Criminology is the study of crime and all its components. Of particular interest to criminologists are why people commit crime, why certain acts are defined as criminal and others are not, and why punishments may differ across time/location and persons. In addition, criminology majors learn about the criminal justice system such as police, courts, and corrections and how these systems work in our society.
What careers can this major prepare you for?
Majors in Criminology can find jobs in a range of different employment sectors. Many students go on to work directly with criminal offenders. These careers include working in probation, parole, correctional institutions, and halfway houses. Moreover, many majors seek careers in law enforcement at the local, state, or federal level, other federal agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security. Criminology is an excellent background for a career as an attorney. Criminology majors also prepared for employment in victim services working for public and private sector agencies. They conduct research for criminal justice agencies, collecting and analyzing data and writing reports. Careers include: Probation Officer, Parole Officer, Correctional Officer, Police Officer, Victim Advocate, State Highway Patrol Officer, Attorney, TSA Agent, FBI Agent, Crime Data and Intelligence Analyst, Victim Specialists, Background Investigator, Hotline Operator, Case Manager, Youth Advocate, Fraud Investigation, Customs and Border Patrol, Deputy Sheriff.
What skills are developed within this major?
Criminology majors gain important skills including knowledge of why people commit crime, how to work with offenders and victims, how to apply criminological theories to specific problems, and how to identify and evaluate effective policies for reducing and preventing crime. They also develop communication skills, critical thinking, analytical skills, use of statistical applications, writing concisely, and evaluating information. Students learn the skills to conduct research and analyze data.
Admission to Major
No requirement other than good academic standing in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Hours Required for Degree
Minimum credit hours required for degree: 120
Minimum credit hours required for major: 30
Students must complete a total of 30 semester hours from the list below. In addition to the five (5) required courses (15 credit hours), 4 out of 5 electives must be at the 300-400 level, and 3 out of 5 must be from Group A electives.
Note: Students who also major in Sociology (double major) may use SOC 353 and SOC 354 toward both majors. Students who double major may use SOC 260 , SOC 312 , SOC 313 , and SOC 345 toward only one major, not both.
Core Courses Required (15 credit hours)
Electives (15 credit hours)
Students must complete five elective courses (15 credit hours). At least 4 of these 5 electives must be at the 300/400 level, and at least 3 of the 5 electives must be from the Criminology Group A electives.
Although a student is free to complete the major requirements with any combination of Criminology or select Sociology electives, the department believes that the major program is greatly strengthened and better organized when there is judicious selection of electives. The department makes available to every student who declares a major in Criminology an Undergraduate Advisor. The student is expected to plan a total academic program with the assistance of the departmental advisor.
Group A Criminology Electives
Minimum of 3 courses
Group B Non-Criminology Electives
Maximum of 2 courses
Internships in Criminology
Students may qualify for an internship in Criminology (CRM 491 ) by achieving an overall GPA of 3.0 in the major or minor, completion of the required courses, and junior or senior standing. Students who qualify must arrange an internship with the departmental coordinator (call 216-687-4500). Internships may be for up to 6 credit hours. However, only 3 of these hours may be applied toward the requirements for the major.
Honors Program/University Scholars Requirements
- Students must complete a two semester research course in their senior year, at the end of which they are required to produce a research paper and present it to the faculty (and they are encouraged to present it at a professional meeting as well).
- Students must complete an additional elective course, at the graduate level.
All of this is an additional 12 hours beyond the normal requirements in the major.
Accelerated 3+3 Degree
The CSU/Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 3+3 program permits a student who has completed three years of undergraduate study to be admitted to the College of Law to begin J.D. studies. The undergraduate degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the first full year of the J.D. curriculum, thus permitting the student to graduate with both an undergraduate and law degrees in six rather than seven years of full-time study (or its equivalent). In effect, the first year of law school completes the fourth year of the undergraduate degree (essentially serving as undergraduate elective courses) and serves as the first year of law school. This arrangement saves both time and money for the student.