Bachelor in Criminology


Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Criminology is an interdisciplinary study of crime and the criminal justice system. It is the broad investigation of the roles that sociological and psychological factors play in determining how a society defines crime, contributes to or deters criminal behavior, and responds to victims and offenders. Criminologists have a wide variety of career paths from which to choose. Those interested in working within the criminal justice system may pursue a number of government jobs, including careers within law enforcement, courts, or corrections.

Students may also be interested in positions addressing social reform and involvement in programs improving social conditions related to crime. Those focusing on the psychological underpinnings of criminal behavior may pursue positions involved in victim advocacy, prevention programs for youth, or rehabilitation programs for offenders.

This major offers three different areas of focus: diversity within the criminal justice system, the adult justice system and the juvenile justice system. Each emphasis allows students to specialize in one of these fields and tailor classes within that emphasis to fit their interest beyond the core courses within the program.

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Career Opportunities

Job titles related to this degree program include

  • Police officer
  • Victim’s advocate
  • Mediator
  • Family services case manager
  • Parole officer
  • Probation officer
  • Treatment and rehabilitation counselor
  • Social justice advocate
  • Defense attorney
  • District attorney
  • Correctional facility warden
  • Game warden
  • Postal inspector

Profession-Based Learning Experiences


Although internships are not required in the criminology and criminal justice major, they are highly encouraged. Examples of internships for this major:

  • Campus police
  • Treatment centers
  • Children and family centers
  • Local police and state troopers
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Drug abuse and deliquency prevention programs
  • Law firms

Student Organizations

Criminal Justice Club
Supports the development and interests of students majoring in criminology or minoring in criminal justice. The club also sponsors speakers and promotes professional development of students preparing to enter the field.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members provide short-term study programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available: faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

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The Northwest Core (48-52 hours)

Common Core Required for all Criminology Emphases

All students majoring in Criminology (emphases in the Adult System, Juvenile System, and Diversity) are required to complete a Common Required Core, which includes the following:

Common Required Core, 27 hours
POLS 34205 Introduction to Criminal Justice
POLS 34338 Rights of the Accused
POLS 34459 Justice: Theories and Applications
SOC 35321 Criminology
SOC 35405 Victimization
SOSC 36201 Social Science Research Methods
POLS 34491 Research Seminar in Criminology and Criminal Justice
MATH 17114 General Statistics
PHIL 39275 Professional Ethics


Note: MATH 17114 and PHIL 39275 can be used to fulfill Northwest Core requirements but only count once toward the 124 hours needed for the Bachelor of Science degree.

Prerequisite Courses, 6 hours
SOC 35101 General Sociology
PSYC 08103 General Psychology


Note: SOC 35101 and PSYC 08103 are prerequisite courses for Sociology and Psychology courses. SOC 35101 and PSYC 08103 can be used to fulfill Northwest Core requirements, but do not count toward the hours needed for the major.

Last updated Sep 2018

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About the School

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University fo ... Read More

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University focuses on student success - every student, every day. It will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience. Read less