Skip to Content

Criminology

Overview

Understanding the causes and consequences of criminal behavior - both its impact on individuals and on society - is the focus of Hofstra's criminology program. If you possess the ability to analyze problems from different angles, coupled with a passion to uncover personal motivations and address broader societal needs, this is the place for you.

Criminology draws from a variety of disciplines throughout the university, including sociology, philosophy, political science, psychology, forensic science and linguistics. This program will give you the knowledge and perspective to pursue a career in a range of fields, including public policy and government, social work, restorative justice, human rights, counseling and mental health, or law enforcement.  It is also great preparation for advanced studies in political science, psychology, sociology and law.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Hofstra's Criminology program is the chance to delve deeply into the subject alongside students with diverse perspectives, learning from a faculty whose expertise includes: violence against children by their parents and caretakers; violence against women; forensic linguistics; philosophy of law; social services and child neglect; forensic psychology; and organized crime and gang violence.

You will engage in lively, challenging discussions as you explore some of the most timely and complex issues in society today. The Criminology program regularly sponsors lecture series and conferences that bring to campus advocates, treatment specialists, legal analysts, investigators and criminal justice experts to discuss their experiences in the field. Recent topics of discussion have included the Central Park Five; violence perpetrated against women and children refugees; how to reintegrate offenders into society after prison; and a talk by the retired FBI agent who worked the Unabomber case and pioneered the field of forensic linguistics (a program offered at Hofstra).

There is a constant and growing need for dedicated professionals to navigate and investigate and address the underlying social, cultural and economic factors that affect the way criminal justice systems work.

Career opportunities for criminology majors vary, depending on the industry and your role. In the New York region, graduates with a bachelor's degree in criminology earned an average annual salary of $53,428, and job growth for this major is projected to increase 9.2 percent by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Curriculum

You will develop rigorous analytic and methodological skills in this program while building a critical understanding of crime, its social and psychological context, and its relation to other social institutions.

Up-to-date information about required classes and more is available in the Hofstra Bulletin.

BA in Criminology Requirements

All Criminology majors begin with core classes in sociology and criminology covering the causes of crime and delinquency, theories of criminal behavior and criminal justice, social research and applied statistics. From there you will go on to explore more specific issues in the field, choosing from a variety of electives. Some course options include:

  • The Administration of Justice in America
  • Sociology of Terrorism
  • Punishment and Society: Sociology of Correctional Institutions
  • Morality and the Law
  • Mental Illness and Criminal Behavior

The Criminology program will expose you to the historical, theoretical and practical aspects of criminal behavior and society's solutions to the problems it causes. It will challenge you to look beyond the lens of your personal assumptions and gain new perspectives based on a broader worldview. Most of all, it will help you narrow in on the specific aspects of criminology that most appeal to your interests and align with your skill sets.

All Criminology students complete coursework in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, as well as required classes in writing, foreign language and quantitative reasoning. Exposure to these building blocks of a sound liberal arts education help prepare you for success and give you important perspectives into the human condition.

Some students also choose to add to their understanding and employability by pursuing a double major in Sociology, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Linguistics or other disciplines. Your advisor can help you decide if that is the right choice based on your abilities and interests.

Hofstra also offers a minor in Criminology, which can be an asset to those previously mentioned majors. Some Criminology majors choose to complement their studies with a minor in Forensic Science.

Recent Alumni Outcomes

Hofstra's Criminology students are prepared for a variety of career paths, including counseling and victim services, financial and insurance fraud investigation, human rights advocacy, forensics, justice administration law, national security and private investigation. Some choose to work in research and policy development in their quest to prevent violence and crime. They also graduate ready to pursue advanced degrees in law, social services, and criminal justice.

Recent graduates of Hofstra's Criminology program are actively employed in a variety of government and corporate settings, including:

  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Buckley Theroux Kline Petraske Law firm
  • Direction for Our Youth
  • U.S. Pretrial Services
  • NYC Teaching Fellows
  • Prudential Insurance

Our students also have gone on to graduate and professional programs at prestigious institutions across the country including:

  • New York University
  • Boston University
  • Fordham University
  • Duke University
  • Villanova University
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Miami
100% job, grad school or both
88% accepted a job within six months of graduation
$46K median salary
Get More Info on Program Outcomes

Hands-On Learning/Internships

Students in Class

We place a high value on internships at Hofstra, and this is especially true in the Criminology program. You will have the opportunity to explore prospective career paths, obtain real-world insights, learn general workplace skills and make valuable professional contacts — all while earning college credits.  Our students' internships have often led to full-time jobs with the same employer, or in the same area of business or government.

Internships within the Criminology Program involve working side-by-side with professionals in law, social work, and corrections, and developing professional connections in those fields. Every semester, the Criminology Program offers credit-granting positions in the specialized courts of Nassau and Queens Counties, focusing on areas such as mental health and drug courts, family courts, the domestic violence and sex crimes prosecutorial units, and the Nassau County Department of Probation. The program also has connections with local nonprofit community organizations dealing with issues of community violence interruption, rehabilitation, immigration, and domestic violence. Students interning for these organizations learn valuable advocacy, counseling, mentoring, organizational, and presentation skills, which are crucial for working with issues of crime and justice in the nonprofit and social work sectors.

Examples of internship opportunities available to criminology students:

In addition to coursework, research opportunities and potential internships, many of our students also take full advantage of Hofstra's broad array of organizations and activities, such as the Center for Civic Engagement, CSI Hofstra, and the forensic science club.

MEET PROFESSORS LIENA GUREVICH AND MARGARET ABRAHAM

Professor Liena Gurevich, director of Hofstra's Criminology Program, and Professor Margaret Abraham, an expert in the field of domestic violence and former president of the International Sociological Association, talk about the study of criminology and the strengths of Hofstra's program.