Major Monday: Criminology

Are you fascinated by true crime books and movies?  Do you love tv shows like Law and Order and CSI?  Are you interested in how laws are made and why they are broken? If so, Criminology may be the right major for you.

General Description:  Criminology is the study of the nature and causes of crime, criminal behavior, and the function of the criminal justice system. Criminology students learn about the foundations of crime, deviance, and social control and all of the federal, state, and local agencies that work to prevent criminal activity.

Topics Studied:  Sociology, Psychology, Law, and Political Science.

Key Skills:  research, data analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Required Degree:  Bachelor’s (4 year) degree.  Master’s and Doctorate level programs exist, but they are not required.

Colleges with Criminology:  American University (Washington, DC), Bridgewater State University (Bridgewater, MA), Delaware State University (Dover, DE), University of Rhode Island (Kingston, RI), and many more!

Careers:  Most entry level jobs for Criminology graduates are in Law Enforcement or Social Services, but there are also opportunities in Business, Government, and Nonprofits.  Someone graduating with this degree may become the Director of Campus Safety and Security at a college campus, a Forensic Scientist in a laboratory, a Victim Advocate for the juvenile court system, or a Parole and Probation Counselor with the local police department.

Salary:  Depends on type of career pursued–Social Service careers, such as social work and counseling, tend to skew lower with a median salary around $42,000 whereas Law Enforcement careers, such as police officers and detectives, earn a median salary of about $55,000.

Sources and more information:  http://www.bls.gov/ooh/

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/social-sciences-criminology

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