Criminology, B.A.

Program Code: CRMBA_BA

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, a minimum of 121 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 16
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 40

4 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 4 credits of General Education GQ courses.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

 
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CRIM/CRIMJ/SOC 12Criminology Keystone/General Education Course3
CRIM/CRIMJ 100Introduction to Criminal Justice Keystone/General Education Course3
CRIM 249Criminology Theory and Evidence3
CRIM 250WResearch Methods in Criminology3
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one of the following:3
Communication and Information Technology I Keystone/General Education Course
Computer Fundamentals and Applications
Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Introductory Sociology Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Social Psychology Keystone/General Education Course
Social Problems Keystone/General Education Course
Select two of the following core courses:6
American Correctional System
Crime and the American Court System
Policing in America
Race, Crime, and Justice
Women and the Criminal Justice System
Law and Society
Crime Policy
Select 6 credits from non-core CRIM/CRIMJ courses at the 400 level (including no more than 3 credits of LA 496, CRIM 494, or CRIM 499)6
Select 6 credits in race, ethnicity and gender:6
Introduction to International Arts Keystone/General Education Course
American Popular Culture and Folklife Keystone/General Education Course
Ethnicity and the American Experience
Indigenous North America Keystone/General Education Course
Intercultural Communication Keystone/General Education Course
Gender Roles in Communication
Intercultural Communication Theory and Research
Race, Gender, and Identity in World Literature Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Crime, and Justice
Women and the Criminal Justice System
Alternative Voices in American Literature Keystone/General Education Course
African American Literature Keystone/General Education Course
Reading Black, Reading Feminist
History of Welfare and Poverty in the United States Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Racism, and Diversity Keystone/General Education Course
Multicultural Psychology in America
Racism and Sexism Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Ethnicity and Culture Keystone/General Education Course
Racial and Ethnic Inequality in America
Race and Public Policy
Social Stratification
Introduction to Women's Studies Keystone/General Education Course
Women and the American Experience Keystone/General Education Course
Race, Gender, and Employment Keystone/General Education Course

Program Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the causes and consequences of crime at the micro and macro levels and match these with prominent criminological perspectives.
  2. Describe the interrelated institutions and processes of the criminal justice system.
  3. Apply theories of crime and criminal justice to explain actual and hypothetical scenarios, behaviors, and trends.
  4. Explain the various social science methods of inquiry and use these to test specific criminological research questions.
  5. Recognize and explain macro-social inequities in crime and criminal justice processes by race, social class, gender, region and age.
  6. Locate and consult works in the area to produce a research paper that is coherent, cogent, and attentive to conventions of the field.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
Use the Liberal Arts Majors and Minors web page to see the contact information for the specific adviser(s) of this program

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Criminology, B.A. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
General Education (GWS)3CRIM/SOC 12*3
CRIM 100*3General Education (GWS)3
World Language level 14STAT 200 (GQ)*‡†4
General Education Quantification (GQ)3World Language level 24
General Education or First-Year Seminar3General Education Course3
 16 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC 1, 3, or 5*3Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Course from List*3
World Language Level 34CRIM 250W*3
CRIM 249*3General Education Course3
General Education Course3BA Fields3
Elective3Elective3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 283, CMPSC 100, or CMPSC 101*34xx Level CRIM course*3
4xx Level CRIM Course*3Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Course from List*3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3BA Fields3
Elective3Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
4XX-Level CRIM Core Course from List*34XX-Level CRIM Core Course from List*3
General Education (GWS)3BA Fields3
General Education Course3General Educaiton Course3
BA Other Cultures Course3General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
General Health and Wellness Course (GHW)1.5Elective3
 13.5 13.5
Total Credits 121

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Advising Notes:

  • All incoming first-year students must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 credits and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.
  • The following sequence MUST be followed: CRIM 12 → CRIM 249CRIM 250W. It is suggested that CRIM 12 and CRIM 249 be taken as early as possible. CRIM 100 and CRIM 249 can be taken in the same semester. CRIMJ 250W will only be used as elective credits.
  • While CRIM 294, CRIM 296, and CRIM 494 provide students with terrific opportunities and learning experiences, these credits may NOT be counted in fulfillment of the Criminology major requirements. They may, however, be used as elective credits to count toward the credit requirement for graduation
  • Internship credits will be counted towards elective credits, unless approved by the internship coordinator to meet a general 3 credit 400 level CRIM course requirement
  • 3 credits of the Netherlands Education Abroad experience (CRIMJ 499) can be used to meet a general 400 level course requirement. A total of 15 education abroad credits (max) may be applied toward the major; courses must be approved by the department for application toward the major. CRIM 12, CRIM 100, CRIM 249 and CRIM 250W cannot be taken abroad.

Criminology, B.A. at Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 153CRIM 12, CRIMJ 12, or SOC 12*3
CRIM 100 or CRIMJ 100*3CAS 1003
World Language level 14STAT 200*‡†4
General Education Quantification (GQ)3World Language level 24
General Education3General Education Course3
 16 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
SOC 1, 3, or 5*3Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Course from List*3
World Language Level 34General Education Course3
General Education Course3BA Fields3
General Education Course3Elective3
Elective3Elective3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 283, CMPSC 100, or CMPSC 101*3CRIM 250W*3
CRIM 249*3Race, Ethnicity, and Gender course from list*3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
Elective3BA Fields3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CRIM 4xx level course*3Core CRIM course from list*3
CRIM core course from list*3CRIM 4xx level course*3
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3BA Fields3
BA Other Cultures Course3General Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
General Health and Wellness Course (GHW)1.5Elective3
 13.5 13.5
Total Credits 121

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Career Paths

There are opportunities for careers in criminology for everyone. Whether you like field work, working in a laboratory or working behind the scenes in research or administration, the chances are you'll find a rewarding career.

Careers

Majoring in Criminology will prepare you for a wide array of criminal justice careers, such as law enforcement, corrections and rehabilitation, research analysis, governmental and non-governmental organizations.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE CRIMINOLOGY PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

A baccalaureate degree in Criminology is suitable for students seeking entry-level positions in the criminal justice system and for students interested in graduate and law school.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY AND CRIMINOLOGY
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-2527
sociology@psu.edu

http://sociology.la.psu.edu/