Criminology (BA)

Criminology (BA)


Criminology is the study of crimes, criminals, crime victims, theories explaining illegal and deviant behavior, the social reaction to crime and criminals, the effectiveness of anti-crime policies and the broader political terrain of social control. The major contains courses in sociology, other social science disciplines and the humanities. Students who are planning to attend graduate or professional schools and students who are currently working in criminal justice or other public service fields as well as those planning to do so in the future will find this major of interest.

Learning Outcome.

  • Students will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the core literature and debates that make up the discipline of criminology.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the key components of criminological theory and the ability to apply theory to specific contexts.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the methods of criminological research.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to make reasoned and informed judgment on issues relating to crime and punishment.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to organize their thoughts and communicate their arguments effectively in writing.


Credits required. 36 (or more depending on math placement)

Coordinator. Professor Barry Spunt, Department of Sociology (212.237.8677,

Advising resources. Criminology and Sociology Advising, contact Sample Four-year Plan of Study. Visit the department's website for advising resources (course worksheet and advising handbook).

Prerequisites. SOC 101. This course fulfills the College’s general education requirements for the Flexible Core: Individual and Society area. Depending on math placement, students may need to take MAT 105 and/or MAT 108 (or MAT 141) as a prerequisite for the required statistics course, STA 250.

Other courses also have prerequisites beyond courses previously taken in the major:


Honors option. Students with a cumulative 3.5 grade point average when they have completed 75 credits are eligible for a Criminology Honors track. The Honors track requires completion of 6 additional credits in the form of a two-semester research internship (SOC 430–SOC 431) or a research independent study. Consult the major coordinator for further information.

Additional information. Students who enrolled for the first time at the College or changed to this major in Fall 2014 or thereafter must complete the major in the form presented here. Students who enrolled prior to that date may choose either the form shown here or the earlier version of the major. A copy of the earlier version may be obtained in the 2013-2014 Undergraduate Bulletin.

PART ONE. DISCIPLINARY REQUIREMENTS                                Subtotal: 15 credits

SOC 203 Criminology
SOC 314 Theories of Social Order
SOC 440 Senior Seminar (Criminology)
SSC 325 Research Methods in Criminology and Sociology
STA 250 Principles and Methods of Statistics

PART TWO. MULTI-DISCIPLINARY FOUNDATIONS                   Subtotal: 3 credits

Select one 
ANT 230 Culture and Crime
ECO 170 Crime, Class, Capitalism: The Economics of Justice
LAW 310/PHI 310 Ethics and Law
PSY 242 Abnormal Psychology

PART THREE. APPLICATIONS OF CRIMINOLOGY                     Subtotal: 6 credits

Select two courses
SOC 236/CRJ 236 Victimology
SOC 301 Penology
SOC 308 Sociology of Violence
SOC 309 Juvenile Delinquency
SOC 335 Migration and Crime
SOC 360/ECO 360 Corporate and White-Collar Crime
SOC 385 Selected Topics in Criminology 
SOC 420/CRJ 420 Women and Crime

PART FOUR. ADVANCED METHODS                                                Subtotal: 3 credits

Select one course
SOC 324 Advanced Social Statistics
SOC 327 Advanced Sociological Methodology
SOC 328 Qualitative Research Methods
SOC 329 Evaluation Research

PART FIVE. ELECTIVES                                                                         Subtotal: 9 credits

A. Multi-Disciplinary Electives
Select one

AFR 215 Police and Urban Communities
ANT 330 American Cultural Pluralism and the Law
ANT 340 Anthropology and the Abnormal
ECO 315/PSC 315 An Economic Analysis of Crime
LIT 326 Crime, Punishment and Justice in U.S. Literature
LIT 327 Crime, Punishment and Justice in World Literatures
LLS 325 Latina/o Experience of Criminal Justice
PSC 216 Crime Mapping
PSY 332 Psychology of Adolescence
PSY 372 Psychology of Criminal Behavior

B. Sociology Electives 
Select two
SOC 201 Urban Sociology: The Study of City Life
SOC 202/PSY 202 The Family: Change, Challenges, and Crisis Intervention 
SOC 206 The Sociology of Conflict and Dispute Resolution
SOC 222 Crime, Media and Public Opinion
SOC 240 Social Deviance
SOC 251 Sociology of Human Rights
SOC 282 Selected Topics in Sociology
SOC 302 Social Problems
SOC 305 The Sociology of Law
SOC 351 Crime and Delinquency in Asia
SOC 377 Internships for Sociology
SOC 405 Social Systems/Modern Organizations

                                                                                                                           Total Credit Hours: 36

                                                                                                                                  Last Updated: 12/08/16