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You are here: Home Undergraduate Majors Criminology / Crime, Law & Justice


Please Note: The Pre-Forensics Option in the BS degree has been eliminated.

We use a social science approach to the study of crime and the criminal justice system. Our curriculum conveys broad knowledge about crime and justice, and social research methods related to understanding them.  The program promotes an understanding of crime and justice and how they are related to human behavior, social environments, and government policy.

With over 650 majors, we are one of the largest undergraduate programs in the College of the Liberal Arts.The program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. Students in both degrees gain knowledge of the criminal justice and legal systems as well as abilities to solve problems, think and read critically, and write effectively. The Bachelor of Arts degree allows students to pursue more traditional liberal arts courses by providing a breadth of knowledge in languages, arts, humanities, social sciences and other cultures. The Bachelor of Science degree provides the opportunity for depth by allowing students to develop a stronger foundation in research methods, quantification, and the sciences as a basis for the study of crime and the criminal justice and legal systems.

Either degree is suitable for students seeking entry-level positions in the criminal justice system and for students interested in graduate or professional school.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the Criminology major, a student will be expected to:

  • Understand the causes and consequence of crime and the operation of the criminal justice system.
  • Understand, evaluate, and compare theories of crime and criminal justice.
  • Understand both quantitative and qualitative research methods in the area and appreciate the social scientific approach to knowledge.
  • Have an in-depth knowledge of some of the substantive areas within the field.
  • Have the ability to locate and consult works in the area and write a research paper that is coherent, cogent, and attentive to the conventions of the field.
  • 24 of the credits related to the primary area of study stipulated under “requirements for the major” must be completed at University Park, as per the requirement, Establishing Competency in a Major.


Degree Requirements:


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