Criminology, BA

College of Arts & Sciences

Program Description:

Major in Criminology

The Sociology Department offers a specialized program in criminology, designed to give students a comprehensive introduction to the field. Courses focus on the characteristics and causes of crime and deviance and on the origins, nature and consequences of societal reactions to crime and deviance, giving particular attention to the criminal justice system. Basic instruction is also given in sociological theory and research methods.

The program is particularly appropriate for students wishing to pursue one of the following career options:

  • graduate work in the social sciences with a special emphasis on criminology or criminal justice

  • a career in criminal justice (e.g., law enforcement, corrections, crime prevention), especially in agencies or departments involved in planning and evaluation

  • a career in law, social work or counseling


Students must complete 34 hours of course work in criminology– 28 hours core and 6 hours of pertinent electives as advised.

Core courses: 101; 205; 213; 380; 312; 371; 381L; two of 412, 414, 416, 423, 424, 425, and 426. Generally, students should follow core courses in sequence, beginning with 100-level requirements, proceeding to 200-level requirements, and so on. Electives: students must choose 6 hours (two courses) of electives from the approved list available from the Department of Sociology or any upper-division Sociology course. Students may not count the same course as both a core course and an elective. Some upper-division electives require other courses as prerequisites.


Admission Requirements:

In order to be admitted to the criminology major, students must complete SOC 101 and either SOC 205 or SOC 213.

A cumulative grade point average of 2.25 or better in all courses completed is required for regular admission to the criminology major.


Career Opportunities:

A bachelor's degree is the minimum formal education required. Most entry-level positions for criminology majors reside with law enforcement, governmental, or social service agencies/organizations. Students must usually be willing to start in an entry-level position in order to prepare for advancement. Depending upon the student’s career goals, many employers also require graduate education. For example, a master’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, social work, counseling, public administration, or business may be required for positions involving therapy or higher levels of administration, forensics, and research. A doctorate is required for university-level teaching positions. 


Contact Information:

Ann Mazur: Senior Academic Advisor
(505) 277-3490
maz@unm.edu