Criminology Major, A closer look at the same

Criminology, contrary to all that you may have assumed is actually part of the social sciences and involves assessing and analyzing various crimes or aberrant social behavior and taking measures to prevent the same from happening as well as understanding the stark motivations that may have acted as a causative factor.

Of course, most people are bound to think of guns, uniforms, badges, and handcuffs when the term ‘criminology’ creeps into the conversation but in reality, criminology is much more varied and cannot be viewed through a narrow definition.

What’s More! It also happens to be a field that is quite lucrative given the number of jobs that one can apply for, post graduation. There are various jobs that you can apply for, with a degree in Criminology in both the state and federal sector or even set up shop privately.

That being said, one of the most notable careers that you can opt for is a criminologist, where you get to earn on an average of $78,810 in the US.

Criminology Major

As a criminology major, and as a criminologist, you are required to work in tandem with the local police and law enforcement authorities. A criminologist is often required to attend autopsies, gather evidence, analyze crime scenes and even come up with a basic blue print as to what may have taken place, while the crime was being committed.

But as mentioned earlier, the field of criminology is a wide and varied field, and you could even end up specializing as an environmental criminologist. It primarily involves the study of local environments and how they may have contributed to the commission of the crime itself, but that’s just an aspect of it.

And, depending on your interest, you can specialize in various areas, during the course of your criminology major and even apply for further specialized studies in the same field.

Criminology Major, A study of the crime

The clue is in the name itself; of course, criminology involves a study of the crime in question, as well as the circumstances surrounding the same including social behavior as these, can act as a motivating factor.

These should enable you to unravel the mystery around the crime and come to a firm conclusion regarding the same that can even help convict alleged criminals. The point being that criminology is a subset of social science and it is more about studying aberrant and deviant behavior, understanding the motivations for the same, taking affirmative action to prevent the same from occurring again and ensuring that certain polices are in place to make that happen.

Criminology major should also enable you to understand society better so that you become better at controlling it, and ensuring that it proceeds along the expected lines, smoothly. It should be pointed out that criminology or the study of crimes committed is neither new nor is it a modern tactic that had evolved over the last few years.

But since time immemorial, as long as crimes have been committed, there has always been someone in charge, trying to make sense of the crime or trying to determine the causative factors behind the same.

What does someone who has graduated in criminology major do?

A criminologist, would often be required to attend active crime scenes, to collect, earmark, and book evidence which would later be forensically examined to determine clues from the same, as well as study, analyze the scene of the crime and even attend autopsies.

When it comes to being a criminologist, you would also be required to file paper works on the crime in question, submit regular feedbacks to others on the same, submit reports and share analysis with the rest of the team.

Granted that some parts of the job may seem more humdrum than others, but if you imagined that a criminologists’ life was perfectly captured in a novel/movie, then you may need to rethink the same again.

Educational requirements

As mentioned earlier, the field of criminology is indeed a varied field; it also happens to be one which offers you various entry level positions that you can join up right away, gain requisite experience and then determine if you want a career in the field of criminology or not.

But if you want to aim for other careers in the field of Criminology, then you would need to graduate with criminology as a major. For example, if you wanted to become an FBI field agent, then you may find it easier to become one if you had graduated with in criminology major with good credits.

In fact, other than the entry level jobs, you are required to have at least one academic degree, that of bachelors or masters or even a Ph.D. in order to apply for other posts, in the field of criminology.


There are various educational streams that you can choose from, to study criminology and select the specialization of your choice. You may want to become a forensic scientist in which case, you may be required to specialize in forensic science; similarly, as a forensic psychologist, you may even be required to get a few credits in psychology. The point is that you can select a specialization along with the rest of your criminology course.

It should be pointed out that more and more people have started taking an interest in this sector and not without reason. Of course, you can attribute the peaked interest to novels or movie, but the fact is that this field is bound to grow further as more crimes are likely to be committed in the next few years.

Given this, you may find criminology major a lot more attractive than some of the other majors that are currently offered in your college. But make sure that you select the right area of specialization depending on your interest. After you have selected the correct area of specialization for your course, you can then apply to the correct department with your application, duly filled out.


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