What is Criminology and What are the Degree Requirements?

Criminology was coined in Italian (criminología) by a law professor, Raffaele Garofalo. The field is considered a subset of sociology and seeks to answer questions such as: why does crime exist and what is the best way to deter it? To that effect: what are the factors behind someone breaking a law; committing acts of physical violence; unconscionable white-collar crime or theft against others’ property?

Crime is spoken of in terms of deviance, meaning: an action or behavior that is in opposition to social mores or violates social or legal
norms. If this deviant behavior that antagonizes the society (antisocial) cannot be deterred, how can it be best dealt with?

These complex questions make it necessary to delve into other “ologies” of human nature, making the study of criminology only that much more interesting:

  • sociology
  • psychology
  • biology
  • philosophy
  • social anthropology

You essentially apply what you’ve learned on the concepts of criminology in your day-to-day job in the field of criminal justice.

Phases and History of Criminology

Like most sciences, both social and hard sciences, the study has undergone various phases. First, there was the Golden Age of Research (1900-30), then the Golden Age of Theory (1930-60) and starting in 1960 – 2000 criminology has seen a turning point where all more theories abound and have been tested, studied, debated and used as a base for reforms.

Many times a singular philosophy is popularized within the field, only to be questioned and picked apart. Later on, usually an amalgamation of many different philosophies within a field is adopted as mainstream. Particularly, popularized beliefs are often biologically-related but are then disregarded via scientific experiments through time as simply a boldfaced excuse to legitimize some dated beliefs.

Phrenology, the study of bumps and crevices on the head, is today considered a pseudo-science, however over a hundred years ago this field
was taken as a serious hypothesis meant to reveal secrets about the brain and people’s intelligence.

Future of Criminology

With today’s innovations and advancements getting us closer to a clearer vision and understanding of DNA and other biological elements, we
can expect to see hard sciences making a greater contribution to criminology, such as

  • behavioral genetics
  • physiological psychology
  • psychopharmacology
  • endocrinology

future of criminal justice

The scientific method is employed across all social sciences, including in criminology. Although most criminal justice majors will not actually, perform a scientific study, it will be necessary to understand the scientific method in criminology at the bachelor degree level if you wish to move into decision-making positions as you prove yourself as a capable leader in your field.

Today’s crimes are not what they were in the 1800s when criminology began to specialize. Nowadays you can expect to study:

  • cybercrimes
  • terrorism
  • school shootings
  • hate crimes

Administrators and policy-makers will likely be in demand, considering the exponential rise in population.

“Don’t miss out on this growing field. Contact FNU to help you discover if criminology is for you and what career path goes with your personality and life goals!”

Requirements to Study Criminology

Usually, when someone wants to study crime, the degrees are under the “Criminal Justice” umbrella and specific classes on criminology are
included in the program. This is exactly the case at Florida National University, in both our associate of arts and bachelor of science degrees.

Studying criminology through an associate degree program in criminal justice is a fast track to a serious breakthrough, propelling you on a
career path in the field and making you more competitive in the workforce. To really make headway and get into the upper echelons (read
more on salaries for competitive CJ-related positions
) in the field, however, as Dr. Elizabeth Caridad Barcena, head of the Criminal Justice department, advises, you will need to get your bachelor’s degree.

With your A.A. at FNU, an accredited university, you can continue on to your Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice seamlessly, since the B.S. and A.A. at FNU share the basic courses.

Associate of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice Requirements

Some of the courses you can expect at the associate level include individual intro classes on

  • Statistics
  • Information Technology
  • Criminal Law
  • Corrections
  • Security & Law Enforcement

Although you can speak with your department head to consider classes in other disciplines for your electives, already pre-approved electives include:

  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • Psychology Applied to Law

Associate degrees normally only take a maximum of two years, if taken consecutively. Get the specifics of the A.A. degree requirements here.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Requirements

For the B.S. degree, you can expect to take the classes listed above in the A.A. degree program, as well as:

Florida National University Criminal Justice Graduation Student

  • Basic Human Biology
  • Basic Human Anatomy
  • Police Administration
  • The Law of Evidence
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Procedure

Again, you can coordinate with your department head if there is a course in another discipline that you feel would help you specialize, but the pre-approved electives in the B.S. degree include:

  • Tort Law
  • Minorities and Crime
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Terrorism
  • Private Security
  • White Collar Crime
  • Forensic Psychology and more

Get more specifics on the B.S. degree in criminal justice at FNU here.

Entrance and Admissions Requirements to Study Criminology

The entrance requirements into an Associate or Baccalaureate degree program in criminal justice are the same as most degree programs. At FNU, if you can show us that you have an SAT of 880 or ACT of 19 or higher you are exempt from our diagnostic test. This FNU exam assesses your reading, English, math and other subjects necessary for success in a degree program. Check out the documents and requirements for admissions to FNU and start your application here.

Financial Aid, Scholarships and Tuition Incentives

Check out our pages on financial aid, scholarships and tuition incentives for military, government employees and companies.

There are many questions that you’ll have when considering a degree. Ensuring that your university is accredited, like FNU, means that your degree will be accepted nationally when applying for a position and for furthering your studies.

Contact us at FNU today. Our professors are dedicated to helping their students succeed.