Classes in criminology can teach you what makes criminals tick and how societies handle crime. Read on to find out what kinds of education programs offer classes in criminology and the topics you might study.
What Will I Learn in a Criminology Course?
Criminology courses help you learn about crime, its causes and its context. You can expect to learn about theories of crime, criminal profiles, criminal law and criminal etiology. Other areas of study could include the structure of the criminal justice system, crime typology, industry-current criminology practices and how society reacts to crime. You might read current scholarship in criminology, examine case studies and perform analyses of criminology theories. The following are examples of classes you might take:
People directly affected by crime play an important role in the worlds of law enforcement and the justice system. Victimology courses examine the effects of different kinds of crimes on victims, issues with reporting crime, the role of victims in prosecuting criminals, and the kind of care and treatment that victims might require.
Women and Crime
This course examines how women fit into and are affected by the criminal justice system. Issues discussed would include common crimes committed by women, how female criminals differ from male criminals, treatment, problems surrounding race and sexual orientation, and prison conditions.
White Collar Criminals
Just because someone is well-off doesn't mean they are immune to the temptations of criminal behavior. Students studying white collar crime would discuss things like common types of criminal activity, motives, the effects that white collar crime has on government and society, famous offenders, and the legal process of sentencing and prosecutions.
Race and Crime
Minorities make up a large portion of the criminal population in America, and this course would explore the myths and realities of how race relates to crime. The class would discuss the theories surrounding criminalization, incarceration, sentencing, and treatment in prison.
Criminal offenders who do not qualify as being adults require special attention and consideration from the law enforcement and legal systems, which is explored in this course. Students examining juvenile delinquency would learn about things such as special legal procedures, correctional treatments, and motivations.
What Degree Programs Offer These Courses?
Courses in criminology are offered at all levels of education. While degree programs specifically in criminology do exist, these classes are also offered in other fields, including criminal justice, sociology and psychology. At the undergraduate level, you could enroll in an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program in criminal justice, for example. If you already have a bachelor's degree, consider a Master of Science (M.S.) degree program. Alternatively, you could apply to doctoral (Ph.D.) programs, which focus heavily on research.