Earn Your Criminology Degree on the Coast of Maine

Are you committed to promoting social equality in law enforcement and criminal justice reform? Curious about how the criminal legal system operates in society as an agent of control? An interdisciplinary major grounded in the liberal arts, Criminology at UNE focuses on the study of the social construction of crime and criminals, theories of illegal and deviant behavior, social reaction to crime, and the effectiveness of anti-crime policies. You emerge prepared, through hands-on classroom learning and real-world research and professional experiences, for a variety of rewarding careers in this dynamic field.

Two U N E students sit together at an outside table each reading a textbook

Why UNE for Your B.A. in Criminology

Criminology is an exciting field in which to work – and, at UNE, it’s an exciting one to study as well. With student engagement as a top priority, we offer hands-on classroom experiences, research opportunities, and internships that make for an incredible student experience as well as an impressive resume for potential employers or graduate/professional schools.

  • Emphasis on engaging internships and capstone experience
  • Development of in-demand liberal arts skills
  • Travel abroad opportunities
  • Strong job and graduate school placement rates
     
Testimonial Place Holder

Aaron Fullerton ’13

Neuroscience

I chose Neuroscience as my major because of my long-term goals of becoming a neurosurgeon. This will provide the groundwork for my education and give me the best chance to succeed in these aspirations. This program also stuck out to me because it offered unique experience on the cutting edge in the classroom and in the laboratory.

I particularly enjoy that UNE offers many clubs and organizations for its size. I currently participate in Habitat for Humanity, Ride 24/7, and the EMS club. Since UNE is a smaller school, the professors in my department have plenty of time to dedicate to my specific learning experience. UNE's College of Osteopathic Medicine also proved to be an unexpected resource whose faculty and staff are more than willing to take the time to answer your questions.

I began working in a research laboratory my second semester at UNE. Since then I have had the opportunity to learn several different techniques in neuropharmacology and to apply my knowledge in several different behavioral assays. I am currently characterizing the effects on solubility and transport of opioid analgesics in behavioral assays related to drug addiction.

Since UNE is a smaller school, the professors in my department have plenty of time to dedicate to my specific learning experience.

Neuroscience

What Will You Study? Criminology Degree Curriculum Overview

B.A. in Criminology Courses

The following are examples of the exciting courses that you may take as a Criminology major at UNE:

  • Deviance and Crime
  • The Criminal Legal System
  • Theories of Race and Racism
  • Crime, Media, Culture
  • Human Trafficking
  • Juvenile Delinquency

Curriculum

CAS Core RequirementsCredits
Total Credits42–43
Required CoursesCredits
CRL 205 – The Criminal Justice System3
PSC 125 – Understanding Law: An Introduction or PSC 210 – Constitutional Law3
SOC 170 – Deviance and Crime3
SOC 268 – Practice of Social Science Research3
SOC 270 – Classical Social Theory or SOC 280 – Contemporary Social Theory3
SOC 300 – Sociology Internship or PSY 300 – Psychology Internship3–15
SOC 311 – Theories of Race and Racism3
SOC 345 – Crime, Media, and Culture3
SOC 370 – Applied Field Method in Sociology3
SOC 494 – Cap Exp: Thesis3–16
Four (4) Program Specific Electives12
Total Credits42–67
Open Elective Courses (as needed to reach 120 credits)Variable
Minimum Total Required Credits120
Program Specific Elective OptionsCredits
ANT 312 – Human Trafficking3
HIS 266 – History of Drugs in the Americas3
PSC 241 – Human Rights in World Politics3
PSC 278 – Pol Sci Human Trad II3
PSC 330 – Theories of Politics and War3
PSY 205 – Abnormal Psychology3
PSY 236 – Mental Health & Society3
PSY 370 – Drugs, Society, and Behavior3
SOC 333 – Sociology of Law3
SOC 350 – Deviance3
SOC 421 – A Just Society?3
Three U N E students study together a table next to windows with a view of the ocean

Career Paths for Criminology Majors

Criminology professionals may work in a variety of environments, including police stations, courts, prisons, government agencies, and a variety of non-profits, including victim advocacy groups. A degree in Criminology will position you well for careers such as:

  • Jury Consultant
  • Probation Officer
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Criminal Attorney
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Criminology Professor
  • Criminal Policy Analyst

Career Advising for B.A. in Criminology Students

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.

Experiential Learning in the Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology Program

Our Criminology major’s emphasis on hands-on learning engages you in problem-solving and provides opportunities for experiential learning via student research and professional experiences.

Internships for Criminology Majors

Our database of more than 900 internship sites allows you to gain valuable professional experience as an undergraduate student. You may intern with law offices, legal service organizations, social justice non-profits, government agencies, and other community organizations.

Senior Capstone Experience

You will choose a capstone experience to widen the scope of your expertise. We offer three options:

  • Study abroad with a focused concentration in your coursework
  • Complete an additional internship (This 360-hour experience often leads to a job offer after graduation)
  • Write a senior thesis (with the goal of publishing a professional article)
     

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Ready to begin your future in UNE’s Bachelor of Arts in Criminology? Get started today.

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology FAQ

What is a criminology major?

Criminology is the study of crimes, criminals, victims, theories explaining unlawful behavior, society's response to crime, anti-crime policies, and the wider social and political context of law enforcement. Criminology programs draw from various disciplines, especially sociology and other social sciences and humanities.

UNE offers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Criminology. It is an interdisciplinary major grounded in the liberal arts. Criminology at UNE explores how society defines crime and criminals, theories explaining unlawful behavior, society's response to crime, and the impact of anti-crime measures.

UNE’s Criminology program in Maine offers a comprehensive overview of crime, law, justice, and punishment. It helps you build critical skills like reading, writing, and analysis in criminology. You can study how crime and the law influence our world and gain hands-on experience through research and professional opportunities.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Criminology at UNE

What can you do with a criminology degree?

Degrees in criminology can open doors to various professions, including roles as paralegals, police officers, and forensic psychologists. Criminology professionals may work in a variety of environments, including police stations, courts, prisons, government agencies, and a variety of nonprofits, including victim advocacy groups.

Criminology can also be a good first step toward roles in urban development, political science, investigative journalism, cybersecurity, and more. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree can pursue a master’s degree or move on to attend law school.

UNE Criminology graduates have pursued careers such as jury consultants, probation officers, forensic psychologists, criminal attorneys, clinical social workers, criminology professors, and criminal policy analysts. Our students have the ability to work with our Academic and Career Advising Center. It doesn’t matter if you have a clear career goal or just a general interest in a field.

Learn more about Career Advising at UNE

How much does a criminology major make?

As of August 2023, the average salary for a criminology major in the U.S. was about $46,597, as reported by Zippia. Common salary breakdowns by job according to Indeed* include:

  1. Loss prevention officer: $15.93/hour
  2. Private investigator: $23.66/hour
  3. Jury consultant: $47,328
  4. Probation officer: $55,265
  5. Corrections officer: $56,806
  6. Criminology professor: $57,104
  7. Forensic science: $61,101
  8. Clinical social worker: $62,328
  9. Police detective: $70,931
  10. Lawyer: $91,525
  11. Forensic psychologist: $96,294
  12. Criminal profiler
*Last updated August 2023

How long does it take to get a criminology degree?

It takes about four years for a full-time student to earn a Bachelor's degree in Criminology. A Master's in Criminology typically takes one to two years. It can take anywhere from three to four years to earn a Ph.D. in Criminology depending on the program you choose.

UNE’s B.A. in Criminology requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. This includes:

  • 42–46 credits of College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) core curriculum
  • 42 program minimum required total credits
  • Open elective courses as needed to reach 120 credits

Learn more about UNE’s Criminology curriculum

How much does a criminology degree cost?

The cost of a four-year criminology bachelor's degree is influenced by:

  • Where you live – in-state or out-of-state.
  • The kind of school – public in-state or private.
  • Extra expenses like housing, food, and other charges.

Learn more about the tuition and fees for undergraduate degree programs at UNE in Maine

UNE is Maine's biggest private university. We give scholarships based on merit, regardless of your chosen major. We're dedicated to making education affordable. Some important facts:

  • 98% of undergraduates receive merit scholarships.
  • Our students receive about $26,000 in award packages on average.
  • We award $42 million in scholarships every year.

Learn more about grants and scholarships available for UNE students

Is a criminology degree worth it?

Studying criminology allows you to understand society’s relationship with crime and criminals. This includes how society defines crimes, the societal factors that lead to high rates of crime, and how we can best prevent and rehabilitate criminals. You’ll encounter ideas and theories about the role of race and class in crime and punishment which will hone your research skills and provide fresh insights. Each effort contributes to making our society more just.

Criminology is a great major for students who want a career in law enforcement, or who want to work to make our justice system more equitable, with an understanding grounded in scientific evidence. Criminology provides a research-oriented foundation in policing and social justice. While it may not qualify graduates to become lawyers or judges, it can serve as a valuable stepping stone for those considering law school.

Besides being rewarding and stimulating, a criminology degree from UNE opens doors to diverse job options in intriguing settings. Many of these opportunities are with government agencies, offering job security as well.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of sociology, which includes criminology, will grow by 4% by 2030. This aligns with the national average, indicating that employment opportunities in this field are likely to remain stable.

What colleges offer the best criminology degree program?

Criminology is offered as a major at colleges and universities across the U.S., including UNE in Maine. There are many factors to consider when choosing which college or university has the best criminology degree program for you.

Faculty

Identify the criminology professors who match your areas of interest, whether it's criminal behavior, law enforcement, criminal justice, or criminological theories. Check if their research interests and professional background align with yours.

Instructors in criminology at UNE typically possess an academic background and hold a terminal degree in criminology or a closely related field as part of their professional qualifications. Our small classes allow for personal attention and collaborative research with faculty.

Meet faculty and professional staff in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Curriculum

Assess the criminology program based on what you want in a curriculum, including topics you like such as criminal behavior, law enforcement, criminal justice, and criminological theories, plus chances for research and internships.

UNE’s Criminology program is interdisciplinary, drawing from sociology and other social sciences and humanities. Our curriculum is rooted in liberal arts and offers a deep exploration of crime and the institutions that handle it. The following are examples of the interesting courses that you may take as a Criminology major at UNE:

  • Deviance and Crime
  • The Criminal Legal System
  • Theories of Race and Racism
  • Crime, Media, Culture
  • Human Trafficking
  • Juvenile Delinquency

UNE’s Criminology degree program also affords opportunities for experiential learning via student research and professional experiences:

  • Internships - Our database of over 900 internship opportunities provides valuable professional experience for undergraduate students. You can intern with law firms, legal service organizations, social justice nonprofits, government agencies, and other community groups.
  • Senior Capstone Experience - You'll select a capstone experience to expand your expertise. We offer three choices:
    • Study abroad with a focused concentration in your coursework.
    • Complete an additional internship (often leading to job offers after graduation, involving 360 hours of experience).
    • Write a senior thesis with the aim of publishing a professional article.

Learn more about the full Criminology curriculum

Career goals

Select a criminology program that matches your career objectives and ambitions. Explore the available resources that can assist you in mapping out your future steps.

Graduates of UNE’s criminology program emerge prepared, through hands-on classroom learning, real-world research, and professional experiences, for a variety of rewarding careers in this dynamic field including - but not limited to - criminal investigator, criminologist, field investigator, paralegal, police officer, social worker.

We provide practical classroom experiences, research opportunities, and internships that enhance your student journey and boost your resume for future employers or graduate/professional programs.

Overall, Zippia ranks UNE #1 in Maine for graduates getting jobs, and 93% of bachelor’s degree graduates are employed or continuing higher education within six months to one year of graduating. Our Academic and Career Advising Center will work with you to find the right opportunity to suit your interests.

Learn more about Career Advising at UNE

Location and environment

Consider the location and environment that best supports your criminology major journey.

UNE is Maine’s largest private university. We have three unique campuses that provide diverse learning opportunities. In Maine, we have two campuses in Biddeford and Portland offering renowned undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Additionally, our Tangier, Morocco campus hosts a unique semester abroad program for UNE students.

Learn more about UNE’s campuses and how you can visit us

UNE has a well-developed network of internship sites that have accepted our students into their organizations and work to match you to an experience that fits your interests. Our criminology curriculum places an emphasis on internships and capstone experience and there are plenty of travel abroad opportunities.

Learn more about study abroad opportunities at UNE

Financial aid

Consider whether the school you're interested in provides financial aid or scholarships to support your education.

A UNE undergraduate education is very affordable. Our tuition is 16% below the average tuition for private universities in New England. Plus, all incoming full-time undergraduate students at UNE will receive Merit Scholarships in amounts from $5,000 to $22,000 per year.

Learn more about grants and scholarships available to students at UNE