Criminology majors study the nature and causes of crime, criminal behavior, and the criminal justice system.

Criminology is a diverse field grounded in philosophy, which searches for answers to why people commit crimes, or whether there is such a thing as a born killer. Criminology strives to understand the nature of crime and society, and the theoretical underpinnings that guide how people are punished, controlled, or rehabilitated. Students have the opportunity to tailor their degree aspirations through a selection of minors including victim studies, psychology, legal studies, sociology, and forensic science.

Our goal is that students will use this knowledge to critically assess information in problem-solving and decision-making. Many required courses strive to systematically cultivate informed and ethical ways of thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making while encouraging students to examine resulting consequences. 

This major has two concentrations:

Concentration in Justice Studies

In the Justice Studies Concentration, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice provides students with a detailed understanding of the basic institutions of the criminal justice system. Students in this concentration take courses that detail all components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Stressing effective writing and analytical skills, the program also exposes students to criminological theory and research courses, which help them better understand the complex relationships between individuals, society, and the criminal justice system. This concentration is perfect for students who are interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or human services. It is also great for students who have a desire to continue to graduate or law school.

Concentration in Victimology

As one of the only programs in the region to offer a Victimology Concentration, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice strives to help prepare future criminal justice and victim service professionals to better understand the impact of victimization and the needs of crime victims. Students in this concentration take courses focusing on the types, scope, and consequences, as well as the resources and services available for victims. This concentration is perfect for students who are interested in pursuing a victim-focused career, such as a victim advocate, counselor, or coordinator at a domestic violence center. It is also great for students who simply have a desire to better serve victims in their future criminal justice professions (e.g., police officer, correctional officer, juvenile probation officer).

Featured Courses:

The program consists of elective courses such as:

  • Sex Crimes
  • Crime Prevention
  • Crime & Media
  • Into to Criminalistics
  • Guns, Crime, & American Society
  • Bullies & Bullets: Victimization in Schools
  • Fraud Examination.

Career Potential:

Earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology opens many doors for students. Common career paths include:

  • Local, state, or federal law enforcement
  • Private security
  • Loss prevention
  • Asset protection
  • Adult and/or juvenile correctional, probation, and parole officers
  • Victim’s advocate

 A bachelor’s degree in Criminology is also a great stepping stone for graduate studies or law school.

Hands-On Experience:

The majority of our students opt to complete either a co-op or service learning experience in the field of criminology or criminal justice. Recent co-op positions have included Hamilton County Pre-Trial Services, Cincinnati Police Department, U.S. Marshals, Federal Probation, Hamilton County Job and Family Services and JACK Cincinnati Casino. Students who participated in service learning have been placed at the Office of Peace, Justice and Care of Creation, EarthConnection, Be Concerned, Bethany House, St. Francis Seraph Ministries, Them Bones and Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence.

Alumni Profiles

  • Allie graduated in 2019 with a double major in Criminology and Psychology and will be attending law school at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Macey, a 2018 graduate, is currently pursuing her Masters of Science degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Joseph, who graduated in 2017, is a Hamilton County corrections officer.
  • After graduating in 2016, Jacob was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.
  • Erin earned her degree in 2015 and then completed her Masters of Science degree in Criminal Justice. She works at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a clinical research coordinator III in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.

News and Updates

Stay up to date with the most recent criminology program news and events; visit the department of criminology page.

Like what you see? Learn more by coming to visit us.

Visit our financial aid page to learn your options for scholarships, grants, and loans.

Additional Resources

  Faculty and Staff

J.W. Carter II
Department Chair & Associate Professor

Pierre Rivolta
Associate Professor

Billy Henson
Assistant Professor

  Curriculum Guide - Victimology Concentration [PDF] (177 KB)
  Curriculum Guide - Justice Studies Concentration [PDF] (174 KB)