20 Colleges With Criminology Majors  

Undoubtedly among the most exciting fields of study is criminology. In contrast to the study of criminal justice, criminology degree programs emphasize the motivation behind crime and its effects on society.

Holders of criminology degrees can pursue careers in various industries, such as corrections, psychiatry, social work, and even education. Because of the variety of careers available, wages for criminology graduates will be very diverse.

However, it is advisable to pick a criminology degree program that is reasonably priced and provides the best value for your money. We’ve put together a list of the 20 top colleges with Criminology majors to assist students in finding such a program.

What is Criminology?

The sociological study of crime is known as criminology. It is a social and behavioral science that examines offenders and criminal conduct to better understand who criminals are, what drives them, and what influences, such as psychology and socioeconomic status, may also be at play.

Criminology is an interdisciplinary field that draws on research from many other disciplines, like political science, law, psychology, sociology, economics, philosophy, social anthropology, and biology.

Programs in criminology are available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, and graduates may choose to pursue a science- or art-related degree.

A science degree is more technical and science-focused, whereas an arts degree is more research-oriented and emphasizes the humanities more strongly.

Who Attends Colleges and Majors in Criminology?

Most undergraduate criminology majors have a broad range of interests, including psychology, sociology, biology, and law. They frequently enjoy problem-solving, critical thinking, and studying and using various investigative strategies.

Criminal scientists carry out a wide variety of responsibilities. Some of them are gathering evidence and collaborating directly with crime lab technicians.

They subject themselves to graphic material like blood and corpses.

It might not be the greatest option for you to work as a criminologist if you are extremely worried unless you simply want to use your criminology major as a stepping stone in your schooling to pursue a completely different career path.

See Also: 10 Best Criminal Justice Schools In The World

Are Criminologists Rich?

In the US, criminologists make an average of $61,930 a year. The top 25% earn a median annual income of $80,670, whereas the bottom 25% have a median yearly income of $47,750. From 2020 to 2030, the job outlook for criminology is 16%, faster than the national average for all occupations.

Going out of a job should be the lowest of criminology majors’ concerns because crime is a normal component of social life and cannot be eradicated.

See Also: Top 10 Careers in Criminal Justice that are Marketable in 2022

Is criminology a worthwhile major?

Depending on what you want from your education and what you expect, criminology may or may not be beneficial for you. It can be a great alternative to an academic degree for those interested in any of the fields connected to it, such as psychology and sociology.

It can also be a fulfilling subject for people who enjoy investigation, are looking for a way to combine the humanities and sciences, and want to use their studies to comprehend social impact aspects.

Given that criminology is offered at all collegiate levels, it might be appropriate for many pupils. While more advanced degrees can open doors to careers in law, politics, the behavioral or social sciences, academia, and other fields, an associate degree could be appropriate for people looking to enter the workforce quickly.

Both individuals with more means and those with less time and money can seek and profit from a criminology degree.

See Also: Top 10 Criminal Justice Scholarships 2022

20 Colleges With Criminology Majors

We have carefully listed and discussed the best colleges with criminology majors in this section. Don’t be quick to make your choice. Read exhaustively!

#1. University of Texas

UT is one of the top colleges that offer criminology majors. Many criminology degree programs, such as a BA in criminology, an Executive MS in justice leadership and administration, and a Ph.D. in criminology, are offered at the University of Texas at Dallas.

UTD’s Fast Track program permits undergraduate students to enroll in up to Fifteen credit hours of graduate courses. Undergraduate and graduate students can take advantage of enrichment opportunities like study abroad, honors courses, internships, and student clubs.

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#2. University of Maryland

The University of Maryland-College Park’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is home to the most well-liked major on campus and one of the top-ranked PhD programs in the country. The program in criminology and criminal justice has a limited enrollment.

These majors are competitive and only accept a few applicants. Only the most committed students will stay in the program.

Many enrichment possibilities and an honors program, internships, research, and study abroad complement this demanding criminology degree program. UM is one of the amazing choices of colleges with Criminology majors you can make!

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#3. University of Pennsylvania

This is one of the outstanding colleges that offer Criminology majors. The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Criminology focuses on using research to address urgent problems in the area.

As a result, even undergraduate students are expected to create a research project. The only Ivy League institution to offer a bachelor’s degree is Penn, which also boasts the country’s longest-running criminology education and research department.

Additionally, Penn provides dual degree options and a distinctive MS program that integrates criminology’s theoretical and practical facets into one course of study.

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#4. Rutgers University (Newark)

One of the most well-liked programs on campus is housed at Rutgers University-School Newark’s of Criminal Justice. It is well-known and regarded as one of the top-ranking colleges with Criminology majors.

Students pursuing a criminology degree have access to a wealth of resources because of the university’s varied student body and placement in one of the nation’s top commercial districts.

Students and teachers in the criminal justice field have access to several associated centers and institutes for research and community engagement.

One of the most technologically advanced academic buildings in the United States, the Center for Law and Justice provides an excellent setting for interaction and education. It is one of the top colleges that offers criminology.

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#5. Northeastern University

The distinct benefit of being a small school within a major university is one that the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University enjoys. This enables them to benefit from the many resources typically only obtainable at larger institutions while still taking pleasure in the small class sizes.

Three criminology and criminal justice degree research facilities are available at Northeastern University, all supporting cutting-edge research. NU is among the fast-growing colleges with Criminology majors.

There are many possibilities for students to learn experientially, including co-ops, internships, and service learning. Before graduating, every student completes at least one year of work experience.

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#6. State University of New York (Albany)

The State University of New York at Albany’s Criminal Justice program has a track record of graduating students who are successful in graduate programs and in professional and teaching roles. It has earned a good ranking among the best colleges with Criminology majors worldwide.

The program’s interdisciplinary approach is largely to blame for this. To prepare them for the environment they would occupy after graduation. Students study the various agencies engaged in the legal system and how they interact.

The Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center is located at the School of Criminal Justice and hosts activities for all criminal justice students, besides providing graduate students with the opportunity to take part in research.

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#7. Pennsylvania State University

The criminology degree programs of Pennsylvania State University are frequently rated as among the best in the country. This is partly because the university’s Sociology and Criminology programs have a tight working relationship.

Because both programs are based in the same department, an interdisciplinary student environment may be easily created.

Students can take part in various enrichment activities, such as competitions, study abroad programs, professional development opportunities, and honors programs. The Justice Association, the undergraduate student group for the criminology major, offers many more chances and occasions.

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#8. University of Nebraska

This university is another awesome choice of college with Criminology majors. The criminology degree program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha provides students with a lot of intriguing prospects and flexibility.

Students can complete their entire degree online or just a few courses, making it easier for those with busy schedules to attend class. Two student organizations that organize short outings and activities are located at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Additionally, it supports the London Study Abroad Program, which allows students to contrast the British and American judicial systems.

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#9. Sam Houston State University

The Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Sam Houston State University is well known for its research output, active student organizations, and training facilities. Because of the department’s extensive course range and online offerings, students have some freedom to pursue their passions.

Numerous online and conventional undergraduate and graduate criminology degree programs are available.

The department provides a wealth of professional growth opportunities through its institutions and honor societies. The Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom, the Conference Center, and forensic labs with specialized equipment are available as amenities.

This falls among the colleges with Criminology majors where you can have a beautiful, practical approach.

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#10. University of Florida

In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences of the university, the Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law provides several exceptional degree programs. The criminology Ph.D. program was ranked 5th in the nation for its research productivity, and the BA degree program is the school’s largest interdisciplinary program.

To carry out significant research on subjects like sexuality and gender identity, health and aging, and race and ethnicity, faculty members, cooperate with departments from across the institution.

This continuing research adds to the strong curriculum of the criminology degree programs and allows students the chance to collaborate with instructors practically.

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#11. Washington State University

The country’s oldest department of its kind is the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Washington State University.

Like other colleges with Criminology majors, its criminology degree program has a track record of turning out competent and moral criminal justice professionals who can tackle urgent problems confronting the United States and the rest of the world.

Experience in the real world is prioritized here. The faculty oversees a yearly study-abroad program in which graduate and undergraduate students can tour criminal justice agencies in cities like London and Amsterdam. Graduate students are also given plenty of chances to engage in research.

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#12. George Mason University

Criminology, Law, and Society is a multidisciplinary curriculum George Mason University offers.

Focusing on subjects including Law and Society and Criminal Justice, this criminology degree program gives students a wide understanding of the legal system while allowing them to choose their focus. Three research centers are at the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society.

In addition to conducting research, these centers also educate and train people who work outside of academia. This offers students the chance to get practical experience in a setting comparable to the one where they will find employment after graduation.

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#13. University of Cincinnati

The criminal justice program at the University of Cincinnati is dedicated to research, collaboration with the community, and hands-on instruction. The university is well known for its cutting-edge facilities and faculty research. Its place as one of the excellent colleges with Criminology majors has been without contention!

The program’s on-campus research institutes offer the perfect environment for teaching students and disseminating knowledge to organizations outside the university.

The Faculty of Criminal Justice has collaborated with many regional jails, prisons, and corporations for research and internships. In all criminology degree programs, fulfillment of an internship or other experiential learning is necessary.

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#14. Florida International University

The Department of Criminal Justice at Florida International University provides both traditional and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Additionally, it provides numerous combined and joint degrees.

With such a wide range of program alternatives, FIU students have some freedom to select the criminology degree program which will be the most helpful to them.

Students can pursue overseas study and internship opportunities through the school’s CJ Study Abroad in England program. Graduates of this degree are equipped for a wide range of professions in municipal, state, and federal organizations.

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#15. University of California

The only criminology faculty in the University of California system is at UC Irvine. The department combines socio-legal studies and criminology to give students a distinctive view of the legal system. Experience-based education is important.

Its approach to learning makes it one of the top colleges that offer criminology.

Every student can take part in fieldwork at places, including private law offices, children’s shelters, and the Orange County Victim/Witness help Program.

The department sponsors several activities for students pursuing degrees in criminology, such as speaker series and research symposiums.

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#16. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s Department of Criminal Justice takes pride in its technologically cutting-edge facilities, online learning options, and experiential learning opportunities.

Online students can still benefit from internship opportunities and complete the undergrad and postgraduate Criminal Justice programs. Additionally, the department has a crime mapping lab using the latest recent software.

Criminal justice degree candidates can take part in additional volunteer initiatives and professional development opportunities through the department’s active student organizations.

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#17. North Dakota State University

UND is among the prominent colleges with Criminology majors in the US. The Criminal Justice program at the University of North Dakota draws expertise from several academic fields, including sociology, anthropology, and philosophy.

Through their collaboration with the Department of Criminal Justice, these departments offer students access to materials and viewpoints they wouldn’t often have at other universities.

The only Ph.D. program specifically designed for students with a JD degree is offered by UND, one of the few doctoral programs in the US to be accredited by the American Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Four criminal justice student organizations are based at UND, and they organize excursions, activities, and volunteer initiatives for people interested in criminology degrees.

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#18. Florida State University

The College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University takes pride in its resources, online programs, and research.

Students and teachers at FSU have access to the greatest learning and collaboration environments thanks to the university’s facilities, which include the newly renovated Eppes Hall and the Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research.

These facilities’ research has influenced students, public policy, and people worldwide. Most of the department’s criminology degree programs are available online, allowing busy students additional flexibility. The online programs offered by FSU are frequently rated as some of the best in the country.

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#19. American University

American University’s Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology is home to knowledgeable professors, a productive mock trial program, and intriguing research opportunities. Numerous criminology degree programs are available through the department, including dual JD/MS and BA/MS.

Students can select a specialization in most of these degrees, such as Justice and Public Policy or Jurisprudence and Social Thought.

All graduate students must take part in research because the programs are interdisciplinary. They gain experience and, as a result, compete in the industry.

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#20. Arizona State University

This is one of the top colleges that offer criminology. Its School of Criminology and Criminal Justice is situated at 411 North Central Ave., Suite 600, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University offers a program of coursework and research leading to the PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Its criminology major emphasizes criminal justice theory, research, and policy. Students who graduate from this become highly skilled criminology and criminal justice faculty and agency researchers and administrators.

The PhD program is organized around five components:   

  1. A core of required courses in theory and research on crime and the criminal justice system;
  2. A core of required courses on research methods and analytical techniques
  3. Elective courses in criminology, criminal justice and related fields;
  4. A comprehensive examination; and 
  5. A dissertation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is math a big part of criminology?

Prospective criminology majors should be ready to take math courses, especially in statistics, calculus, and data analytics, as the major also involves studies connected to the research.

Is criminology a challenging major?

Even if it’s not among the most challenging fields, criminology demands plenty of effort, love, and attention. Given the employment available for those with a bachelor’s in criminology, it also calls for a strong body and mind.

Is there a high demand for criminology?

Due to the ongoing need for experts in the discipline, criminologists have a promising job outlook in the future. To meet the growing demand for more specialists in various places, municipal and federal law enforcement organizations frequently publish job vacancies for criminology positions.

What is the work of a criminologist?

Criminologists gather and examine both qualitative and quantitative information about the crime to offer insights and recommendations for reducing crime in a community. To advise on proactive policing and policing techniques, criminologists collaborate closely with police and policymakers.


Your choices regarding a criminology program are important; thus, we have created these rankings to guide you. You can check out their website for further information if you’re interested in our rankings of the Best Overall Criminology Schools.



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