Criminology Degrees

Get your criminology degree

Criminology is concerned with the study of the psychological and social conditions relating to crime. Criminology careers deal with preventing crime, protecting society from criminal harm and providing rehabilitation services for criminals.

Areas of Study for Criminology Degrees

Many institutions provide courses leading to a degree in criminology, from traditional colleges and universities to trade colleges. A popular choice made by many students is to pursue their criminology degree online, which allows them the benefit of performing coursework at their own pace and in the comfort of their home. Online or distance learning is also appealing to students who are currently working at a job and to those who do not wish to move to the location of a traditional university or college.

Course offerings vary by the institution; students with criminology majors will generally choose from the following types of criminology courses:

  • Administration of justice
  • American criminal courts
  • Corrections
  • Crime prevention
  • Criminal justice
  • Criminal justice counseling
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Criminal profiling
  • Criminological theory
  • Deviant behavior
  • Drug abuse
  • Ethics
  • Family violence
  • Forensic science
  • Gangs
  • International comparative justice
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Law enforcement
  • Police in society
  • Psychology of crime
  • Prison law
  • Race and crime
  • Research methodology
  • Social science within the legal system
  • Statistics
  • Terrorism
  • Victim services
  • Victimology

Prospects for Criminology Graduates

Career options for graduates with a criminology degree are plentiful and varied. Criminologists often work in the following fields:

  • Forensic science
  • Investigations
  • Justice administration
  • Law enforcement
  • Police services
  • Research
  • Social work

A higher-level degree in criminology allows the candidate to apply for correspondingly higher-level positions in the field, and especially for criminology careers involving research, a master's or a doctorate in criminology is often considered essential. Graduate programs in criminology also allow students to pursue a more specialized area of study relating to criminology topics.

Many students who choose to study criminology complete an internship as part of their training before working in a full-time or permanent position. An internship involving criminology also allows the student to try out an area in which they may later choose to work to see how they feel about it before making a long-term commitment.

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