Undergraduate Programs in


Criminology is an exciting, 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 forensic science, sociology, philosophy, political science, psychology, and 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

The Outlook

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.

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% by 2026, according to New York area labor market data retrieved in July 2018 by Burning Glass Technologies.

Career Paths

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.

Graduate Studies

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. 

Office Information

Room 205 Davison Hall
Phone: 516-463-5640 
9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Senior Executive Secretary
Cathy Jenkins
Room 205 Davison Hall

Program Director

Liena Gurevich
Associate Professor of Sociology
Davison Hall 205

Department Chair

Marc L. Silver, PhD
(516) 463-5645
Room 200 Davison Hall