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Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminology Overview

Offered on campus and online, the criminology degree program at SMWC emphasizes a social science understanding of crime and criminal behavior with an emphasis on critical reading, writing and research. Our degree programs provide the flexibility to lead you to the career of your dreams. With your professional advisors helping you along the way, you can mix and match majors and minors to get the perfect degree tailored to you and your career aspirations. Plus, you’ll graduate with a strong foundation in liberal arts.

Students complete 24 hours of criminology coursework – through either on-campus or online courses. Criminology students can choose a concentration area: either psychology or sociology. You will learn more about topics such as policing, criminal interviewing and investigation, corrections and procedure. The hours completed in the concentration area can be tailored to fit your particular area of interest, and these courses must be approved by your academic advisor.


What is criminology?
Criminology is the study of the nonlegal aspects of crime, criminal behavior and delinquency. It involves an analysis of society’s response to crime, who commits crimes and why they do. Criminologists play a key role in helping society understand crime, policy and social justice. Through coursework and internship opportunities, you’ll learn a little bit about each area of criminology.

Why get a degree in criminology?
A degree in criminology from SMWC provides the knowledge and tools to lead you to a wide variety of jobs in the field. A criminology degree also allows you to benefit society by identifying, apprehending and rehabilitating criminals and, in turn, helping control and reduce crime. The Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the College is dedicated to ensuring that students succeed no matter what area within criminology they pursue. You will gain experience through hands-on experimental learning opportunities and learning in a small, collaborative environment.

What can you do with a degree in criminology?
Those who hold a bachelor’s degree in criminology most often pursue graduate study or rewarding careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Law enforcement
  • Law
  • Education
  • Criminal Justice
  • Government
  • Politics
  • Forensics
  • Judicial/Courts
  • Rehabilitation
  • Research

Check out our blog 5 careers you can have with a criminology degree.

What is the average annual salary of someone with a criminology degree?
Employment of detectives and criminal investigators is expected to grow by 10% by 2026. As you look at starting salaries, keep in mind that the cost of living and opportunities to move with a career or industry sector should also factor into your decision. The average salary for a person with a criminology degree is $48,583 according to

What support and resources are provided at SMWC?
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) provides exceptional, personalized learning resource services to encourage student success. The LRC offers help with a range of academic support services, including a writing center, tutoring, college success courses and more.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is routinely ranked by US News and World Report among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and the Best Value Schools. Our departments are also routinely ranked for their individual degree programs.
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