Barbara Rockell, Program Director
David Baronov, Chair
David Bell, Kevin Clarke, Marta Rodríguez-Galán, Patricia Tweet, Pao Vue
The Criminology major provides students with a solid background in the core concepts and theories shaping the larger field of Criminology. Of particular emphasis are the scientific study of crime and its causes, related social policies, criminal law, the origins and ongoing development of the U.S. criminal justice system, and comparisons of criminal justice systems across societies and cultures. Coursework requires students to develop their writing and research skills, while engaging in critical thinking through the study of particular topics. For those students interested in careers in law enforcement, this major will ground them in a deep appreciation for the complexity and nuance of work within the criminal justice system. Such students will leave Fisher more self-aware and circumspect with respect to their responsibilities and the consequences of their actions when carrying out their functions and when supervising others. At the same time, exposure to the breadth of opportunities and careers beyond law enforcement across the criminal justice system (and tangential fields) will expand our students’ understanding of their broader options. For those students interested in advanced studies in Criminology, this major will provide a strong foundation for pursuing graduate work and/or entering the policy arena with respect to crime, law, and the criminal justice system.
The Criminology major features a curriculum with forms of inquiry that are grounded in the liberal arts traditions and coursework that makes use of a vast critical literature that has emerged over the past four decades. Our faculty strives to integrate sociological, historical, and anthropological themes across the curriculum. Hence, the Criminology major addresses a broad range of issues pertaining to the social and historical origins of those activities designated as criminal in society, the means of policing and punishing persons engaged in such activities, and the laws and legal institutions administering the criminal justice system. Framing inquiry across Criminology as an admixture of an analysis of human behavior and of broad socio-historical developments is a central goal of the major. For example, study abroad is strongly recommended for all Criminology majors.