Criminology (Major, Minor)

Criminology Department

Pamela O'Brien, Dean, School of Arts, Sciences and Business
Maria Mouratidis, Psy.D., Chair
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-411 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]