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Criminology Major

Social Sciences and History Department

Welcome to the Criminology program at the College at Florham! The Department of Social Sciences & History is now pleased to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology.

What is Criminology?

Criminology is the study of the root causes of crime and deviant behavior in society. Early criminologists believed that crime was a choice based on an individual's free will, but the field expanded to include biological, psychological and sociological explanations of crime. Poverty, family structure, and capitalism are among some of the widely debated root causes of crime. Criminologists consider what motivates offenders as well as the impact of crime on victims and society as a whole. By studying the causes of crime, criminologists can offer practical solutions to reduce or even prevent certain types of crime. Criminologists have been instrumental in evaluating criminal justice policies such as Megan's Laws, mandatory sentencing for drug offenders and Three Strikes laws.

Our courses also focus on national and international systems of law; comparative punishment and the administration of justice; and the various mechanisms of law enforcement and control at the local, state, federal and international levels. Additional courses we offer focus on international social and political problems which underlie current issues in international criminal law.

The criminology major draws from other areas of the social sciences, including sociology, anthropology, sociology, and political science, thus providing students with a strong background in several of the social sciences. Students of criminology will also take classes in research methods and policy analysis, which will provide them with practical skills to compete in the market place. Criminology graduates, with the combination of a strong theoretical background and a practical skill set, will be well-prepared for advanced graduate studies and law school, as well as a variety of careers in state and federal law enforcement, investigation, victim advocacy, policy research and analysis. This degree offers students the opportunity to pursue a future in one of the most exciting, diverse and fastest growing fields.

Major Requirements

Students majoring in criminology take a minimum of 36 credits of course work in criminology. Students should see College requirements for details of the general education requirements. The required courses (18 credits) for Criminology are as follows:

The remaining 18 credits are electives. The elective courses vary by semester, but some of the options include the following:

Special Features of Criminology at FDU

Some distinctive features of our program include:

  • Practical competency in the fields of criminology, law enforcement, and public policy;

  • Small classes emphasizing student participation (our average class size is 20, with upper division classes averaging 12);

  • Close working relationships with teachers through independent studies, student-faculty research, activities outside of class, and individual mentoring and advising;

  • Preparation for life after graduation through internships, study abroad, and developing the critical thinking, data analysis, and problem solving skills relevant to a range of professions.

Prison Fieldtrip 2 Prison Fieldtrip 1

Above: Students and faculty on fieldtrip to Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA; fall 2014.


Meghan Sacks
Criminology Program Director
Tel: 973-443-8745

Deparment of Social Sciences and History
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Ave, M-MS3-02
Madison, NJ 07940

Fairleigh Dickinson University Mansion
Office Location
Room 32A

Sacks, Intro to CJ