A criminology major studies the science behind crimes.

Criminologists are more concerned with why a crime was committed, rather than how the laws that are enforced. Even though there is a strong connection between criminology and criminal justice, they are entirely separate fields of study. Criminology majors consider the social factors that lead to criminal behavior. They are concerned with what causes criminal behavior and possible ways to prevent it from happening. Criminologists research individual criminal behaviors and the end effect of this behavior on society as a whole. Criminology majors also study psychology, criminal law, and law enforcement statistics.

A major in criminology attracts individuals who want to develop creative thinking skills when identifying patterns in criminal behavior. In this article, we will cover the basic requirements for a Criminology career, job options, and various degrees offered.


Basic Requirements for a Criminology Career

Anyone considering a career in criminology should express an interest in a wide range of subjects that include sociology, psychology, law, biology, and investigative techniques.

There are many specialized areas associated with criminology. A prospective criminology major will be interested in exploring many other subjects such as criminal behavior analysis. fingerprinting, or ballistics analysis. Prior to enrolling in courses in criminology, a student should have a high school diploma or a GED. Some high schools offer some preliminary classes in criminal justice for students with an interest in the field before they earn their high school diploma. Once you make the decision to work in public service, it is time to explore the various career paths based on academic requirements. Many criminologist positions require a four-year college degree and some require more advanced education degrees. Many other careers in the criminal justice system require only a two-year college program.


Associate Degree in Criminology

Many colleges require certain prerequisites before a student can be considered for enrollment in an associate program in criminology. You must be a high school graduate or must have passed a GED exam prior to enrollment. The student must profess a desire to study criminology, possess a grade no lower than a C in English in high school, and take and pass an English Proficiency Test. The criminology program also requires a student to pass a physical exam prior to admission. This undergraduate degree requires two or three years to complete, and qualifies students for an entry level job in criminal justice. Students who want to attend classes on a part-time basis may require longer than two or three years to complete. Opportunities abound for these graduates with careers in private security, law, and police academy as an entry level job in law enforcement.


Criminology Positions Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree

An Associate degree is usually sufficient for applying for an entry-level job in law enforcement, but a bachelor’s degree is required to work in corrections or in social work. It also prepares you to pursue more advanced positions in criminology. Most police and sheriff’s departments are now requiring a degree in criminal justice. FBI agents, probation officers, and computer forensic specialists are required to have a degree in criminal justice or criminology.


Forensic Science Technician