UMass Boston

Criminology & Criminal Justice BA

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Gain the complex skills and knowledge you need to pursue a career in criminal justice.

The criminology and criminal justice major focuses on issues related to crime, criminal justice, and society from a broad sociological perspective. Students explore the nature of criminal behavior and its causes, while critically evaluating society’s responses to crime. Courses in the major emphasize social scientific theories and research methods while examining a range of topics pertinent to crime and justice: race, class, and gender disparities; structural and institutional racism; criminalization; punishment and reentry; criminal justice ethics; mental illness; substance abuse; immigration; politics; and reimagining criminal justice as a response to crime and deviance.

In this program, you will:

  • Learn the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, including its history, structure, and operation, as well as its impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole
  • Explore theories and concepts from sociology, psychology, and political science as they relate to crime and justice issues.
  • Develop an appreciation for the ways in which social science knowledge can be applied to pertinent career fields, and how sociological knowledge can be applied to important life choices, regardless of your career path.

Career Possibilities

Serve your community as a police officer or detective. Advocate for victims of crime as a legal or victim advocate. Or, delve into the world of intelligence analysis and policy-making. Whatever your passions may be, a degree in criminal justice equips you with the tools you need to make a difference.

Become a:

  • Social Worker 
  • Paralegal
  • Private Investigator
  • Criminologist
  • Forensic Examiner
  • Police Officer or Detective
  • Probation Officer
  • Prison Counselor
  • Legal Advocate

Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Apply for Admission

Please review the first-year and transfer apply pages for important information about application requirements, deadlines, and application status check.

Apply as a First-Year Student

Apply as a Transfer Student

Program Declaration

Upon admission to the university or completion of an Undergraduate Program Add/Change form after meeting the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least 12 credits at UMass Boston
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Completion of SOCIOL 104 - Introduction to Systems of Criminal Justice or SOCIOL 262 - Criminology

Deadlines & Cost

Early action deadline: November 1; Regular Decision Deadline: June 15

Financing Your Education

Become a Beacon and pursue your passion in UMass Boston’s diverse, supportive environment. Many students across our 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs receive financial aid—providing access to an education that’s exceptional and affordable. Click below to learn more about financial aid opportunities and deadlines.

Financial Aid Deadlines & Application Process

Scholarships for First-Year & Transfer Students

For additional information regarding tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s Office or send an email to


Core Courses (12 Credits):

  • SOCIOL 101 - Introduction to Sociology 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 104 - Introduction to Systems of Criminal Justice 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 262 - Criminology 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 202 - Methods of Sociological Research 3 Credit(s)

Quantitative Methods Course (3 Credits):

Take one course from the list below.

  • SOCIOL 350 - Social Statistics 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 352 - Criminological Statistics and Data Analysis 3 Credit(s)
  • PSYCH 370 - Statistics 3 Credit(s)

Advanced Systems of Criminal Justice Course (3 Credits):

Take one course from the list below.

  • SOCIOL 337 - The Police in Society 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 338 - Criminal Courts 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 339 - Sociology of Law 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 363 - Punishment and Corrections 3 Credit(s)

Advanced Criminology Course (3 Credits):

Take one course from the list below.

  • SOCIOL 316 - Family Violence 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 361 - The Nature of Offending over the Life Course 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 362 - Juvenile Delinquency 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 364 - Internet, Society, and Cyber Crime 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 365 - Victimology 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 367 - Drugs and Society 3 Credit(s)

Electives (9 to 12 Credits):

Take four (three if you completed a six credit internship) electives in sociology and criminal justice. Additional courses from the required categories may be applied toward this requirement. Courses may not count for both electives and required courses.

Capstone (3 to 6 Credits):

Take one internship or senior seminar from the list below.

  • SOCIOL 460 - Internship: Sociology in the City 6 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 461 - Internship in Law and Criminal Justice 6 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 474 - Senior Seminar in Criminology and Criminal Justice 3 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 478 - Directed Study in Sociology 3-4 Credit(s)
  • SOCIOL 479 - Directed Study in Sociology 3-4 Credit(s)

Pass/fail: Only one course taken pass/fail may be applied toward the major. The capstone course may not be taken pass/fail.
Residency: No more than five transfer courses may be applied toward the major. No transfer courses may be applied toward the advanced systems of criminal justice and advanced criminology requirements. Only transfer courses from four-year institutions may count for SOCIOL 202 and the quantitative methods requirement.
Internships: No more than one internship may be applied toward the major.
Course level: No more than nine credits of 100-level courses may be applied toward the major. Sociology graduate courses (SOCIOL 600+) may not be used as major elective requirements or for the senior capstone.
Course reuse: Students double-majoring in sociology and social psychology may only apply SOCIOL 101 and SOCIOL 351L toward their program requirements. Students who complete SOCIOL 350 or SOCIOL 352 as part of another major must complete an additional three-credit sociology course in place of the quantitative methods course.

Graduation Criteria

Degree Requirements

If this is the student’s only or primary major, the degree requirements below must be completed for graduation. See graduation requirements for more information.

Complete 36 credits from at least eleven courses including four core courses, one quantitative methods course, one advanced systems of criminal justice course, one advanced criminology course, one capstone, and three to four electives.


Location: Wheatley Hall, 4th Floor, Room 012
Phone: 617-287-6251
Fax: 617-287-6288

Administrative Assistant II: Danielle Foley
Phone: 617.287.6251 / Office: Wheatley 4-012

Administrative Assistant I: Ellen Noone
Phone: 617.287.6250 / Office: Wheatley 4-012

Internship Coordinator, Academic Advisor, & Grants Manager: Alison L. Moll
Phone: 617.287.6238 / Office: Wheatley 4-014

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