Criminology

Major/Minor

The Criminology program draws on social science disciplines such as sociology and psychology combined with applied field experiences to analyze criminal behavior, motive, and government responses to crime.

Program Locations

Available Majors

  • Criminology

Available Minors

  • Criminology

Additional Study Options

Course Topics

  • Theories of Crime and Social Deviance
  • Policing and Society
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Corrections in America
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Violence Against Women
  • Research Methods and Crime Analysis​
  • Race, Class and Gender
  • Social Problems
  • Social Justice
  • Sociology of Law
  • Deviance and Social Control
  • Social Problems

Courses

  • Introduction to Criminology: CRM-101 (3 credits)

    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. [3 credits]
  • Criminology At the Movies: CRM-130 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Theories of Crime and Social Deviance: CRM-203 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Policing and Society: CRM-205 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Criminal Law and Procedure: CRM-220 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security: CRM-230 (3 credits)

    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 ]
  • Corrections in America: CRM-240 (3 credits)

    This course provides an examination into correc- tions 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 ]
  • The Criminal Justice System: CRM-310 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Topics in Criminology: CRM-311 (3 credits)

    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 and CRM-101. [3 credits]
  • Juvenile Delinquency: CRM-320 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Violence Against Women: CRM-325 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Research Methods and Crime Analysis: CRM-360 (4 credits)

    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; and either CRM-101, PSY-101, or SOC-101. [4 credits]
  • Criminology Practicum I: CRM-461 (4 credits)

    Integrates field experience with an academic seminar. Students are required to find a placement (internship) in social service, criminal justice or social action agencies consistent with their abilities and interests. This placement must be approved by the student's advisor and practicum coordinator prior to beginning the course. Students must complete a minimum of 190 field hours during the semester. Prerequisites: PSY-210 or CRM-360, and conference with the coordinator. Limited to majors of at least junior status. Not open to liberal arts majors. [4 credits]

  • College Writing: ENG-101 (3 credits)

    Provides students with an understanding that clear thinking is fundamental to clear writing. It also demonstrates every stage of the composing process: generating and organizing ideas, prewriting and drafting, critiquing, revising, final editing and proofreading. In addition, students work to accomplish clarity, unity, coherence and emphasis in sentences, in paragraphs, and in the overall structure of an essay. They develop techniques of style and tone toward more fluent and appealing prose and strive to sharpen their analytical, critical and editing skills by interacting with other students about their own writing and about the writing of professionals. Students learn to use standard English and develop a sensitivity to sentence structure and diction and to appreciate effectively written prose and recognize characteristics that make such prose effective. To fulfill the general education requirement in composition a minimum grade of C is required. [3 credits]
  • Basic Statistics: MAT-215 (3 credits)

    Introduces the basic ideas of statistics: descriptive statistics, central tendency variability, probability distributions, sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, multinomial experiments, contingency tables and analysis of variance. A statistical software package is used. Designed for students in a variety of fields that rely on regular statistical analysis in decision-making. Fulfills general education requirement in mathematics. Prerequisite: A strong algebraic background (as evidenced by placement test) or successful completion of MAT 100 or MAT 103 is recommended. [3 credits]

  • Introductory Sociology: SOC-101 (3 credits)

    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. [3 credits]
  • Race, Class and Gender: SOC-209 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Social Problems: SOC-222 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Social Justice: SOC-301 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Sociology of Law: SOC-315 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Deviance and Social Control: SOC-340 (3 credits)

    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]
  • Honors: Social Problems: SOC-371 (3 credits)

    Considers how social conditions come to be defined as social problems. Reviews causes and theoretical explanations for their origins and possible interventions to resolve social problems. Topics include substance abuse, family violence, environmental issues, discrimination, crime and terrorism. Prerequisite: Morrissy scholar or permission. [3 credits]
  • Advanced Topics: SOC-411 (3 credits)

    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-303 or SOC-350, and junior/senior status. [3 credits]
  • Independent Research/Independent Study: SOC-463 (3 credits)

    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 and acceptance for supervision by a department faculty member. [3 credits]

Four-Year Plan

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.

Fall Spring
First Year
ENG 101 College Writing 4 SOC-101 Introduction to Sociology 3
CRM-101 Introduction to Criminology 3 MAT-215 Basic Statistics 3
IDS-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 4
SOC-209 Race, Class, Gender 3 Criminology Elective 3
General Education/Electives 9 General Education/Electives 9
[15 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]      

What to Expect Studying at Notre Dame of Maryland University

Small class sizes and personal attention enhance the student expertise. Field experience and practica allow you to apply learning beyond the classroom to real world experiences.

Research & Internship Opportunities

A capstone practicum course includes field experience with a criminal justice or social service agency, which greatly increases employability. 

Criminology Careers

  • Non-Profit Agencies
  • State and Federal Courts
  • Corrections Departments
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Juvenile Justice Agencies