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Criminology is the study of crime and society's response to crime. The criminology program focuses on crime as a social phenomenon and the causes of criminal behavior. The major provides an overview of institutions, issues, and causes of crime, and social control; it also offers a strong foundation in liberal arts, a basic knowledge of behavioral sciences, and a strong professional growth potential for those pursuing a career in criminology or the criminal justice system.
- UMD offers a degree in Criminology as opposed to Criminal Justice, Deviance, or the Sociology of Law. Our focus is on the critical examination of crime in the U.S. and other countries, and on the mechanisms of crime control in society.
- Students have great opportunities to apply their critical and analytical learning to the practical world. All majors are required to complete an internship with agencies in the community. Internships provide the opportunity to network in the field of criminology or social services and gain real-world experience.
- Our Criminology program is housed in an interdisciplinary department allowing for cross-over in terms of courses offered and faculty who may teach in multiple disciplines including forensic psychology, anthropology, sociology.
Our program is not technical training for criminal justice careers but teaches fundamental skills necessary to those careers. These include, analytical skills, critical thinking skills, ability to consume and synthesize information (in a variety of forms), ability to communicate both orally and in writing, a broad understanding of the world/society in which one resides/works and the impact of social factors on crime and criminal justice in that world/society. These are the kind of skills that employers consistently rank as important when selecting job candidates.
Graduates from UMD's criminology program pursue a variety of careers in criminology or the criminal justice system such as law enforcement (federal, state, and local) or corrections (probation, parole). Criminology majors also go on to advanced education such as law school or graduate school.
What you can do with this degree?
Admissions and Scholarships
The department offers a number of scholarships to criminology students:
• Robert Franz Scholarship in Sociology: $1,000. Awarded to an outstanding student in sociology. Preference given to students with financial need.
• Outstanding Student Award in Anthropology: $500. Awarded to an outstanding student in anthropology. (Graduating seniors AND returning students are eligible.)
• Walter Baeumler Award in Criminology: $500. Awarded to an outstanding student in criminology. (Graduating seniors AND returning students are eligible.)
• Beverly Ecklund Law Enforcement Scholarship: $650. Awarded to a female criminology major planning a career in policing. Preference given to students with financial need.
• James L. Otto Memorial Scholarship: $500. Awarded to a student planning to pursue a career in law enforcement. Preference given to students with financial need.
• Arthur Pulford Scholarship in Criminology: one or more awards, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000. The purpose of the Pulford Scholarship is to provide payments to full-time undergraduate students in Criminology at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Criminology Club is a student run organization with a faculty sponsor.
Our faculty engage in timely, scholarly research that is relevant to students and the broader community.
- Jacki Buffington: Jacki is a Forensic Clinical Psychologist who does a lot of work with the courts and police in the area. She is involved with the problem solving courts (e.g. Mental Health Court, Drug Court, Veterans Court). She also trains law enforcement on how to work with people with severe mental illness and does competency and sanity evaluations for the courts.
- Charern Lee: Charern is our newest faculty member and does exciting work on cybercrime, cyber bullying, and fear of crime. He recently received his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University and joined our faculty in 2017.
- Jeff Maahs: Jeff studies media and crime, most recently public (mis)perceptions of programs like “Scared Straight”. He also has recently been studying college students’ use/misuse of drugs such as prescription stimulants and opioids.
Recent UMD Graduates Job Placement Data & Employers
Here's a sampling of positions Criminology grads have attained six months to one year after graduation.
- Youth Worker - AmeriCorps, True North, Duluth, MN
- Victim Witness Specialist - Anoka County Attorney's Office, Anoka, MN
- Fraud Investigator - Capital One, St. Cloud, MN
- Probation Officer - Chisago County, Center City, MN
- Program Services Assistant - Dakota County Sheriff's Office, Hastings, MN
- Community Service Officer - Duluth Police Department, Duluth, MN
- Correctional Officer - Federal Correctional Institution, Waseca, MN
- State Trooper - State of Minnesota, Department of Public Safety, St. Paul, MN
- Asset Protection Team Lead - Target, Hastings, MN
- Investigative Assistant - United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Minneapolis, MN
- Lead Youth Counselor - Woodland Hills, Duluth, MN
For more data see the Criminology Graduate Follow-Up Report.
For ideas about Criminology and other majors visit Career & Internship Services.