Criminology is a multidisciplinary field that studies the causes and consequences of crime, as well as the procedures and policies that govern the institutions designed to address it.
Why study Criminology?
The criminology program’s objective is to provide students with sound methodological and analytic skills, leading to critical understanding of criminal behavior and the operation of the criminal justice system. The program will prepare you for further studies, decision-making, and leadership positions in the fields of law, criminal justice administration, policy development, and national security.
In the Classroom
Learn from the Experts
Housed in the Department of Sociology, the criminology program features a diverse and experienced faculty of accomplished scholars and researchers who are deeply committed to teaching and mentoring. Their goal is to produce scholars and practitioners who are sensitive to the social, economic, and political issues that are critical to a deeper understanding of crime and criminal justice.
The Major and Minor
Hofstra’s criminology program offers an undergraduate major and minor, and it is designed to provide students with a broad-based liberal arts education that draws from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, philosophy, political science, psychology, and forensic linguistics. 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.
The criminology program 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.
BA in Criminology
Students majoring in criminology will take required classes like:
Introduction to Criminology
Sociology of Crime and Delinquency
Theoretical Perspectives on Crime and Justice
Statistics in Sociology or Statistics in Psychology
Research Methods in Sociology
Students will then take courses in two categories: Crime and Justice and Law, Politics, and Society, as well as electives such as Ethics in Policing; Domestic Violence; Mental Illness and Criminal Behavior; Gender, Crime, and Criminal Justice; and Crime Scene Investigation Methods.
Minor in Criminology
A minor in criminology may complement a variety of majors such as forensic science, sociology, philosophy, political science, psychology, or linguistics.
The Student Experience
In addition to coursework, there are many opportunities for students to expand their academic interests outside the classroom.
Hofstra's criminology program regularly sponsors events that bring advocates, treatment specialists, legal analysts, investigators, and criminal justice experts to campus to discuss their experiences in the field. Recent topics of discussion have included the Central Park Five; violence perpetrated against refugee women and children; 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).
Criminology internships involve working with professionals in law, social work, and corrections. There are credited positions in the specialized courts of Nassau and Queens counties, such as youth court, mental health and drug courts, as well as in the domestic violence and sex crimes prosecutorial units, and in the Department of Probation.
Students may also be placed with local nonprofit and community organizations that deal with issues like rehabilitation, advocacy, immigration, and domestic violence. Students interning for these organizations learn valuable organizational and presentation skills, as well as insight into advocacy, counseling, and mentoring - all crucial for the nonprofit and social work sectors.
Herstory Writers Workshop and its partners in the justice movement are engaged in a unique project to use stories by young people to help to move the needle on juvenile justice reform. The goal is to create a growing pool of personal memoirs that address specific issues in a story-based strategy for fair treatment and justice for all youth. Since 2012 Hofstra University has been a partner in this project, providing Herstory with criminology interns who work side by side with the organization’s leadership and with high school students from the local communities. More about the Hofstra and Herstory partnership.
Read about the project in The Hofstra Chronicle.
There is a constant and growing need for dedicated professionals to navigate, investigate, and address the underlying social, cultural, and economic factors that affect the way criminal justice systems work.
A degree in criminology prepares students for a variety of career paths, including: law and the justice system, criminal justice administration, research and policy development and evaluation, criminal investigation, forensics, financial and insurance fraud investigation, national security, and private investigation.
In a survey of recent alumni, 93% of respondents reported they were employed, attending or planning to attend graduate school, or both. The mean reported salary the first year following graduation was $44K.
Most recently, graduates have reported working at the United Nations' Security Council Affairs Division (as a team assistant for Al’Qaida, Da’esh and Taliban monitoring), the Criminal Justice Bureau for the New Hampshire Department of Justice, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Additional examples of where our alumni are working include:
- Alzheimer's Association
- Columbia University
- Department of Justice
- Family Service League
- Great Neck Union Free School District
- Northwell Health
- Queens Law Associates
- Sanctuary For Families
Students who decide to pursue advanced degrees do so in areas like: law, forensic linguistics, psychology, criminal justice education, political science, sociology, and social work.
Recent graduates are currently pursuing their advanced degrees at:
- Columbia School of Social Work
- Emory University School of Law
- Hofstra University's Maurice A. Deane School of Law
- New York Law School
Additional institutions our alumni are attending:
- Columbia University
- CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- George Mason University
- New York University
- Pepperdine University
- Syracuse University
- Teachers College, Columbia University
- University of Chicago
- University of Southern California
- University of Washington, Seattle