this course, you’ll be given a series of challenging situations that need the mindset of a criminologist to navigate successfully. The course will encourage you to analyze a range of criminal acts, from shoplifting to hate crimes. By the end, you’ll have an opportunity to envision alternative strategies for dealing with crime in our society and in your own school environment in particular. Prerequisites: None

Course Objectives: Students will analyze the motivations within a society for determining what is a criminal act and what is not, and the extent to which a criminal act is punished.

• Students will evaluate how our understanding of crime can vary by culture and time period.

• Students will apply the methods of criminology to understanding real-life criminal activity.

• Students will compare and contrast biological, psychological, and social explanations for criminal behavior.

• Students will assess strategies for preventing crime and explore alternatives to traditional punishments.

Course Outline:

Unit 1: Caught! An Introduction to Criminology

Unit 2: Body, Mind, & Soul of a Criminal

Unit 3: Society in the Spotlight

Unit 4: The Role of Violence and Hate

Unit 5: CEOs, Mafia Bosses, and Drug Dealers

Unit 6: CyberCrime

Unit 7: Victimology

Unit 8: Punishment and Prevention

Resources Included: Online lesson instruction and activities, opportunities to engage with a certified, online instructor and classmates, when appropriate, and online assessments to measure student performance of course objectives and readiness for subsequent academic pursuits.

Additional Costs: None

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue transcripts or diplomas. A final score reported as a percentage of total points earned will be sent to students upon completion of a course. Your school mentor is also able to access this score within the Student Learning Portal. Schools may use this score for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements: 

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: No special skills are required beyond being able to operate a computer and use word processing software.

Additional Information: N/A


School Level: High School
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location:
NCES Code: 04259
MDE Endorsement Code: CF - Sociology
MMC Minimum Requirements: EDP/Career Interest Elective

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: Michigan Virtual
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Plus