Criminology (Major, Minor)

Criminology Department

Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Chair
John Gist, Ph.D.
Amy Grau, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus



The Criminology Program of Study in the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business offers a Major and Minor in Criminology and a Minor in Sociology to students in the Women’s College. The Program provides students an opportunity to pursue studies leading to graduate school or a career in the administration of justice. The Program is structured around the study of both crime and deviance to ground students with an understanding of criminal behavior and the official reactions to such behavior. The curriculum draws on social science disciplines including Sociology and Psychology as well as applied field experiences to analyze criminal behavior. Criminology as a discipline examines evolution of criminological theory and societal factors at the micro and macro levels focused on the etiology crime and criminal behavior. Most courses include content related to criminal justice themes. Prepares students to pursue a wide range of career paths in law, corrections, policing, victim advocacy, child welfare and juvenile justice.

Criminology, as a discipline, is grounded in the liberal arts tradition, as an interdisciplinary field of study drawing on subjects such as history, psychology, sociology, political science, and biology. Students develop critical thinking and analytical skills applied to a range of issues related to crime and society. Students are challenged to critically evaluate criminal justice institutions through the lens of social justice and to understand the impact they have on the lives of women, the poor and minorities, particularly in Baltimore City. The Sociology Minor supplements this mission by providing students with the intellectual tools to examine the roles of various social institutions. 

Criminology, as a discipline, is concerned with uncovering the root causes and consequences of crime. A Criminal Justice curriculum studies the three main elements of the justice system: policing, courts, and corrections. Criminology provides a theoretical foundation to support the examination of patterns concerning deviant and criminal behavior, offenders, and victims. Throughout the criminology curriculum, students learn about the justice system but from a sociological perspective with a critical focus on the issues in how to seek justice and with commitment to improve the justice system.

Criminology Curriculum Goals and Learning Objectives

Goal 1: Develop a norm of social responsibility professionally and personally

1.1 Students will develop values.

1.2 Students will articulate the utility of the criminological perspective as one of several perspectives of social reality as it relates to the operation of the criminal justice system.

1.3 Students will explain the importance of reducing the negative effects of social inequality as it relates to the criminal justice system

Goal 2: Critically analyze the nature and operations of the criminal justice system and how this relates to social institutions, structures, and culture

2.1 Demonstrate skills in recall, analysis, application, synthesis, and evaluation.

2.2 Identify underlying assumptions in theoretical orientations or arguments

2.3 Identify underlying assumptions in particular methodological approaches to an issue.

2.4 Demonstrate knowledge of positivist approaches to the study of crime, including psychological, biological, and rational choice.

2.5 Demonstrate knowledge of constructionist approaches to the study of crime, including functionalism, conflict theory, feminist theory, and symbolic interactionism.

2.6 Demonstrate knowledge of the causes of crime and the methods and tools used to study, prevent and control crime.

2.7 Describe the institutions and actors involved in the apprehension, prosecution, punishment, and reintegration of those accused of crime.

2.8 Identity the legal, economic and political frameworks underlying the criminal justice system other social institutions, structures, and culture.

Goal 3: Evaluate and produce ethical research designs

3.1 Identify basic methodological approaches and describe the general role of methods in building criminological knowledge.

3.2 Compare and contrast the basic methodological approaches for gathering data.

3.3 Design a research study in an area of choice and explain why various decisions were made.

3.4 Identify and apply the principles of ethical criminological practice.

3.5 Use technical skills in retrieving information from the internet.

3.6 Use computers appropriately for data analysis.

Goal 4: Integrate academic learning with field experience

4.1 Apply theoretical paradigms, utilize criminological knowledge in field experience.

4.2 Practice good ethics in field experience.

Goal 5: Demonstrate competent scientific written and oral communication using APA style

5.1 Write in appropriate social science style and accurately convey data findings.

5.2 Demonstrate the ability to express ideas in a clear and coherent manner in oral presentations.

5.3 Students will be able to write in a competent and effective manner to communicate and apply concepts from criminology.

Student majoring in Criminology participate in a practicum or field experience with a criminal justice or social service agency that gives the student an opportunity to integrate theory, science and practice of criminology. The field experience is a capstone course that includes a seminar course directed by a faculty member designed to help students integrate the field experience with their classroom learning, as well as to prepare students for entry into graduate school or successful careers upon graduation. In addition to the practicum course, students complete a senior seminar on an advanced topic in the discipline or complete an independent research project. Students who choose the independent study option are mentored by a faculty to complete an original research project which involves original data collection, analysis, writing of a research report and delivering a presentation.

The Criminology and Social Deviance Program also offers minors in Criminology and Sociology. The Criminology Minor provides students a basic understanding of criminal behavior and the criminal justice response in the context of today's society. Graduates will be prepared to succeed in an occupation involving interaction with people, including policymaking, community action, social research and social services. Many criminology majors choose to complete a minor in forensic psychology.

Students with a 3.2 grade point average overall and a 3.2 grade point average in their major courses may become active members of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national honor society in criminal justice.

Criminology courses that fulfill the General Education Requirement in Gender Studies: SOC-209, SOC-215, SOC-271, CRM-315, CRM-325.

All courses credited toward the Criminology Major or Minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

Technical Standards

A student must have abilities and skills in five areas for CRM 461: 1) observation; 2) communication; 3) motor; 4) intellectual, conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and 5) behavioral and social. Technological compensation can be made for some limitation in certain of these areas, but a student should be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

  1. Observation: The student must be able to accurately make observations at a distance and close at hand. Observation necessitates the functional use of the sense of vision and somatic sensation and is enhanced by the functional use of all the other senses.
  2. Communication: The student must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively in both oral and written form and be able to perceive nonverbal communication.
  3. Motor: Student must be able to coordinate both gross and fine muscular movements, maintain equilibrium and have functional use of the senses of touch and vision. The student must possess sufficient postural control, neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination to perform profession-specific skills and tasks.
  4. Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to problem-solve, calculate, reason, analyze, record and synthesize large amounts of information in a timely manner. The student must be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand spatial relationships.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: The student must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the consistent, prompt completion of all responsibilities and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships. Students must be able to tolerate physically, mentally and emotionally taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, effective interpersonal skills, willingness and ability to function as an effective team player, interest and motivation to learn are all personal qualities required during the educational process.

Students who may not meet the technical standards are encouraged to contact the NDMU Director of Accessibility and Health Promotion to discuss and identify what accommodations, if any, would need to be made in order that the student might be able to meet the standards.

Programs of Study

Required Courses for a Major in Criminology and Social Deviance (Credits)

       CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology (3)
       CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance (3)
       CRM-360 Research Methods and Crime Analysis (4)
       CRM-461 Practicum (4) OR SOC-463 Independent Reasearch (3)
       PSY-210 Research Methods (4 )
       SOC-101 Introductory Sociology (3)
       SOC-209 Race, Class and Gender (3)

       One course from the following:

       SOC-411 Advanced Topics (3)
       SOC-463 Independent Research (3)

       Six additional criminology (CRM) courses or sociology (SOC) courses with at least three at the 300- or 400- level


Required Courses for a Minor in Criminology

       CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology (3)
       CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance (3)
       CRM-360 Research Methods and Crime Analysis (4)
       SOC-101 Introductory Sociology (3)

       Two additional courses with at least one at the 300- or 400- level

       CRM-461 is NOT open to criminology minors.
       SOC-463 is NOT open to criminology minors.

Four-Year Plan

Below is a sample Program of Study for full-time Criminology majors. Students should consult with the Program Coordinator for their academic plans as many courses are offered on alternating years.

First year      
ENG 101 College Writing 4 SOC-101 Introduction to Sociology 3
CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology 3 MAT-215 Basic Statistics 3
NDMU-100 Perspectives on Education 3 General Education/Electives 9
General Education/Electives 6 [15 credits]  
[16 credits]      
Second year      
CRM-203 Theories of Crime 3 CRM-360 Research Methods + Crime Analysis 4
SOC-209 Race, Class, Gender 3 Criminology Elective 3
PSY-210 Research Methods 4 General Education/Electives 9
General Education/Elective [16 credits]  
[16 credits]
Third year      
Criminology electives 6 Criminology electives 6
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
CRM-461 Practicum 4 Departmental Senior Elective 3
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 9
Criminology elective 3 [12 credits]  
[13 credits]


CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology

Provides an examination of the nature, causes and social significance of crime. Emphasizes the major explanations of criminal behavior and typologies of crime and examines crime and crime prevention strategies as they relate to theory, policy and practice. Serves as a gateway course for students interested in the field of criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science and thinking critically and analytically. [3 credits]

CRM-130 Criminology At the Movies

Explores the impact of criminological themes and theories on popular movies. Consists of an intensive, didactic experience that introduces the student to related criminological research and applications. [3 credits]

CRM-203 Theories of Crime and Social Deviance

Examines major paradigms, models and theories of criminology. Students critically review explanations of criminal behavior and analyze past, current and future trends in criminal activity. Theories in deviance and criminology from multidisciplinary perspectives provide a foundation for discussion. Prerequisite: CRM-101. [3 credits]

CRM-205 Policing and Society

Focuses on the history, structure, role, and function of policing in American society. Types of policing and police-community relations will be explored. Students will examine the functions of policing including patrol, order maintenance, investigation and community policing. A number of contemporary police problems will be presented including corruption, discretion, deadly force and minority relations. Course will include an exploration of cross-national comparisons. Prerequisite: CRM-101 or SOC-101. [3 credits]

CRM-220 Criminal Law and Procedure

Examines criminal law and procedure as a device for defining and controlling harmful behavior within a formal framework in the criminal justice system. Attention is given to the theoretical justifications for and the effectiveness of punishment, the foundations of culpability, the basic principles of criminal liability, and the definition of offenses and defenses. Prerequisite: CRM-101 or SOC-101. [3 credits]

CRM-230 Terrorism and Homeland Security

Examines terrorism with a focus on the contemporary societal experience, although historical perspectives will provide context as well. Differentiating characteristics of domestic and international terror groups will be identified. Legal implications of anti-terrorist measures and homeland security enforcement will be reviewed. Prerequisite: CRM-101. [ 3 credits ]

CRM-240 Corrections in America

This course provides an examination into corrections in America. We will differentiate the purpose and operation of jails versus prisons. Additionally, we will look at the use of non-custodial corrections alternatives such as community service, probation and parole. In this course, the history of corrections as well as contemporary issues in corrections will be examined. [ 3 credits ]

CRM-310 The Criminal Justice System

Examines the American criminal justice system. Introduces students to the workings of police, courts and corrections in American society, and how each functions as a mechanism of social control. Explores local, state and federal agencies as individual components of the comprehensive and interrelated system of justice. Prerequisites: CRM-101; PSY-210 or CRM-360. [3 credits]

CRM-311 Topics in Criminology

Uses empirical evidence to provide a contemporary approach to analyzing and evaluating crime and social deviance through a critical theoretical framework or uses empirical evidence to provide a contemporary approach to examining specific areas within criminology. Topics will vary. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SOC-101 or CRM-101. [3 credits]

CRM-315 Victims of Crime

Examines the impact of crime on its victims, including identification of victim types, victim compensation and reduction of victimization. The course focuses on the relationship of criminology and the criminal justice system to victims themselves. Prerequisite: CRM-101. [ 3 credits ]

CRM-320 Juvenile Delinquency

Examines delinquency as a form of socially deviant or criminal behavior engaged in by minors. Topics include definitions of delinquency, long- and short-term trends, explanations of delinquent behavior, drug use, gangs and school violence. Possible interventions, treatment and prevention strategies are also addressed. Prerequisite: SOC-101; PSY-210 or CRM-360. [3 credits]

CRM-325 Violence Against Women

Examines violence against women through a wide range of socially institutionalized and individually perpetuated political, social, economic and physical frameworks. Violence against women takes place within socially constructed race-ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and class specificities, as well as socio-historical contexts. The course examines how race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-historical constraints and shifts perpetuate systems of domination and oppression. It looks at ways in which these forces shape how women experience economic, social, sexual, class and gender domination and exploitation. Prerequisite: CRM-101 or SOC-101. Fulfills the general education requirement in gender studies. [3 credits]

CRM-360 Research Methods and Crime Analysis

Provides framework for the critical and empirical analysis of social science data relating to crime and social deviance, including experimental and quasi-experimental research design, crime analysis, ethical issues, quantitative and qualitative statistical methods and scientific report writing. Students learn how to use the statistical package for the social sciences and compute descriptive, inferential statistics and multivariate analysis. This course instructs students on the relationship between theory and scholarly inquiry, the nature of causation, and how to formulate and test hypotheses using a variety of empirical methods. Students learn a range of research approaches including surveys, experiments, field work, case studies and unobtrusive measures typically employed in the criminology and criminal justice fields. Students develop a research question and appropriate research methodology, empirically evaluate a hypothesis and write a research report. Prerequisites: MAT-215, PSY-210; and one of the following CRM-101, or PSY-101, or SOC-101. [4 credits]

CRM-461 Criminology Practicum I

Provides opportunities for field experience for qualified students under professional supervision to integrate theory, science, and practice. Allows for consultative meeting with practicum
coordinator concerning careet goals and aspirations, which then determine the nature of a placement most consistent with student abilities and interests. Requires students to meet academic and background requirements for chosen placement and to attend an academic seminar in addition to fieldwork. Prerequisites: at least junior criminology major status and conference with NDMU practicum coordinator. Not open to liberal arts major or criminology minors. Technical Standars are evaluated by the department. Students will not be permitted to repeat CRM-461 if they receivea failing grade (D or F), because of an ethical violation or are removed from their practicum site due to an ethical violation. Ethical violations may include plagiarism. The practicum requirement cannot be waived or completed through another institution. [ 4 credits ]

PSY-210 Research Methods

Introduces the basic methods of research design and report writing in the behavioral sciences. Descriptive, correlational and experimental research strategies will be discussed. Students
design original research and select appropriate data analyses. Ethical issues in each type of research design will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: MAT-215 and PSY-101 or CRM-101 or SOC-101. Satisfies the technological competency requirement. [4 credits]

SOC-101 Introductory Sociology

Uses the sociological imagination to help explain what sociology is and how it is relevant to everyday life. Examines culture, social structure, socialization, social institutions, social inequality and social change. Topics include gender roles, deviance and social control, class, race and ethnic inequality, family, and work. Serves as a foundation course for students interested in the field of sociology and criminology. Fulfills general education requirement in social science and thinking critically and analytically. [3 credits]

SOC-209 Race, Class, and Gender

Explores the intersecting systems of inequality, race, ethnicity, social class and gender. Examines the construction of identity categorizations and links them to our current experiences and conceptions of self. Covers the nature of privilege and its reproduction in social institutions such as the workplace, education, and the criminal justice system. Fulfills general education requirements in social science and cross-cultural studies. Prerequisite: SOC-101 or permission of instructor. [3 credits]

SOC-222 Social Problems

Examines how social conditions come to be defined as social problems. Surveys the causes of, theoretical explanations for, and possible interventions to resolve social problems. Provides students with opportunities to analyze in-depth such social concerns as substance abuse, family violence, environmental issues, discrimination, crime and terrorism. Fulfills general education requirement in social science. Prerequisite: SOC-101 or permission. [3 credits]

SOC-301 Social Justice

Overviews social injustice in American society and in American social institutions. Addresses issues of prejudice, racism and sexism, as well as discrimination based on sexual orientation, religious preference and disability. Provides students with opportunities to evaluate problem-solving procedures for social service agencies and the community at large. Prerequisite: SOC-101, PSY-210, CRM-101 or SOC-222. [3 credits]

SOC-315 Sociology of Law

Studies criminal law from a sociological perspec-tive with an emphasis on the United States Constitution. Examines the impact of the social usages of law as an instrument of social policy, social control and social regulation. Prepares students to interact professionally with the legal system. Prerequisites: PSY-210, SOC-101 or CRM-101. [3 credits]

SOC-340 Deviance and Social Control

Examines how we come to define attitudes, behavior, and characteristics as "normal" or "deviant" in society. Explores the construction of categories of difference with an eye toward the idea that labeling people or ideas as deviant is often a way to maintain the status quo. Addresses "deviant" behavior as an agent of social change as well as a source of social stability. Applies various sociological paradigms to such topics as social movements, crime and delinquency, and mental illness. Prerequisite: PSY-210, SOC-101 or CRM-101. [3 credits]

SOC-411 Advanced Topics

Provides a context for understanding the broad focus of the discipline of criminology. As an upper-level course in the criminology major, reviews key sociological and criminological writings from an advanced, informed perspective. The student uses these scholarly resources to develop a paper that synthesizes her particular knowledge of criminological theory, research and applications. Students also develop their abilities to analyze their personal experiences from a sociological perspective and explore options for continued study or employment related to their sociological training. Topics will vary, though recent topics have included: Corporate Crime, Violence Against Women, Social Inequality in the Criminal Justice System, and Policing. Prerequisites: PSY-210, CRM-203 or SOC-350, and junior/senior status. [3 credits]

SOC-463 Independent Research/Independent Study

Provides a student with an opportunity to pursue a scholarly project under the direction of a faculty member. Work may include directed readings, literature review, clinical study, or data collection and analysis. Prerequisites: PSY-210, PSY-340 or CRM-360 and acceptance for supervision by a department faculty member. [3 credits]