Information on the major

Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior. Knowledge gained from the scientific study of crime and criminal justice serves as the foundation for public policies and programs that improve the quality of life and promote social justice. 


Criminal Justice is concerned with the study of all aspects of crime and societal reactions to crime. Examining political, economic, and cultural patterns that shape definitions of crime and influence the policy choices about how to respond to certain criminal and deviant behaviors is central to this discipline.

A degree in criminology also prepares students pursue a more defined range of career fields than sociology including law enforcement, research and crime data analysis, security industry, law, probation or correctional officers, or graduate school and academic careers in fields like criminology, public policy, psychology, or anthropology. 

Skills you will develop in this major include: 

  • You will recognize the causes and consequences of crime at the micro and macro levels and be able to match these with prominent criminological perspectives.  

  • You will understand the interrelated institutions and processes of the criminal justice system and legal systems. 

  • You’ll apply theories of crime, legal systems and criminal justice systems to explain scenarios, behaviors, and trends. 

  • You will understand the role of formal law in advanced democracies 

  • You’ll be able to explain the various social science methods of inquiry and test specific research questions 

  • You’ll be able to recognize and explain social inequities in crime and criminal justice processes by race, social class, gender, region and age. 

  • And you’ll develop the skills to evaluate the effectiveness of policy interventions for reducing crime and improving social justice.