Degree Level:
SASE - Division of Social Sciences
Learning Mode:
On Campus
Major, Minor

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology

The study of Criminology doesn’t just mean studying law and crime. Rather, this major looks at crime from a holistic perspective, considering its impact on the victim, the offender, and society as a whole. As a Criminology major, you’ll focus not just on the crime, but also the people affected, and develop the skills to assist them.

Why be a Criminology major?

Here’s what makes the Mount’s Criminology major unique:

Professor teaching

  • Discover the why: It’s one thing to know that people commit crimes and what those crimes are, but it’s a whole other to evaluate why people commit crime in the first place. Criminology majors at the Mount are taught from an empathy-first perspective, completely changing the conversation on the response to law violation and criminal victimization.
  • Engage with the community: The Criminology program strives to link the service mission of the college with the study of this field in order to become well-rounded thinkers and professionals.
  • Pick your specialization: In addition to your core Criminology classes, you’ll also get to choose from one of four Criminology concentrations - General Criminology, Criminal Justice System, Juvenile Justice, and Restorative Justice. Not sure which one to choose? Your faculty advisor will be there to help you decide the best fit for you, based on your past courses, career interests, and personal strengths.

This concentration allows you to take four courses from across the other concentrations to have a more holistic perspective of Criminology.

For those interested in the operations of law enforcement, the Criminal Justice System concentration courses examine policing, courts, and corrections. We don’t just take a look at these operations, however; we also determine some of the strengths and weaknesses of the current system and propose solutions.

This concentration focuses on the impact that crime has on juveniles, particularly juveniles who come into contact with the criminal justice system. We discuss how to advocate for and minimize impacts on juvenile offenders.

This concentration focuses on the relationship between victim, offender, and society and searches for paths to resolution that don’t necessarily involve the traditional criminal justice system.

“I wanted a program that offered smaller class sizes and the opportunity for professors to be invested in every student's individual successes. I knew Criminology was for me because I wanted to focus on the victim's needs (something that tends to get overshadowed). I found all of this and more at the Mount.”

Allyson Sickler ’20
Allyson Sickler ’20

What to expect as a Criminology major

45 credits

Learn about Criminology major and minor academic requirements and courses here.

You won’t have to wait to dive right into your studies: As a Criminology major, you’ll begin your Criminology courses right in freshman year. Over your four years, you’ll take 1-2 Criminology courses per semester – totaling 45 credits for the major. These courses range from those covering explanations of why people engage in criminal behavior to exploring certain types of crime in more depth, such as hate crimes. Finally, you’ll conclude your studies in senior year with a capstone course that allows you to focus on a project of your choice, illustrating all you’ve learned in the major.

Throughout these courses, you’ll also have opportunities to put your new skills from the classroom into practice by using them to help the community. Through research, volunteer projects, shadowing, and hands-on learning in the community, your courses won’t just take place at a desk, but also out in the field. You can even get further involved through the Chi Rho Iota Criminology Honor Society and Criminology Club!

As a person-oriented major, you’ll learn best by helping others. We even had a recent group of Criminology students put together sensory boxes for the local police department to have on hand to help alleviate stressful encounters for people on the Autism spectrum.

Student giving a presentation on Criminology

Be prepared for your future

Although not required for Criminology majors, it is highly encouraged that they participate in an internship. Taking on an internship can help you get real world experience to decide if the concentration you’ve selected is right for you. Along with your faculty advisor, the Mount’s Career Center can help you find a placement at a local agency such as the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, New York State Police, Orange County Probation/Parole, Orange County Victim Services, or Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC).

After graduating with your degree in Criminology, you’ll be prepared to help others by entering a field like law enforcement, forensic psychology, probation and parole, victim services and advocacy, mental health, government agencies, and more. You could also pursue graduate school for teaching or go on to make a difference in court by attending law school.

Here’s how some of our Criminology alumni are using their degrees:

  • Brandon Roberts ’10, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Piedmont College
  • Lizbel Tavarez ’16, Probation Officer at New York City Department Of Probation

Jenifer Lee-Gonyea PhD

Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, & Professor of Criminology
Guzman Hall, Room 201

Meet the Division of Social Sciences Faculty

Get to know the rest of our incredible Social Sciences professors! 

Social Sciences Faculty

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