Criminology, M.S.


Department of Criminology

Emma Hughes, Chair
Science II Building, Room 159
FAX: 559.278.7265

Degrees and Programs Offered

BS in Criminology - Victimology Option, B.S.
BS in Criminology - Corrections Option, B.S.
BS in Criminology - Law Enforcement Option, B.S. - Continuing & Global Education
BS in Criminology - Law Enforcement Option, B.S.
BS in Forensic Behavioral Sciences, B.S.
MN in Criminology, Minor
MS in Criminology, M.S.

Courses Offered

The Department of Criminology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Behavioral Sciences (as of fall 2019), and a Master of Science degree in Criminology. These programs are ideally suited to students planning professional and/or academic careers in criminal justice related fields. Department offerings are diversified and integrated, reflecting the wide range of job opportunities in the field, including direct service and administration in law enforcement, corrections, victimology/victim services, juvenile justice, and forensic behavioral sciences. The department also offers a Criminology minor. The department will not accept a change of major undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA less than 2.5.

Undergraduate Program

The Criminology major is designed to prepare students for beginning professional work in criminal justice and to provide preparation for graduate work including law school. Criminology courses at the undergraduate level include integration of theoretical and applied materials of an interdisciplinary nature. The corrections option is designed for students interested in careers in probation, parole, correctional institutions, and other affiliated forms of work. The law enforcement option is designed for students interested in careers with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, or law enforcement careers within the private sector. The victimology option is designed for students interested in careers in domestic violence programs, rape counseling programs, victim/witness programs, or other victim-related programs at the local, state, or federal level; these programs can either be criminal justice based or community based. An internship course is required in the corrections, law enforcement, and victimology options. The Forensic Behavioral Sciences major prepares students interested in traditional criminal justice careers. However, it is also designed for students interested in the application of other behavioral sciences — such as psychology, anthropology, social work, and linguistics — to the criminal justice system.

Honors Program

The Department of Criminology Honors Program has several major components that are completed over the course of two years. Each fall semester students will take one of the two core honors courses, CRIM 100H and CRIM 170H, such that they complete both during their time in the program. These courses are designed to provide advanced study of research and theory in criminology. In addition, students will annually (during the spring semester) participate in an honors seminar (CRIM 160H) that explores specialized areas, new developments, and syntheses of criminological processes and theory.

The program provides highly qualified advanced students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytical abilities and expand their knowledge of criminology. Minimum criteria for application to the program include second semester sophomore standing and a GPA of at least 3.5 prior to enrollment. Applications are accepted in the spring semester for the following academic year and the Honors Committee oversees the selection process. Accepted students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.5 to remain in the program. Successful students will graduate with a B.S. in Criminology or Forensic Behavioral Sciences with Honors Distinction, an inscribed Smittcamp medallion, and special recognition at graduation.

Graduate Program

The Master of Science degree in Criminology is a 30-unit, flexible program which provides a solid core in the field of criminology while permitting students to pursue specialized areas of interest. The master’s program is designed to prepare students for service and responsible administrative and professional positions in agencies in the criminal justice system. The master’s program also prepares students for a wide variety of occupations including in-service education; administrative education and management; community college teaching; predoctoral studies; and research.


Master of Science Degree Requirements

Under the direction of a graduate adviser, each student prepares and submits a coherent program individually designed within the framework that follows.

Core (15 units)
CRIM 200, 201, 202, 203, 204

Electives (12 units)
Select criminology or related areas 200-series (under special circumstances a maximum of 6 upper-division units may be allowed)

Culminating experience (3 units)
Thesis or Project: 298 or 299 (3 units) or Comprehensive Exam and CRIM 295 (3 units).

Total (30 units)

Graduate-Level Writing Competence. The university requires that students have graduate-level writing abilities before being advanced to candidacy for the master's degree. The Graduate Writing Skills requirement for the graduate program in criminology is met by passing the writing component of CRIM 200. Please see the program's Graduate Writing Requirement Policy for more information.

Advising Notes

  1. Each student must see the graduate coordinator each semester prior to registering.
  2. All students must meet the graduate writing requirement. See the program coordinator for details.

(See also Admission to Graduate Standing, Advancement to Candidacy, Program Requirements, Foreign Language Requirements, and Criteria for Thesis and Project.)


The criminology department consists of 16 full-time faculty members whose expertise includes numerous specialties in the criminal justice system, including corrections, counseling, victimology, juvenile delinquency, theory, legal studies, supervision and management, and criminal justice administration. Various part-time faculty members from major criminal justice agencies also instruct in the department.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.

The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.